Kia is recalling certain 2007-2008 model year Sorento crossover SUV vehicles over concerns about a faulty sensor in the front passenger airbag control module.
A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site lists the number of potential affected units at 10,631. Affected vehicles were manufactured from June 15, 2006 through November 27, 2007.
The NHTSA notice says that the front passenger air bag may be turned off when there is an adult in the passenger seat. The airbag for the front passenger is designed to be turned off only in limited circumstances. These include when children and small adults are seated in the front passenger seat, when there is a child restraint placed in that seat, or there is no occupant in the seat.
Here’s the issue: The vehicle’s occupant classification system (OCS), which classifies a front passenger seat occupant, may misclassify the adult seat occupant as a child or a child seat, and improperly turn off the passenger airbag. When the passenger airbag is deactivated, the center instrument panel will illuminate a “Passenger Airbag Off” light.
The potential consequence of this misclassification by the OCS and deactivation of the front passenger airbag is that the passenger may not be protected in some frontal collisions. This increases the risk of injury to the passenger.
Kia will update the programming in the 2007-2008 Sorento OCS control module at no charge to owners. The recall remedy is available under the Kia service campaign number SC076. Owners of 2007-2008 Sorento models with questions or concerns may contact Kia at 1-800-333-4542.
Alternatively, Kia Sorento owners may contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov. Refer to the NHTSA Campaign ID No. 11V473000.