Kia Motors America is recalling more than 507,000 vehicles with faulty airbag sensors and seatbelt pretensioners. In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Kia said the airbags and seatbelts in these vehicles may become unresponsive during front-end collisions due to short circuits in the airbag control units.
During front-end collisions, the airbag control units deploy the airbags and seatbelt pretensioners (which tighten seatbelts). If the control unit short circuits, there is a much higher risk of dying or suffering catastrophic injuries during accidents.
Am I Affected by the Hyundai or Kia Recall?
The following vehicle models are affected by the recall:
- 2010 to 2013 Kia Forte sedans
- 2011 to 2013 Kia Optima sedans
- 2011 to 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid sedans
- 2011 to 2012 Kia Sedona minivans
NHTSA began investigating 425,000 potentially defective airbag systems in Kia and Hyundai vehicles in March. The investigation began after reports of six crashes where the airbags failed to deploy. These crashes are responsible for six injuries and four deaths. According to NHTSA, four of these crashes involved 2011 Hyundai Sonata vehicles. In three of the four crashes involving Hyundai vehicles, electrical overstress in the airbag control units caused the airbags to fail to deploy. The other two crashes involved a 2012 and 2013 Kia Forte.
Hyundai issued a recall for more than 580,000 2011 to 2013 Sonatas as well as 2011 to 2012 Sonata Hybrid vehicles. We published a recent blog on this recall.
Kia and Hyundai dealerships must offer free repairs if you are affected by either recall. You can call your dealership to set up an appointment to bring your vehicle in for repairs.
Compensation for Airbag Defect Injuries and Deaths
Automakers can be liable for injuries or deaths caused by auto defects. We encourage you to call our law firm if you have questions about recovering compensation for injuries or deaths caused by defective vehicles. In our experience with similar cases, auto defects involving seatbelts and airbags are very likely to result in life-altering or fatal injuries. Compensation from an auto defect lawsuit can help pay for the expenses associated with a catastrophic injury or loss.