Kia Lemon Law – Airbag Wiring Recall
If you own a lemon Kia, contact Allen Stewart today.
Kia Motors America announced they will recall more than a half million vehicles suffering from airbag and seatbelt problems.
The Hyundai-owned company notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on June 1, 2018 they will recall 507,587 2010-2013 Kia Forte, 2011-2012 Kia Optima Hybrid, 2010-2013 Kia Forte coupe, 2011-2013 Kia Optima and 2011-2012 Kia Sedona vehicles built between Feb. 24, 2009 and August 31, 2012.
The affected vehicles contain Airbag Control Units (ACUs) that detect crash severity and deploy the appropriate airbag and seatbelt pretensioner response. The affected vehicles’ ACUs contain a certain application-specific integrated circuit that can suffer electrical overstress during frontal crash events. A damaged circuit can make airbags and pretensioners not deploy after a crash, increasing injury risk.
Kia first learned of the problem in March 2014 following a lawsuit alleging the frontal airbag never deployed in a crash involving a 2012 Kia Forte. The company attempted to download data from the vehicle’s ACU but couldn’t not communicate with the module. Kia sought help from the component manufacturer, ZF TRW of Livonia, Michigan, but they too couldn’t access the module. Kia learned in Summer 2015 the NHTSA was investigating several alleged airbag failures in Kia vehicles containing ZF TRW components.
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Kia and ZF TRW continued their investigation, eventually inspecting a vehicle and finding the its front impact sensors disconnected during the crash. A later inspection on Aug. 24, 2017 found damage in the ACU of a crashed 2013 Kia Forte Koup from Canada.
Kia continued its investigation throughout the early months of 2018, obtaining crashed vehicles for analysis and conducting tests to see if 2010-2013 ACUs were vulnerable to this specific damage. By May 2018 the NHTSA concluded the affected ACUs lacked adequate circuit protection. Kia agreed to recall the affected vehicles on May 28, 2018.
The remedy for this recall is still under development. The recall is planned to begin on July 27, 2018. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia’s number for this recall is SC165. Concerned Kia owners can also visit the NHTSA’s website and enter their VIN to see if their vehicle is included in any recalls.
Your vehicle’s manufacturer is legally required to fix any recalled problems for free. If the dealership refuses to fix the part or tries to charge you for the repair, contact the manufacturer immediately. The Highway Safety Act of 1970, which created the NHTSA, requires car manufacturers to pay for the recall and replacement of a defective part.
If the manufacturer fails to repair, replace, repurchase, or provide your recalled vehicle’s loss value, they are violating the warranty and a lawyer may be able to assist you. Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.