Kia is recalling 410,619 vehicles in the United States, because their airbags might not deploy in the event of an accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall impacts the 2017 Forte Koup and 2017-2018 Forte as well as Sedona, Soul, and Soul EVs from the 2017-2019 model years.
These models are equipped with an airbag control unit (ACU) cover, which may come into contact with the Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory chip on the ACU’s Printed Circuit Board. If this occurs, the soldering joints could be damaged resulting in an open circuit. While drivers would be notified about a problem by the airbag warning light, the airbags wouldn’t deploy in the event of an accident.
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As part of the recall, dealers will inspect the airbag control unit and either replace it or perform a software update to “ensure deployment of the airbag(s) in the event of a crash that warrants such protection even if the recall condition … occurs in the future.” Owner notifications are slated to be mailed out in March and any repairs will be free of charge.
The issue was first noticed in South Korea and Kia has discovered 947 potentially related warranty claims in the United States. Thankfully, despite the seriousness of the issue, Kia isn’t aware of any crashes, injuries, or fatalities related to the recall.