Kia recalls more than 500 000 cars in the US; airbags may not inflate

Kia is recalling over a half-million vehicles in the US because the airbags may not work in a crash.

The recall apparently is related to federal investigation into airbag failures in Kia and partner Hyundai vehicles that were linked to four deaths.

Vehicles covered by the recall include 2010 through 2013 Forte compact cars and 2011 through 2013 Optima midsize cars. Also covered are Optima Hybrid and Sedona minivans from 2011 and 2012.

A Hyundai spokesman says he's checking to see if his company has a recall. Kia says it's working on a remedy and will notify owners June 27.

Kia says in government documents that a short circuit can develop in an air bag control computer. The company has not yet developed a repair.

What about SA?

Kia South Africa said: "The federal investigation announced by the NHTSA in the USA regarding airbag failures on several KIA models is related only the the specific vehicles mentioned, and only affects the US and Canadian market.

"The vehicles sold in these markets are of a different specification than those sold in other global markets, including South Africa, and as such our market is not affected." 

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