Kia is recalling 2006 to 2008 Rio models to fix an issue with its airbag system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports, “The front passenger seat occupant sensor mat can experience fatigue cracking.”
If the sensor mat cracks, the Rio’s occupant classification system (OCS) will not function properly. Autoblog writes that “it may not be able to detect whether a child is in the seat, nor will it be able to adjust the airbag deployment settings so as not to deploy if there is a child present.”
Nearly 73,000 Rios are affected by the recall, which is expected to begin in July. Affected Rios were built between Feb. 20, 2005 and Dec. 9, 2007. You can see when your Rio was built by checking the sticker on the driver’s side door jamb. Edmunds says, “Kia told federal safety regulators that as of May 23, 2012, it had received 9,234 warranty claims related to the defect, but ‘no reports of undesired airbag deployments (or) injuries.’”
Dealers will replace the OCS sensor mat in affected Rios free of charge. Kia owners can contact the automaker directly at 800-333-4542.
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