Following news in March that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was looking into reports of defective airbags in vehicles made by Kia and its affiliate Hyundai, Kia has announced it is recalling more than half a million vehicles in the U.S. because of the concern.
NHTSA decided to investigate the matter after learning of six accidents in which four people died and another six were injured. In each of the collisions, the airbags failed to deploy because of an apparent electronic malfunction. Kia says in government documents that a short circuit can develop in an airbag control computer. The company has not yet developed a repair.
Vehicles covered by the recall include 2010 through 2013 Forte compact cars and 2011 through 2013 Optima midsize cars. Also covered are Optima Hybrid and Sedona minivans from 2011 and 2012.
Hyundai said they are working on a fix. Moreover, Kia says it’s working on a remedy and will notify owners June 27.
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