Following the publication of documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it has been revealed that as many as four million Kia vehicles could be equipped with an airbag inflator that the organization says poses a risk to occupants.

In May, the NHTSA, a regulatory body responsible for ensuring the safety of vehicles in the United States, issued a statement regarding the potential dangers associated with defective airbag inflators. These faulty inflators, present in a total of 67 million vehicles across various brands, were alleged to be capable of exploding and projecting dangerous shrapnel into the cabin, posing a significant risk of injury to drivers and passengers.

Among the affected vehicles, newly released documents indicate that two Kia model lines produced between 2000 and 2016 may be equipped with these defective airbag inflators. The NHTSA's investigation, initiated in 2015 following reports of injuries linked to the inflators, has prompted concerns about the safety of Kia vehicles.

According to the Wall Street Journal, one reported instance of injury associated with this defect involved a 2004 Kia Optima in 2014, marking the first time an official NHTSA document has identified vehicles potentially affected by this issue. While the released documents highlight the potential recall of four million Kia vehicles, the specific models impacted have not yet been disclosed. This lack of an exhaustive list leaves Kia owners uncertain about whether their vehicles are at risk.

It is important to note that ARC, the manufacturer of these airbag inflators, disputes the NHTSA's findings. ARC asserts that its own investigation has not revealed any defect that would necessitate a recall of 67 million vehicles. This discrepancy in viewpoints raises questions about the true extent of the safety threat posed by these inflators and whether the proposed recall is necessary.

Kia is not alone in facing this potential recall. If the NHTSA's recommendations are implemented, it could become one of the largest recalls in U.S. history, affecting a total of 67 million vehicles across various automakers. General Motors (GM) has already taken proactive measures by initiating a voluntary recall of 994,763 vehicles equipped with ARC airbag inflators. This recall includes popular GM models such as the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia from the 2014-2017 model years.

Source: WSJ

Tags: Kia
Евгений Ушаков
Evgenii Ushakov
15 years driving