Kia Recalls 410,000 Vehicles Over Potentially Deactivated Airbags

Kia Forte Sedan 31 photos
Photo: Kia
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Having freshly recalled a handful of Cadenzas for rear windows that may operate unexpectedly, Kia Motors America has just issued yet another callback. On this occasion, 410,619 vehicles feature a control unit cover that may contact a chip on the printed circuit board, damaging the electrical circuit of the airbag control unit. It’s a serious issue, alright!
Kia Corporation received the first report concerning this condition on July 27th, 2021, regarding a Sedona with an illuminated airbag warning light stemming from a diagnostic trouble code for the airbag control unit. HQ was unable to duplicate the problem, but come September 2021, headquarters received yet another filed report concerning the Kia Sedona.

Between October 2021 and January 2022, the South Korean automaker analyzed the condition and subsequently identified a soldering issue between the electrically erasable programmable read-only memory and the printed circuit board. Given these circumstances, headquarters notified Kia North America of the investigation’s results, suggesting a recall campaign.

In addition to the 2017 to 2019 model year Sedona, the company is also calling back the Soul and Soul EV, the 2017 to 2018 Forte, and the 2017 Forte Koup. Manufactured by Hyundai Mobis in South Korea, the defective airbag module assembly will be reflashed if the ABWL is not illuminated or completely replaced by the authorized dealer if the warning light is on.

Of course, customers who already incurred repair expenses for Kia’s mistake will be reimbursed in full. The remedy component reportedly contains a different printed circuit board with a different location for the EEPROM, thus preventing any contact between the module's cover and EEPROM.

Dealers will be notified of the recall on March 17th based on documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As for known owners, they will be notified between March 21st and March 25th.

As a brief refresher, the Sedona minivan has been replaced in the U.S. by a multi-purpose vehicle by the name of Carnival for the 2022 model year. As you’re well aware, the Forte Koup has been phased out with no successor in sight. The Forte sedan soldiers on together with the Soul and Soul EV.
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 Download: Kia 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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