Kia recalling 146,000 cars for faulty airbags

@CNNMoney January 20, 2012: 2:35 PM ET
Kia has announced the recall of nearly 146,000 vehicles with faulty airbag systems.

The 2008 Kia Optima is among the vehicles affected by the recall.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Kia has announced the recall of nearly 146,000 vehicles with faulty airbag systems.

The models affected are the 2006-2008 Kia Optima and the 2007-2008 Kia Rondo. Due to a flawed spring system that may become damaged over time, the driver's side airbag in these cars may not deploy properly in the event of a crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a recall alert.

Kia reported the problem last week, and the recall is expected to begin in March, NHTSA said. Customers affected can have the problem fixed at dealerships free of charge.

Kia said in a statement that it was not aware of any injuries or airbag non-deployments associated with the problem to date. The issue was discovered "as a result of the regular monitoring of field data to ensure product quality," the company said.

For more information, car owners can contact NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or visit www.safecar.gov. They can also call Kia's Consumer Assistance Center at 1-800-333-4542 To top of page

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