Kia recalls 500K vehicles; air bags may not inflate

Kia will recall more than 500,000 cars due to an air bag flaw by the end of July an NHTSA release shows. Image kiamedia

The logo of Kia Motors is seen at the manufacturing plant in Pesqueria, on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico, April 3, 2016.

Kia is calling in over half a million of its vehicles in the United States for an electrical issue that could disable some of its most critical safety features.

The air bag flaw is tied to a federal investigation into four fatalities and six injuries in Kia and its affiliate, Hyundai, concerning crashes where the air bags failed to deploy, the Wall Street Journal reported. Vehicles covered by the recall include 2010 through 2013 Forte compact cars and 2011 through 2013 Optima midsize cars.

Kia is still developing a remedy for the glitch.

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Another major automaker is recalling vehicles due to air bag issues. The South Korean automakers are working on a fix.

The safety agency also said that electrical overstress appeared to be the root cause in a 2016 recall by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV of 1.4 million USA vehicles for air bag non-deployments in significant frontal crashes. In these crashes, four people were killed and another six were injured. Owners will be notified starting from the 18th of June. The computer detects a crash signal, issues a command to inflate the air bags and prepares seat belts for a crash if necessary. NHTSA's investigation remains open, the agency said in a statement Friday afternoon. He also said that the automaker will provide customers with a rental vehicle in case its remedy for the issue still isn't ready by that date. One Forte crash happened in Canada.

ZF said on Friday that each air bag control unit "is created to a customer's particular vehicle and platform-specific specifications". The company provided technical support to Kia, it said. Officials are also looking into whether vehicles made by other manufacturers might be affected. Kia's number for this recall is SC165.

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