According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the vehicles may have been built with a clock spring in the steering column that may fatigue and break over time. As a result, the vehicles may illuminate the airbag warning light on the dash and the airbag may not deploy in the event of an accident. The automaker says that while it has received some warranty claims for the problem, no crashes or injuries have been reported as a result of the default.
Kia plans to notify affected Optima and Rondo owners in March. Those vehicles that currently have their airbag lights illuminated will be fixed first. Click past the jump for the full recall notification.
KIA / OPTIMA 2006-2008
KIA / RONDO 2007-2008
Manufacturer: KIA MOTORS CORPORATION Mfr's Report Date: JAN 13, 2012
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V014000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: AIR BAGS:FRONTAL
Potential Number of Units Affected: 145,755
KIA MOTORS AMERICA, INC. (KIA) IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2006-2008 KIA OPTIMA VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 29, 2005, THROUGH JANUARY 29, 2008, AND MODEL YEAR 2007 AND 2008 KIA RONDO VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 13, 2006, THROUGH MARCH 21, 2008. THE CLOCK SPRING CONTACT ASSEMBLY FOR THE DRIVER'S SIDE AIR BAG SUPPLEMENTAL RESTRAINT SYSTEM (SRS) MAY BECOME DAMAGED THROUGH USAGE OVER TIME. IF THE CLOCK SPRING CONTACT ASSEMBLY BECOMES DAMAGED, THE DRIVER'S AIR BAG ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT WILL EXPERIENCE A HIGH RESISTANCE CONDITION POTENTIALLY CAUSING THE DRIVER'S AIR BAG TO NOT DEPLOY.
IF THE CLOCK SPRING DEVELOPS HIGH RESISTANCE, IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH, THE DRIVERS AIR BAG WILL NOT DEPLOY AND WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROPERLY PROTECT THE DRIVER, INCREASING THE RISK OF INJURIES.
KIA WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE VEHICLE'S AIR BAG CLOCK SPRING CONTACT ASSEMBLY AS NECESSARY, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING MARCH 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT KIA CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE CENTER AT 1-800-333-4542.
KIA'S RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS SC094. OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .