Kia recalls more than 500K vehicles; air bags may not inflate

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

Kia is recalling more than 500,000 cars and minivans in the USA because the air bags could fail in a crash.

The recall is planned to begin on July 27, 2018.

The two Korean automakers have now recalled almost 1.1 million USA vehicles to tackle the issue.

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"NHTSA's investigation should not have even been necessary", said David Friedman, director of cars and product policy and analysis at Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports. In these crashes, four people were killed and another six were injured.

Vehicles covered by the recall include 2010 through 2013 Forte compact cars and 2011 through 2013 Optima midsize cars. The company does not have a fix for the issue yet but it is working with its supplier on the issue.

Both Hyundai and Kia will offer loaner vehicles to owners who request them.

The airbag control unit may short circuit, preventing the front airbags and seat belt pretensioners from deploying in the event of a crash.

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The problem also impacted Hyundai, which is affiliated with Kia. Messages were Friday left seeking comment from NHTSA.

The 2013 Forte crash took place in Canada. All six crashes were reported to NHTSA between 2012 and 2017, but it was unclear when they occurred.

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.

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