Hence the just announced recall.
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. According to Reuters, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled all of those vehicles last Friday because the air bag control unit may short circuit due to being susceptible to electrical oversteer. As a result, the front air bags and seat belt pretensioners could be prevented from deploying in case of an accident.
However, Kia does not yet have a fix ready to go, but according to spokesman James Bell the automaker “is attempting to have a remedy by the scheduled owner notification date of July 27. If Kia does not have a remedy by that date or if any customer feels unsafe in his/her vehicle, we will provide a rental car until the repair has been completed.” This is not the first time the Korean automaker has experienced a similar technical problem. Last February, sister brand Hyundai recalled 154,000 U.S. market Sonatas following reports of non-deployment airbags. As is the case this time around, electrical oversteer in the air bag control unit was to blame.
An additional 425,000 Hyundai vehicles were recalled in April due to the same issue. In March, Hyundai acknowledged it was aware of two deaths in its vehicles. Both were involved in high-speed, head-on collisions. The air bag control module unit itself is built by German supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG. ZF has also been working directly with Hyundai-Kia as well as the NHTSA.