In June 2018, Kia Motors America issued a recall of more than 500,000 vehicles due to airbag issues. The airbag malfunction was due to a problem in the airbag control unit (ACU), which could have caused the front airbags and seat belt pretensioners to not deploy. This is a critical situation, since this particular malfunction could cause serious injury or death in the event of a crash. Over the course of the last eight years, there have been multiple recalls for Kias, as well as Hyundais, who owns a large part of Kia Motors.
In March 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began an investigation of four deaths and six injuries that were caused by faulty airbags in Hyundai and Kia vehicles. By then, Hyundai had already recalled over 150,000 vehicles made in 2011 due to an airbag controller malfunction. Kia expanded 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 2012-2013 Kia 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 more than 1.4 million vehicles after some of their airbags did not deploy. 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, 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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