South Korean carmaker Kia on Tuesday recalled 44,174 units of its latest model, Kia Carens, to inspect any potential error in airbag control module software.

"As a responsible corporate, the company has decided to voluntarily recall the vehicles for inspection and if required, a software update will be provided free of cost," Kia India says in a press statement.

The automaker says it "conducts regular checks and rigorous testing of components, governed by Kia’s global standard."

The company will directly reach out to the owners of the concerned vehicles to update them about this voluntary recall campaign. Customers of the affected vehicles would be required to get in touch with their respective Kia authorised dealers to schedule an appointment, the statement says.

Kia India says it will take utmost care to minimise inconvenience to customers throughout the process of this recall campaign.

Till date, Kia India has launched five vehicles for the Indian market – the Seltos, the Carnival, the Sonet, the Carens, and the EV6.

In April 2017, Kia India had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state government of Andhra Pradesh, to build a new manufacturing facility at Anantapur. Kia commenced mass production in August 2019 and has an annual production capacity of approximately 300,000 units.

The company has completed over 6.3 lakh dispatches from its Anantapur plant, including 5 lakh domestic sales and over 1.5 lakh exports. It has over 2 lakh connected cars on Indian roads.

The recall comes days after the central government extended the deadline for mandatory implementation of six airbags in passenger cars by a year to October 01, 2023. The deadline was pushed due to global supply chain constraints being faced by the auto industry.

On September 21, the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highway issued draft rules which propose to make it mandatory for carmakers to install an alarm system for seat belts in the backseat of cars. Safety-belt reminder means a system dedicated to alerting the driver when driver, co-driver and all other front-facing seat occupants do not use the safety-belt, according to the draft rules. The system is constituted by a detection of an unfastened safety-belt and by a driver's alert which is a first level warning and a second level warning.

In June, Union minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari had said that the government will make a minimum of six airbags mandatory for cars even in economic models to enhance the safety of passengers. As per the Union minister, there is a higher domestic demand for star-rating cars, which are much safer. Gadkari even slammed some auto companies for producing cars in India that are "not up to the standard" but making them of international standards when they are shipped overseas.

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