Kia announced this month that over 500,000 of its vehicles are being recalled due to faulty air bags. The announcement follows an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into air bag failures in both Kia and Hyundai vehicles.
The recall affects 507,000 vehicles including 2010-2013 Kia Fortes, 2011-2013 Kia Optimas and 2011-2012 Kia Optima Hybrid and Sedona cars. Kia’s affiliate, Hyundai, had previously recalled 425,000 Sonata vehicles in the United States for similar airbag issues. The NHTSA launched its inquiry amid reports of six major accidents that killed four people and injured six others as a result of an electronic fault that prevented airbags from deploying in frontal crashes. Four of these collisions occurred in 2011 model Hyundai Sonatas and two occurred in 2012 and 2013 Kia Forte cars. The faulty airbag is manufactured by German supplier, ZF Friedrichshafen, which has been assisting in the NHTSA investigation.
According to Kia, a technological glitch is responsible for the defective airbag mechanism. The manufacturer’s safety recall notice states that the affected vehicles contain airbag control units with application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC). The ASIC in the vehicles are prone to electrical overstress during crashes. An ASIC that is subject to overstress can become damaged and prevent the deployment of airbags in frontal crashes. The failure of the airbags to deploy in these events presents a serious risk of injury or death. Kia and Hyundai are not the only manufacturers to experience faulty airbags due to electrical overstress. This was also cited as the reason for recalling Fiat Chrysler cars in 2016. In that case, 1.4 million vehicles in the United States were recalled after airbags failed to deploy in serious frontal crashes.
Kia has not yet announced how it intends to repair the defect. All owners of affected vehicles will be notified by July 27, 2018 that their cars are subject to this recall. The manufacturer also stated that if a repair plan is not in place by this date or a customer does not feel safe operating an affected car, Kia will provide a rental car until the repair is made.
If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.