Kia Recalling 500K Vehicles

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Kia is recalling over a half-million vehicles in the US because the air bags may not work in a crash.

If you're the owner of a 2010-2013 Kia Forte, 2011-2013 Kia Optima, 2011-2012 Optima Hybrid and Sedona minivan, you need to pay attention to this.

The recall follows an announcement in March by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it was investigating why some air bags had failed to deploy in Kia vehicles and its affiliate Hyundai Motor Corp after crashes in which four people were killed and another six were injured.

"Kia should have issued a recall well before today and probably right after its sister company, Hyundai, identified a similar defective airbag controller from the same supplier three months ago", Friedman added.

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Hyundai recalled more than 580,000 Sonata cars in April, including 2011-2013 Sonata sedans and 2011-2012 Hybrid vehicles. It explained that the vehicles' susceptibility to electrical overstress can cause a short circuit that prevents both the frontal airbags and seatbelt pretensioners, which hold the driver and the front seat passenger in place in the event of a collision, from working.

This defect has resulted in four fatalities and six injuries so far in six serious crashes in Kia's and Hyundai's cars.

ZF said on Friday that it has worked with Kia and "continues to cooperate and support NHTSA and its customers in the investigation". The crash of the 2013 Forte occurred in Canada.

The air bag control units, which detect a crash and activate the air bags and seat belts, are made by ZF-TRW. The company provided technical support to Kia, it said. Kia's number for this recall is SC165.

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