Nearly 73,000 Rio small cars have been recalled by Kia Motors America in order to fix a problem with the front-passenger air bag. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the issue stems from a sensor mat in the seat which has the potential to crack and fail to detect whether a child is sitting in the seat. In the event of a crash, this could cause the air bag to inflate and injure the child.
Safety standards currently call for cars to be designed in such a way that their air bags will not inflate with a child in the passenger seat. The recall currently applies to cars built between February 20, 2005 and December 9, 2007 (or the 2006 to 2008 model years). Kia has said that it doesn’t know of any injuries that have resulted from this problem, but that it will replace the sensors for free beginning in July.
Kia has not been a leading issuer of recalls in recent years, with its last one being in 2009. However, this particular recall was issued voluntarily by Kia, who said it will notify owners of the issue. In a New York Times blog post from 2010, it was reported that voluntary auto recalls increased significantly that year. According to Karen Aldana, a spokeswoman for the NHTSA, this term applies when “the action was not influenced” by the agency.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective air bag, it is advisable to seek medical care and contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
Kia recalls nearly 73,000 Rio small cars to fix air bag sensor problem, The Washington Post, June 5, 2012
Kia recalls nearly 73,000 Rio models over airbag issue, Autoblog, June 5, 2012