Latest Kia Recall is Over Malfunctioning Ceilings
Another day, another Kia recall over serious vehicle defects that pose real safety risks.
The Korean auto manufacturer is calling back some 260,000 midsize vehicles whose ceiling plates may loosen. The plates could eventually come off and strike drivers or passengers, a hazard that could also lead to accidents.
Ceiling plates may come loose if side airbags are deployed, Kia told federal regulators.
“The subject vehicles are equipped with headliner plates designed as part of the energy absorbing structure of the headliner,” Kia said in a defect report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Under certain circumstances, the headliner plate(s) may detach from the headliner upon deployment of the side curtain airbag(s), increasing the risk of injury to an occupant.”
The company is aware of at least one driver being injured as a result of the problem, it acknowledged.
The recall covers Optima sedans from model years 2012 and 2013.
Kia said it plans to notify owners of recalled cars by the end of September. It will ask owners to bring cars to a local dealer for inspection and repair, using industrial-strength adhesive tape to secure the plates.
Kia Defects Are Safety Threats
This is not Kia’s first time recalling scores of vehicles for serious defects long after the cars have been sold to unsuspecting buyers.
The company just this year has called back more than 520,000 vehicles because of a pair of different airbag problems. The second recall followed a 2019 lawsuit over a crash five years earlier in which a Kia Soul’s airbags allegedly did not deploy.
Meanwhile, U.S. safety regulators continue to investigate a rash of engine fires in a variety of Kia and Hyundai vehicles. The probe covers more than 3 million vehicles from model years 2011 to 2016.
How the California Lemon Law Protects Car Owners
Car owners and lessors in California have some important rights and protections when it comes to malfunctioning and defective vehicles.
The California lemon law generally requires car manufacturers to perform a variety of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also forces them to buy back covered vehicles that they are not able or are unwilling to fix. A manufacturer can instead offer to replace the vehicle, but it is up to the owner to decide whether to accept or reject this alternative arrangement.
There is no specific number of repair attempts or requests that have to happen before the buyback or replace requirement kicks in. That is one of many reasons why it is important to consult an experienced lemon law attorney.
The lemon law forces car manufacturers to pick up the tab for certain legal fees that owners incur while enforcing their lemon law rights.
Speak with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle or are haggling with a car manufacturer over repairs, the California lemon lawyers at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.