Yesterday we mentioned that Hyundai had issued a recall on well over 100,000 vehicles in the United States. Kia has also announced a recall of 294,756 vehicles in the United States due to the same risk of an engine compartment fire. Interestingly, while the risk of fire for Hyundai models is blamed on machining debris, the NHTSA reports that the cause of the problem in Kia vehicles is undetermined.
The NHTSA says that dealers will look for fuel and/or engine oil leaks and may replace engines in the recalled vehicles if necessary. Vehicles covered in the recall include 2011 through 2013 Optima Hybrid, 2012 Sportage, 2012 through 2013 Sorento, 2012 through 2015 Forte and Forte Koupe, and 2014 through 2015 Soul vehicles.
Kia tells owners of impacted vehicles that they should be on the lookout for engine noise, check engine light, low-oil light, fuel smell, burning smell, oil leaking, and smoke. While there has been no manufacturing or design defect identified yet, the vehicles are being recalled as a preventative measure to mitigate any “unreasonable fire risk.”
Kia intends to notify owners starting January 27, 2021. Dealers will inspect all impacted vehicle engine compartments, make repairs, and potentially replace engines if needed. Kia will also install a software update to add a Knock Sensor Detection System as soon as possible. Kia will also provide a 15 year/150,000-mile warranty coverage for engine repairs needed due to any connecting-rod bearing damage.
Kia has also announced that it intends to reimburse owners for any repair expenses they have paid due to these issues. Owners of these vehicles needing more information can reach out to their local dealership for more details.