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Kia recalls over 500,000 vehicles because air bags may not inflate

Kia recalls over 500,000 vehicles because air bags may not inflate

"Kia is now evaluating a remedy for this recall".

Kia has recalled more than 507,000 vehicles to fix a problem that can prevent airbags from deploying.

The recall apparently is related to federal investigation into air bag failures in Kia and partner Hyundai vehicles that were linked to four deaths.

NHTSA opened an investigation into the Hyundai-Kia air bag issue in March. In these crashes, four people were killed and another six were injured.

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The two Korean automakers have now recalled almost 1.1 million US vehicles to address the issue. The crash of the 2013 Forte occurred in Canada. The recall affects Kia Fortes from the model years 2010 through 2013, Kia Optimas from the model years 2011 through 2013, Kia Optima Hybrids from 2011 and 2012, as well as Sedona vehicles.

"In the event of a crash, the air bag control unit may short circuit, preventing the frontal air bags and seat belt pretensioners from deploying", the release states.

"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. The safety agency said at the time it had reports of six front-end crashes with significant damage to the cars. In April, Hyundai recalled an additional 425,000 US vehicles to address the same issue.

Kia said in the NHTSA release that it is still working on a remedy with the recall set to begin on July 27. The agency also said it's investigating whether the automakers followed safety reporting requirements.