the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Kia announced the recall of a damaged circuit board component that could prevent airbags from deploying properly in a collision on certain models. The recall affects 410,619 Kia vehicles, although the automaker estimates that only around 1% of them could actually suffer from the fault.
Kia Recall Description
The defect was specifically described on the NHTSA website as: “Variations in Airbag Control Unit (ACU) manufacturing, contact between ACU cover and Programmable Read Only Memory chip electrically erasable (EEPROM) on the printed circuit board (PCB) of the ACU) may occur and damage the solder joints of the EEPROM resulting in an open circuit.If this condition occurs, the warning light of airbag will come on with the B1620 diagnostic trouble code and the vehicle’s airbags will not deploy in crashes where deployment is necessary, increasing the risk of injury.”
Recalled Kia Vehicles
- 253,281 Kia Souls of model years 2017 to 2019 produced from July 25, 2016 to December 24, 2018
- 953 Kia Soul electric vehicles of model years 2017 to 2019 produced from May 18, 2017 to September 28, 2018
- 108,693 Kia Fortes of model years 2017 to 2018 produced as of March 2, 2017
- until July 27, 2018
- 47,690 Kia Sedona of model years 2017 to 2019 produced from July 12, 2016 to January 10, 2019
- 2 (two!) 2017 Kia Forte Koups manufactured on October 4, 2016.
Kia Recall Contact Information
Owners of these vehicles should be notified by first class mail to their home with instructions on how and when to bring their Kia to a dealership. The letters are expected to be mailed March 21, 2022. Owners can contact Kia Customer Service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia’s number for this recall is SC226.
Dealers will inspect the ACU. If the airbag warning light is already on, a dealer will replace the airbag control unit with an “upgraded” unit. If the light is not illuminated, a software update will be installed which Kia claims will ensure the airbags deploy correctly in the event of a collision.
Reimbursement of recalls and cars not affected
Kia says 2019 Sedonas manufactured after January 10, 2019 were already equipped with an upgraded airbag control unit. A different unit was installed on Kia Fortes for the 2019 model year and on the next-generation Kia Souls for the 2020 model year. “Kia will reimburse owners for repair costs already incurred in accordance with Kia’s general reimbursement plan. filed on May 11, 2020,” according to the Defect Notice Report on NHTSA website.
So far, there have been no reported accidents involving issues with the airbag systems on affected Kia models, according to Kia and NHTSA. However, 13 customer complaints were filed and 947 warranty claims were filed regarding the defect.