Kia Soul owners will want to check if their cars are part of a new recall before getting behind the wheel.
The Korean automaker is recalling nearly 130,000 Soul hatchback vehicles because their front airbags may not deploy in the event of a crash. The recall came in response to a 2019 lawsuit over a crash five years earlier in which a Soul’s airbags allegedly did not deploy, according to Consumer Reports.
Airbags will malfunction only when both a vehicle’s left and right airbag sensors lose communication during the early phases of a crash, Kia told federal regulators.
“In the rare event that communication to the Airbag Control Unit (ACU) from both the left and right front impact sensors is simultaneously lost early in a severe crash, before frontal airbag deployment is commanded by the ACU, the front airbags will not deploy,” Kia said in a notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Nondeployment of the frontal airbags increases the risk of injury.”
The recall covers certain 2014 Kia Soul hatchbacks manufactured between July 21, 2013, and June 20, 2014.
Kia told NHTSA it plans to alert recalled car owners by mid-April. The company plans to issue a software update to address the problem and said it would reimburse owners for any repair expenses already incurred.
California Kia Owners: Know Your Rights
Kia, like other major car manufacturers, routinely recalls vehicles because of a wide range of defects that pose serious safety threats. As in this case, recalls are often not announced until long after the vehicles have left factory floors and been sold to unsuspecting buyers.
Earlier this year, for example, Kia recalled more than 400,000 vehicles over a separate airbag defect. The company and parent Hyundai have also recalled roughly 1.5 million vehicles in recent years over a rash of engine problems and reports of related car fires. Federal investigators have launched an investigation into whether Kia and Hyundai properly handled those recalls.
Fortunately, the California lemon law gives car owners in the Golden State the power to take action.
The law requires car manufacturers to perform a variety of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also obligates manufacturers to buy back (or replace, in some situations) covered vehicles that they refuse or are unable to fix.
There is no specific number of repair requests or attempts that must happen before the buyback or replace requirement kicks in. A California lemon law attorney can help you understand your rights and options. The lemon law requires car manufacturers to foot the bill for any legal fees that you incur while enforcing your rights.
Speak with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.