Kia Recalls More Than 500,000 for Airbag Defects


June 12, 2018

June 8, 2018 (carcomplaints.com) Car manufacturer Kia is recalling more than 500,000 vehicles because of airbag defects, according to an online report from carcomplaints.com.

Kia’s recall affects 507,000 vehicles in the United States, including the following:

  • 2010-2013 Kia Fortes
  • 2010-2013 Kia Forte Koups
  • 2011-2013 Kia Optimas
  • 2011-2012 Kia Optima Hybrids
  • 2011-2012 Kia Sedonas 

Air bags in these vehicles can fail during a crash, leading to driver and passenger injuries. Kia states that the air bag control units in these vehicles, manufactured by ZF TRW, can short-circuit and block the front air bags and seat belt pretensioners from deploying. The control units were apparently manufactured without circuit-protecting features, which means the units are vulnerable to internal electrical overstress. This overstress can damage the units and cause them to fail during an accident. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation in March into the air bag failures in these Kia vehicles, as well as air bag failures in certain Hyundai vehicles. The investigation was prompted by NHTSA’s receipt of reports regarding four deaths and six injuries associated with the air bag failures.  

Hyundai recalled 155,000 Sonatas in March because of air bag defects, and the manufacturer then recalled an additional 580,000 vehicles in the following month. Hyundai’s air bag defects are also related to electrical overstress and short-circuiting. 

Kia estimates its recall program will begin in July 2018, during which vehicle owners and lessees can take their recalled vehicles to local dealerships for repairs. Repairs should be free of charge to the owners and lessees. Kia will also reimburse any consumers who paid for their own repairs to the air bags prior to the recall. For additional information, vehicles owners can call (800) 333-4542 and reference recall No. SC165. 

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Category: Auto Accidents

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