Kia is recalling 295,000 cars in the US over fire risks. The recall covers the 2012-2013 model year Sorento, 2012-2015 Forte and Forte Koup, 2011-2013 Optima Hybrid, 2014-2015 Soul and 2012 Sportage models. There’s a risk that an engine compartment fire can occur while driving.
Once a car comes in, dealers will inspect the engine compartment for fuel or oil leaks, perform an engine test and make any repairs including engine replacement, as necessary. Kia said it is currently developing a Knock Sensor Detection System software update.
Last week, Kia and Hyundai agreed to a record US$210 million (RM855 million) civil penalty after US auto safety regulators said the Korean carmakers under the same group failed to recall 1.6 million vehicles for engine issues in a timely fashion. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the companies inaccurately reported some information to the agency regarding the recalls, Reuters reported.
Kia’s penalty came up to US$70 million (RM285 million), including an upfront payment of US$27 million (RM109 million), requirements to spend US$16 million (RM65 million) on specified safety measures, and a potential US$27 million (RM109 million) deferred penalty. The settlement covers recalls in 2015 and 2017 for manufacturing issues that could lead to bearing wear and engine failure.
For this latest recall, NHTSA started an investigation last year into non-crash fires in Kia and Hyundai vehicles. In July, the agency overseeing auto safety recommended that the carmaker conduct recalls on certain models with a higher fire complaint rate. Kia said “based on NHTSA’s recommendation” it had made the “decision to recall certain Kia vehicles as a preventative measure to mitigate any potential fire risk”.
Last week, Hyundai recalled 129,000 vehicles in the US over connecting rod bearings that may wear prematurely, which over time can cause engine damage and increase fire risks.
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