Kia Recalls 507,000 Cars Over Glitchy Airbags

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Following a March investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Kia Motors is recalling more than 507,000 vehicles in the United States to solve an electronic glitch that may prevent airbags from deploying in the event of a collision.

The NHTSA launched the probe after four people died in accidents involving Kia and Hyundai vehicles with airbags that failed to inflate. In total, the agency’s investigation noted failed deployments in the 2011 Hyundai Sonata and 2012-2013 Kia Forte in the U.S. There was also an incident involving the Forte in Canada.

Kia’s recall covers the 2010-2013 Kia Forte, 2011-2013 Kia Optima, and 2011-2012 Kia Optima and Sedona hybrid. While the company doesn’t presently have a fix, it suggests electronic control units may short circuit when overstressed, resulting in a glitch that prevents frontal airbags and seat belt pretensioners from operating effectively.

All in, the recall now affects 1.1 million U.S. vehicles affected by the issue. Hyundai issued a recall of 154,000 U.S. Sonatas in February after linking non-deployment reports to electrical overstress last February, followed by another 425,000 in April.

According to Reuters, the automaker says it is working with the supplier to find a solution to the problem as soon as possible. The NHTSA claims the airbag control module in question was produced by German parts supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Those units also appear to be behind a 2016 Fiat Chrysler recall that covered roughly 1.6 million cars. ZF issued a statement in March that it’s working with NHTSA to address the safety concerns surrounding its product.

[Image: Kia Motors]