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Kia Issuing Recall for 508,000 Vehicles to Fix Sensor Problem Affecting Airbags

Kia has issued a recall of 508,000 of its vehicles to fix a problem with a sensor in the airbag control unit. The malfunctioning sensor could result in airbags not deploying in the event of a collision.

The campaign affects the following models: 2010-2013 Forte, 2011-2013 Optima, 2011-2012 Optima hybrid and 2011-2012 Sedona.

The problem is at once simple and complex. Simple because the possible consequence of the defect is obvious, but complex because it won’t occur in all types of frontal collisions. According to Kia, the sensor that controls deployment of the airbags can short-circuit during some kinds of head-on collisions. If one of the elements burns out, the airbags won’t deploy. Even worse, the module that increases the tension in the seatbelt won’t activate.

"If the frontal air bags and seat belt pretensioners are disabled, there is an increased risk of injury to the vehicle occupants in the event of a vehicle crash that necessitates deployment of these safety systems.”

- Kia statement

Kia is still at work of finding a solution to the problem. The recall takes effect officially this coming July 27.