Kia Motors Corp has announced it will recall more than 507,000 vehicles in the United States due to an electronic problem that could prevent air bags from deploying in the even of a collision.
The recent recall comes after an announcement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in March that stated it would investigate why certain air bags in Kia and Hyundai vehicles did not deploy in crashes that left four dead and injured six people.
These two Korean automakers have so far recalled nearly 1.1 million U.S. vehicles with this problem.
Indeed, there have been at least six known serious crashes involving these faulty air bags that failed to deploy in frontal crashes. Among them, were four collisions involving 2011-model Hyundai Sonatas and two collisions involving 2012 and 2013 Kia Forte vehicles. The 2013 Forte collision took place in Canada.
This most recent recall is for owners of 2010-2013 Kia Fortes, 2011-2013 Kia Optimas and 2011-2012 Kia Optima Hybrid and Sedona vehicles.
The problem results because the air bag control unit may short circuit. The automaker believes the unit may become susceptible to electrical overstress. If this should happen it could prevent the frontal air bags and seat belt pretensioners from deploying when necessary. The seat pretensioners are necessary to pull the driver and front seat passenger back securley into their seats.
It appears that the auto makers do not have a way to fix the problem at this time, but they are working with their parts supplier to correct this. A notification about the recall is scheduled to be made on July 27th, however, a vehicle owner who feels unsafe may request a rental car from Kia at that time if they feel unsafe in their vehicle.
Hyndai already issued a recall in February for 154,000 Sonatas. These vehicles were linked to electrical overstress in the air bag control unit after some reports that the airbags did no deploy. By April, another 425,000 Sonatas were recalled for the same reason.
At least two deaths in Hyundai vehicles have been linked to the issue, but the automaker points out that these incidents occurred in head-on collisions at extremely high speed.
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Motorists who are grappling with ongoing problems with their vehicle whether it’s a Kia, Hyundai or another vehicle, could be eligible for compensation under California and or Federal Lemon Laws.
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