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Kia car owners await instructions after air bag defect recall

Owners of some Kia vehicles in Hawaii are waiting for the Korean automobile manufacturer to determine how to fix faulty airbag systems that have prompted a recall. Shortly after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated deaths caused by airbag failures in certain Kia models, the company issued a recall of over 500,000 vehicles in the United States.

An electronic glitch appears to be stopping airbags from deploying during an accident. The issue came to light after six accidents produced four fatalities and injured six people. The Kia models currently under recall are the Fortes for years 2010 through 2013, the Optima for years 2011 through 2013 and the Optima Hybrid and Sedona for 2011 and 2012. Additionally, Hyundai, an affiliate of Kia, cited the same airbag issue when recalling 425,000 Sonatas. The German manufacturer of the airbags, ZF Friedrichshafen, has been cooperating with regulators during the investigation.

Kia continues to work on developing a fix for the electronic issue. Once it determines how to repair the problem, the company will notify all owners so that they can bring their vehicles to dealerships for free repairs. If the company cannot resolve the problem in a timely manner, a spokesperson said that the automaker would provide rental vehicles to owners.

Manufacturers are compelled to fix defective products because product liability law could make them financially responsible for people's injuries. A person who suffered harm because of a defective or unsafe product might enlist the services of an attorney when seeking a settlement for damages, such as disability, medical bills and lost income. An attorney may seek out expert testimony to attest to the cause of an accident and file a lawsuit. A legal investigation might also identify other victims of similar products, leading to a class-action lawsuit.

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