Airbag Concerns Lead to Kia Forte, Sedona and Soul Models Recall in U.S.

Korean automaker Kia announced the U.S. recall of more than 410,000 vehicles due to electrical errors that stop airbags from deploying during a crash.

Kia said 2017 and 2018 Forte small cars and 2017 to 2019 Sedona minivans and Soul small SUVs, as well as the electric Soul are included in the recall. According to the Associated Press, Kia posted documents on January 28, 2022, stating U.S. safety regulators became aware of the problem in Korea in July 2021.

According to the AP, Kia says the airbag control computer cover is able to contact a memory chip. This can damage the electrical circuit, which causes the airbags to fail to deploy during crashes, raising the risk of injuries or death.

There have been 13 customer complaints and 947 warranty claims reported to Kia, according to documents. No crashes or injuries were reported regarding the complaints and claims.

One of the vehicles is the 2017 Kia Forte Koup, which has had three recalls and 140 complaints. The latest airbag complaint is from January 25, 2022, in which the airbags did not deploy as intended.

The 2018 Kia Forte has had three recalls and 44 complaints. During a June 17, 2020, crash, the airbags did not deploy.

Another vehicle is the 2018 Kia Sedona Van. The van has been recalled three times and 13 complaints are reported. According to an owner, on January 19, 2019, the car's airbag lights would flicker on and off or permanently stay on when the car was in use and the dealership informed the owner it was due to the passenger airbag circuitry.

The 2018 Kia Soul SUV has had one recall but 80 complaints. An owner was in a car accident on July 11, 2020; however, the airbags did not deploy. The 2019 Kia Soul SUV had the same problem, with the airbags not deploying in a December 23, 2021, accident. The 2019 SUV had one recall and 25 complaints.

A Kia airbag recall includes the Forte, Soul, and Sedona models, mostly all from 2017-2019. Above, a sign with the Kia logo displayed at a Hyundai dealership on April 7, 2017, in San Leandro, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

According to the Allstate website, owners have three options when it comes to calls being recalled. The first option is to repair the car at no cost to the owner; however, if the problem is deemed unfixable, the second option is to replace the car with an identical vehicle or a similar model. The third option is for the manufacturer to refund the owner for the purchase price of the vehicle, but a reasonable amount for depreciation is allowed to be deducted.

According to the AP, dealers are to inspect the airbag control computer cover and either update the software or replace it. Allstate suggests calling manufacturers or personal service center for options given for recalled vehicles.

Owners will receive notification March 21 in the mail of a recall, and in the meantime can check Kia's website for recalls, which prompts the VIN number of a car, or visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website with the year, make, model or VIN of their car to see previous recalls and complaints.

01 Kia Soul
The Kia Soul from 2017-2019 has an airbag recall. Above, a 2018 Kia Soul. Kia