This past June of 2018, Kia Motors America issued a recall due to airbag issues, in which over 500,000 vehicles were recalled. More specifically, the airbag malfunction was due to a problem in the airbag control unit (ACU), which could lead to frontal airbags and set belt pre-tensioners to not deploy. This is a critical situation, since this particular malfunction could result in serious injury and even death in the event of a crash. Over the course of the last eight years, there have been a few recalls for Kia vehicles, as well as Hyundai, who owns a large part of Kia Motors.
In March of 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began an investigation of four deaths and six injuries that had resulted from faulty airbags in Hyundai and Kia vehicles. By then, Hyundai had already recalled over 150,000 model year 2011 vehicles due to an airbag malfunction in the airbag controller. Kia also had to expand its recall to 580,000 vehicles to include the 2011 through 2013 Sonata, as well as the 2011 and 2012 Sonata Hybrid. The NHTSA also began investigating Kia 2012 and 2013 sedans, since there was a good chance that the company had used the same airbag controller supplier as Hyundai. Fiat Chrysler experienced the same issue in 2016, when they recalled over 1.4 million vehicles due to the airbags not deploying. The investigation concluded that these airbag controllers were made by ZF-TRW, an automotive systems supplier that had supplied both Hyundai and Kia with their airbag controllers.
Kia committed to providing a solution to this problem in 2018 and also stated that Kia owners should make arrangements for recall repairs as soon as they are aware of a recall remedy. For any questions, individuals can contact the Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Drivers may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-800-327-4236.
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