Affecting 2704 Kia Sportage SUVs and 237 Soul hatches built between August 2011 and March 2012, the recall relates to a tensioning cable in the pretensioner assembly not being securely crimped. The issue is identical to that which resulted in sister brand Hyundai recalling 6552 ix35 SUVs last week.
According to the official recall notice on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) product safety recalls website, vehicle occupants could potentially be injured if the defective tensioning cable is unleashed.
"If the cable breaks during pretensioner deployment, the cable will not be able to restrain the occupant to the full capacity during an accident," the notice says.
Kia Australia says it is aware of one local case of pretensioner failure, though no injuries were reported.
Owners of the affected vehicles are being contacted by mail, with inspections and necessary replacements of the seatbelt tensioner estimated to take one hour.