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The recall covers certain Forte small cars from the 2017 and 2018 model years, and Sedona minivans and Soul small SUVs from 2017 through 2019. The electric Soul also is included.
The Korean automaker says the air bag control computer cover can contact a memory chip and damage the electrical circuit. That could stop the air bags from inflating.
Dealers will inspect the computer and either update software or replace it.
Owners will be notified by mail starting March 21.
Kia says in documents posted Friday by U.S. safety regulators that the problem surfaced in Korea last July. The company says it has 13 customer complaints and 947 warranty claims, but no crashes or injuries were reported.
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