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What are some problems with the Kia Rio?

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Quick Answer

Problems with the Kia Rio include possible deployment of the front passenger airbag when a child is in the seat, and possible malfunction of rear seat belts and anchors with some child seats. Kia recalled vehicles for the front airbag problem in 2012 and for the rear seat problems in 2006. Other problems include vibration or noise when the air conditioner is on. The problem affects 2003 through 2010 and 2012 vehicles that have traveled between 20,000 and 165,000 miles.

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In May 2012, Kia recalled approximately 73,000 Rios produced between Feb. 20, 2005 and Dec. 9, 2007 after finding that occupant sensor mats in the front passenger seats could crack due to fatigue. Cracking can prevent the occupant classification system from detecting whether a child is in the seat. Without that information, the airbag deploys in the event of a crash. The deployment can cause significant harm if a child is in the seat. Dealers correct the problem by replacing the seat sensor mat at no charge.

A Rio with defective automatic locking retractors in its rear outboard seat belt assemblies, or defective metal wires inside its rear seat frame, prevents a user from securing a child safety seat properly in the rear of the vehicle. Kia issued recalls in January and September 2006 for these problems. Dealers correct the problems by providing free replacements of the rear outboard seat belt assemblies and lower restraint anchors.

A Kia Rio with a faulty air conditioner compressor clutch assembly produces elevated levels of vibration or noise when a vehicle driver operates the air conditioner. The manufacturer has produced improved replacement parts for the clutch assembly.

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