We have not even reached the end of the first month of 2012 and we have already seen a couple of big auto recalls. First it was the turn of Ford with over 500,000 vehicles being recalled, which was quickly followed by BMW recalling a number of Mini models. Now today we have the news of the Kia Optima and Rondo getting the recall treatment due to faulty airbags.
The recall jointly announced by Kia and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, affects over 145,000 models. There is a concern that the vehicles involved have a faulty airbag component, which according to Torque News may cause the airbags not to trigger in the event of an accident.
This latest recall is affecting Kia Optima models with the 2006 to 2008 model year, and was manufactured between September 29th 2005 and 2008. The recall is also affecting the Kia Rondo MPV that was manufactured between September 13th 2006 and March 21st 2008. There are a total of 145,755 models affected by the recall, with 95,569 being Optima models, and 50,186 Rondo vehicles.
The problem centers on the clock spring, which is an internal component of the steering wheel assembly. It has been discovered that after a period of time the component will wear and eventually break. This will cause the airbag warning light to illuminate, and in an accident may mean the airbag will not deploy.
Kia Motors and the NHTSA have decided to issue the recall and get the models affected into dealers for repair. There has been a number of similar recalls across the auto industry with clock spring issues. Kia has carried out a number of warranty repairs already, and there have been no reports of injuries because of the fault.
The recall is expected to start in March with owners being asked to return their vehicle to their nearest Kia dealer. For more information you can contact the Kia Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-333-4542, and quote recall campaign SC094.