Kia Issues Safety Recall for the K5 Sedan Due to Incorrectly Installed Airbags

Previously called back over an issue with the dual-clutch gearbox mated to the 2.5L turbo engine, the K5 has been recalled once again. Kia identified a worrying issue concerning the side curtain airbags, which may have been installed incorrectly at the Kia West Point factory.
Kia K5 9 photos
Photo: Kia / edited
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The South Korean automaker became aware of this problem on January 24th. A safety engineer inspected a crashed K5, only to notice an improperly deployed driver-side curtain airbag. The safety department and representatives of the West Point facility confirmed the improper installation of the driver’s airbag and the correct installation of the passenger airbag. Kia isn’t aware of any injuries or deaths related to this problem.

Affected vehicles were produced in the period between March 27th, 2020 and December 9th, 2022 for the 2021 through 2023 model years. The attached report also specifies that dealers will inspect both the driver- and passenger-side curtain airbags, which bear part numbers 80410-L3000 (driver) and 80420-L3000 (passenger).

Kia service technicians will reinstall the side curtain airbags properly. Kia informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it updated the inspection and verification processes at its West Point facility on November 17th, 2022. Be that as it may, the federal watchdog was also informed that vehicles made between November 17th, 2022 and December 9th, 2022 are recalled as well out of an abundance of caution.

Affected owners will be informed by first-class mail beginning on April 7th. In the meantime, owners are recommended to run their 17-digit VINs on Kia’s recall portal. If the vehicle is indeed affected, owners should contact the nearest dealer to schedule the free repair.

Formerly known as the Optima in the United States, the K5 received this designation back in December 2019 for the 2021 model year. Internally referred to as the DL3, the mid-size sedan features a fastback-inspired profile just like its technically similar sibling from Hyundai.

The K5 slots right between the compact Forte and rear-/all-wheel-drive Stinger, with the latter going the way of the dodo due to poor sales. Currently priced at $25,290 sans destination charge, the front-/all-wheel-drive K5 is generously equipped right off the bat. In the suck-squeeze-bang-blow department, customers are presented with a 1.6L turbo that makes 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet (264 Nm) of torque, channeled to the front wheels by a torque-converter automatic transmission.

Highlights further include a smart opening trunk, dual-zone automatic climate control, a smart key with remote start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with multi-device Bluetooth connectivity. The list continues with a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, 16-inch alloys, LED headlights, and a plethora of passive and active safety systems.

Only the GT-Line trim level is available with AWD. At the uppermost end of the spectrum, the FWD-only GT brings together an eight-speed DCT and a 2.5L turbo with 290 hp and 311 lb-ft (422 Nm) on deck.
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 Download: Kia K5 airbag recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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