Owners of older Kia vehicles may want to look out for a recall notice in the mailbox.
The Korean automaker is recalling over 507,000 vehicles in the U.S. due to an electronic glitch that may prevent airbags from deploying in a crash. The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed in March it was investigating why some airbags had failed to deploy in certain Kia and Hyundai vehicles. At the time, NHTSA was aware of crashes where four people were killed and another six were injured.
In today, both Hyundai and Kia have combined to recall nearly 1.1-million vehicles in the U.S. to address the issue.
The latest recall from Kia affects the 2010-2013 Forte, 2011-2013 Optima, and 2011-2012 Optima Hybrid and Sedona vehicles. The automaker says the airbag control unit may short circuit because they may be susceptible to electrical overstress, preventing the front airbags and seatbelt pretensioners from deploying. Currently Kia does not yet have a fix, but is working with its supplier on the issue.
Hyundai issued its first recall in February, affecting 154,000 Sonatas in the U.S. In April, Hyundai added to the total by recalling an additional 425,000 vehicles in the U.S. for the same issue. The company said in March it was aware of two deaths in its vehicles, which occurred in head-on collisions at extremely high rates of speed.
NHTSA has said the airbag control module that is under investigation is manufactured by ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a German auto supplier. The company is working with NHTSA on the issue.
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