Recall Alert: 2012-2013 Kia Optima Models Have a Projectile Problem

Recalls are a natural part of the automotive industry. Many issues that creep up on automotive consumers don’t show up until months or even years into ownership, and with the latest recall for the Kia Optima, these issues remained dormant for a decade before they became a widespread problem.

The Kia Optima has been a solid, affordable option for many consumers looking for a good mid-size car since its introduction to the American market in 2001. However, it has been plagued with problems over the years, and this newest recall is just another tough hit to the already recall-laden Optima. Here is everything you need to know about the latest Kia Optima recall.

An explosive issue

Per Kelley Blue Book, Kia is recalling all Kia Optima sedans produced between August 2011 and September 2013. It is a staggering 257,998 vehicles in total, due to headliner plates that are not sufficiently secured to the body of the car. When these plates are not adequately secured, they may be thrown from their location when the side curtain airbags are deployed in a collision, which may harm passengers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, “The subject vehicles are equipped with headliner plates designed as part of the energy absorbing structure of the headliner. Under certain circumstances, the headliner plate(s) may detach from the headliner upon deployment of the side curtain airbag(s), increasing the risk of injury to an occupant.”

How to check if your vehicle is in the Kia Optima recall

Luckily, it is easy to find out if this recall or any other recall affects your daily driver. The NHTSA’s website has a convenient recall tool that can search for current open recalls for your specific car based on the VIN number alone. A simple search will tell you everything you need to know that needs to be fixed on your car.

Because this is a safety recall, this can be fixed at any Kia dealer for free, and according to Collision Repair Mag, letters will be sent to current affected Kia Optima owners in September. Kia has advised their repair technicians to apply additional adhesive to the headliner brackets in order to properly secure them under collision circumstances.

Are there any other open recalls for the Kia Optima?

Kia logo at a Hyundai dealership
Kia logo | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There are three additional open recalls for the 2012-2013 Kia Optima, including an engine and cooling system recall announced in 2017 that could seize an engine due to bearing wear. In 2018, there was an airbag recall due to the possibility of seatbelt tensioners being disabled, leading to injury. 2018 also included a fuel system recall, where there was an increased chance of a fire due to a fuel pipe that could have been damaged during the previously stated engine warranty replacement.

While the Kia Optima has had a list of surprising recalls recently, these are all procedures that can be fixed at any Kia Dealership for free.

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