Kia Recalls More Than 16,000 Stinger Vehicles for Wiring Harness Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – November 5, 2018 – Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2018 Kia Stinger vehicles for electrical problems relating to a wiring harness. This recall is expected to affect 16011 vehicles in North America.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the front wiring harness located in the engine and passenger compartment of affected Stinger vehicles may get damaged from contacting a burr on a sheet metal hole on the left fender apron body panel. Such contact can damage the insulation on one or more wires and cause increased electrical short, thereby generating heat. Once sufficient heat is generated, thermal damage may occur to surrounding materials. The damaged wiring harness may then short circuit, increasing the risk of a fire. Owners may or may not be alerted to an issue by illumination of the Malfunction Indicator Light (“MIL”) or activation of limp home mode.

Timeline of Events

On May 3, 2018, Kia Motors America, Inc.’s (KMA) Consumer Affairs Department was notified by dealer of a fire involving a 2018MY Kia Stinger, which affected other vehicles and a structure. On September 6, 2018, KMA inspected the subject Stinger vehicle and identified the origin of fire to likely have occurred in left rear of engine compartment behind left strut tower and under the left hood hinge support. The potential cause of fire was identified as damage to wiring harness insulation resulting in electrical arcing and/or resistance heating.

KMA subsequently conducted inspection of Stinger vehicles at the port for any potential front wiring harness damage and found none. KMA was able to identify that stamping direction of the left fender apron body panel was changed on April 5, 2018, and although testing was conducted to evaluate any potential relationship between front wiring harness damage and fire, the incident could not be replicated during testing. A potential for thermal damage was confirmed due to an electrical short caused by damaged wires, however, and in late October, KMC made the decision to conduct a safety recall due to the single fire incident. No injuries were reported.

The Solution

Kia will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the wiring harness for damage. If no damage is found, a cover will be installed free of charge. If damage is found, the wiring harness will be repaired, and a cover will be installed, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 20, 2018. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia’s number for this recall SC170. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-754.

Sean ReyesKia Recalls More Than 16,000 Stinger Vehicles for Wiring Harness Issue

Kia recalls vehicles with defective air bag features

Irvine, Calif. – June 14, 2018 – Kia Motors America has recalled more than 500,00 vehicles potentially equipped with defective air bag control units, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple models, including:
  • 2010-2013 Kia Forte sedans produced between Feb. 24, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2012.
  • 2011-2013 Kia Optima sedans produced between Aug. 12, 2010, and Aug. 31, 2012.
  • 2011-2012 Kia Optima Hybrid sedans produced between Feb. 15, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2012.
  • 2010-2013 Kia Koup sport sedans produced between June 5, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2012.
  • 2011-2012 Kia Sedona minivans produced between March 3, 2010, and Aug. 14, 2012.
The South Korean automaker suspects all of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain defective components.

The Defect

The vehicles involved in this action likely contain defective ACUs with application-specific integrated circuits that are prone to electrical overstress during frontal crashes. In the event of ASCI failure, front air bag and seat belt pretensioner deployment is inhibited, leaving both drivers and front passengers susceptible to injury. However, as of May 28, 2018, Kia has yet to receive field reports connecting the defective ACUs to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In March 2014, a customer filed suit against Kia, alleging that the frontal air bags installed in his 2012 Kia Forte sedan failed to deploy during an accident, according to an internal chronology document given to the NHTSA. The automaker reported this event to the NHTSA, which then reached out to Kia for more information regarding the potential defect in July 2014.
Between March 2015 and June 2015, Kia conducted tests on the vehicle, including one trial during which an engineer attempted to download the ACU but was unable to communicate with the module. This prompted the car company to connect with its Michigan-based ACU supplier ZRF TWR. Personnel from the vendor replicated Kia’s actions and were unable to connect to the ACU. External engineering consultants looked into the matter and determined that ACU had compromised the front impact sensors, rendering the air bags in the vehicle useless. ZRF TWR then informed Kia that the NHTSA was investigating numerous models using its ACU units.
Kia continued to investigate the matter throughout the remainder of 2015, 2016 and 2017. These analyses failed to reveal a root cause. However, owners continued to report air bag deployment issues, forcing the automaker to expand the group of potentially affected vehicles to include Optima and Koup sedans and Sedona minivans.
Between January and February 2018, the NHTSA reconnected with Kia on several occasions to discuss the defective ACUs and requested that it re-establish a partnership with ZRF TWR to finally resolve the issue. In March, Hyundai recalled a large population of vehicles suffering from ACU failure, an event that engineers had linked to ASCI degradation caused by electrical overstress. On March 14, 2018, Kia officials met with the NHTSA in Washington D.C. to discuss the ACU failures occurring in its vehicles in the context of the findings mentioned in the Hyundai recall disclosure. Following this meeting, the NHTSA requested that Kia open a new investigation to assess whether the ASCIs in its ACUs were susceptible electrical overstress.
Throughout May 2018, Kia engineers conducted several tests, including a number of trials at the Vehicle Research and Test Center. On May 24, 2018, the automaker met with the NHTSA to review the data collected during one such test and found that vehicle involved showed signs of ASCI breakdown as a result of electrical overstress. This finding compelled Kia to issue a voluntary recall May 28, 2018.

The Solution

Kia has not yet developed an effective remedy, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. However, the car company does intend to reach out to dealers July 24, 2018, and contact owners via first-class mail July 27, 2018. Owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the recall can speak with Kia customer service staff by calling (888) 333-4542. Callers should use the internal recall reference code SC165. They can also connect with the NHTSA directly by using the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesKia recalls vehicles with defective air bag features

Kia recalls vehicles with defective clutch components

Irvine, Calif. – May 10, 2018 – Kia Motors America has recalled more than 27,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective clutch components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Kia Niro hybrid sport utility vehicles produced between Nov. 1, 2016, and Sept. 11, 2017. The South Korean automaker suspects just 1 percent of the vehicles referenced in the action contain the defective components.

The Defect

Affected vehicles contain defective hydraulic clutch actuator assemblies with rough edges that may damage to the adjacent oil seal and cause oil to leak or accumulate near the phase cap. Should either of these events occur, the likelihood of electrical shorting and engine fire increases. Consequently, this defect poses a serious hazard to occupants. However, Kia has yet to receive reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

KMA on Dec. 7, 2017, notified its parent company via a quality information report that some 2018 Kia Niro hybrid SUVs were generating hydraulic clutch actuator trouble codes, according to an internal chronology report submitted to the NHTSA. Almost three weeks later, the Kia Motor Corporation initiated an investigation in response to the QIR. Throughout January and February 2018, KMC worked with suppliers to evaluate hydraulic clutch actuator assemblies installed in 2018 Kia Nitro hybrid SUVs. This collaborative inquiry revealed that oil was leaking within the actuator housing, causing the vehicle to generate an error code. Investigators were able to duplicate electrical shorting associated with the leakage but could not recreate thermal decay or engine fire.
Over the course of February and March 2018, KMC conducted more tests to confirm the root cause of the error codes mentioned in the original QIR. On April 16, 2018, the car manufacturer reviewed all available data related to the defective hydraulic clutch actuator assemblies and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

Kia will direct dealers to inspect the hydraulic clutch actuator assemblies installed in affected vehicles and install additional sealant or replace them free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The automaker intends to notify dealers June 8, 2018, and reach out to owners via first-class mail June 15, 2018. Owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the recall can contact Kia customer service personnel at (800) 333-4542. Callers should use the internal recall reference code SC163. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesKia recalls vehicles with defective clutch components

Kia Recalling Sorentos over Air Bag Inflators

Irvine, Calif. – Dec. 27, 2017 – Kia Motors America recently announced a recall of more than 2,000 of its Sorento light sport utility vehicles from the 2018 model year, stemming from concerns related to assembly of their side curtain air bags, according to a defect filing made with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Specifically, the vehicles have side curtain air bags for both the driver and passenger sides with diffusers that can detach from the inflators during the air bag deployment process, potentially launching them inside the vehicle at high velocities and increasing the risk of injury in a crash.

All of the vehicles in the recall are expected to contain this production defect, and were manufactured from Sept. 5 to Nov. 29, 2017, but were not produced in VIN order.

This same issue has also led to recalls for both Hyundai and Ford within the past month.

The Defect

All inflators in the Sorentos’ side curtain air bags come with a top hat diffuser, but in some of these vehicles – i.e. those in the recall – the manufacturing process saw the company install improperly formed diffusers. As such, when a crash that would deploy the side curtain airbags takes place, the diffuser can detach from the inflator and enter the occupant compartment, increasing risk of injury.

Unfortunately for owners, there is no way for them to determine whether this risk will apply to their vehicles unless they receive the recall notices.

Timeline of Events

On Nov. 18, a supplier of the diffusers identified and contained the potentially defective diffusers and began using only correct parts in side curtain airbag assemblies going forward.

Nine days later, on Nov. 27, the supplier informed Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia of the potential issue with the improperly formed diffusers. The following day, KMMG stopped release of 2018 Sorentos that had potentially been equipped with the side curtain airbag assemblies with defective diffusers and notified Kia Motors Corporation of the issue.

Then on Dec. 1, Kia Motors made the decision to recall the 2,000-plus affected vehicles, despite the fact that there were no reported accidents or injuries for the affected vehicles.

The Solution

All owners of the affected vehicles received notification of the recall via the mail, with instructions to bring their Sorentos to a local Kia dealer. There, the dealers will replace both the driver and passenger side curtain airbags with new and improved models that have proper diffusers. These repairs will be made free of charge, and Kia will also reimburse any drivers who incurred out-of-pocket repair costs for this issue previous to the recall being announced.

Dealers first learned of the recall on Dec. 11, while owners of the affected vehicles got their notifications on Dec. 13.

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Kia Recalling Fortes For Brake Pad Stopper Issue

 

Irvine, California – Dec. 22, 2017 – Kia Motors America recently announced that it would need to recall more than 134,000 of its Forte sedans and Forte Koups from model years 2012 to 2014, due to concerns about brake pedal stopper pads, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Specifically, the stopper pads – which are installed between the switch that lights up a vehicle’s brake lights and the brake pedal arm itself – can deteriorate over time and potentially lead to a greater risk for crash and injury. That’s because the brake lights may get stuck in the on position, among other potentially serious issues.

Of all the vehicles in the recall, which were produced from May 2, 2012, to Feb. 28, 2014, only about 1 percent of them are expected to have this issue. The affected cars were determined through a review of vehicle production records.

The Defect

The brake pad stoppers that can deteriorate in these cases may not only lead to brake lights becoming stuck on – potentially increasing the risk of crash for trailing traffic specifically – but can also result in the dashboard traction control warning lamp lighting up unexpectedly. Furthermore, the problem may allow drivers to move the shift level without actually pressing down on the brake pedal, or even activate the vehicle’s brake pedal override feature.

The only way drivers may be able to determine if this issue has affected their vehicles during operation is if the traction control warning lamp comes on.

Timeline of Events

From July to October, 2017, Kia began to receive warranty claim data about the brake pedal stopper pads on various Fortes, and noted that the rate of such filings was increasing over time. From Nov. 3 to 16, the company contacted its supplier to investigate the issue, and during that time the supplier identified a change to its polymer mix cycle times for those stoppers made on Feb. 28, 2014. That investigation found that pads with shorter cycle times would likely have less durability.

As such, on Nov. 24, Kia decided to issue the safety recall based on 183 warranty claims and two complaints from owners of their brake lights staying on even after they took pressure off the brakes in their vehicles from the 2014 model year. However, no accidents or injuries were reported during this time.

The Solution

Drivers will be able to bring affected vehicles to their local Kia dealers, where improved replacement brake pedal stopper pads will be installed free of charge. Kia will also reimburse owners for expenses they incurred stemming from this issue prior to the recall.

The company will notify dealerships of the recall on Jan. 24, 2018, and owners will receive notifications six days later.

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Kia recalls vehicles with pinion gear plugs [Video]

Hello, and welcome to another vehicle recall update.

Kia Motors America has recalled more than three hundred and forty-two thousand vehicles possibly equipped with loose pinion plugs. The campaign affects 2014-2016 Kia Soul and Soul EV subcompact cars. The South Korean automaker estimates 1 percent of the vehicles referenced in the action contain the defective parts.

The affected models could contain loose pinion plugs that may force the pinion gear to separate from the steering gear assembly, resulting in dimensioned maneuverability and increasing the risk of an accident.

Kia plans to direct dealers to re-bond the pinion plugs in affected vehicles with new and improved adhesive.  Owners should expect to receive notification via first-class mail sometime between November sixteenth and November twenty-fourth, two-thousand and seventeen.

Stay tuned for more vehicle recall breaking news.

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Kia recalls vehicles with defective crankshafts

Irvine, Calif. – Oct. 13, 2017 – Kia Motors America has recalled more than five-dozen vehicles possibly equipped with defective crankshafts, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017 Kia Sorento sport utility vehicles with production dates ranging from March 27, 2017 to March 30, 2017. KMA suspects roughly one-quarter of the models named in the recall actually contain the defective components.

The Defect

Affected vehicles may include improperly heat treated crankshafts prone to failure. As a result, models with these fixtures in place can stall or catch fair with little to no warning. This poses a serious risk to occupants – especially those traveling at high speeds. However, KMA has yet to receive reports linking the defective crankshafts to any accidents.

Owners driving Sorento SUVs that include the problematic components have reported hearing cyclical knocking and seeing their check-engine lights illuminated. KMA advises owners to discontinue vehicle operation as soon as they experience symptoms of the defect, as stalling or engine fires tend to develop quickly following crankshaft failure.

Timeline of Events

On July 5, 2017, a customer contacted the KMA consumer affairs department and reported that his engine had stalled and caught fire, according to an internal incident chronology document submitted to the NHTSA. The customer also claimed to have received first-degree burns while recovering property from the burning vehicle. This individual also filed a vehicle-owner questionnaire with the NHTSA. From July 6 to July 21, the South Korean car manufacturer investigated the incident, collecting all available information in preparation for escalated internal proceedings. On July 21, KMA relayed the customer report to personnel at Kia’s facility in West Point, Georgia. Four days later, KMA learned of a second customer incident involving an engine fire and informed the team at KMGA.

Between Aug. 7 and Sept. 8, KMA engineers investigated both fires and searched for a root cause. Eventually, these mechanical specialists discovered that both vehicles contained crankshafts that were not properly heat treated at the Hyundai Motor Company Asan Plant in South Korea.

On Sept. 14, Kia Consumer Affairs reviewed all information related to the matter and chose to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

KMA will direct dealers to inspect the crankshafts and, if necessary, replace the sub-engine assemblies in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The car manufacturer plans to notify dealers Oct. 30. Owners should expect to receive notification via first-class mail Nov. 6. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact KMA customers service at (800) 333-4542. They should use the internal recall identification code SC153 when calling. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly through its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Recall MastersKia recalls vehicles with defective crankshafts

Kia recalls vehicles for engine wear problems [Video]

The engines in some Kia vehicles could have debris in them that puts operators at risk. A new late March recall attempts to fix this through a campaign. The action includes more than six hundred and eighteen thousand vehicles, with affected model years ranging from 2011 to 2014.

Official documents said that the issue could lead to a bearing rod in affected engines failing, leading the vehicle to stall entirely and sometimes creating a noticeable knocking noise. Prior to this, owners could see warning lights, specifically those for engine or oil pressure issues.

Dealer’s wont be notified until May twenty-second, with the owners informed between the twenty-fifth and thirtieth. Dealers can replace the engine assembly entirely to address the issue.

adminKia recalls vehicles for engine wear problems [Video]

Kia Recalls Niro Vehicles for Motor Connector Problems

Irvine, Calif. — Apr. 04, 2017 — Kia Motors America identified a motor connector issue that could hurt steering in 135 2017 Niro vehicles. Though only 1 percent of this group is thought to have the defect, Kia still asserted that the problem could put vehicle occupants at risk.

The Defect

According to the Part 573 Safety Recall Report, the problem may stem from issues with the affected vehicles’ power steering systems. The defect traces back to assembly faults that may have damaged the motor connectors. This won’t disable steering entirely but could affect power steering, making it more difficult to drive normally.

Owners can look for an electronic power steering warning light as a possible sign that the defect is there. The vehicle production dates ranged from Dec. 23, 2016 to Jan. 11, 2017.

Timeline of Events

  • December, 2016: A single supplier assembly line inspection prompted a larger inspection, which didn’t discover any other subsequent examples, according to the official chronology.
  • January, 2017: After hearing of the vehicle issues, Kia investigated affected vehicles, began repairing them and started monitoring the resultant data.
  • February, 2017: The manufacturer went on to discover further related reports, with the American branch of Kia responding to requests from the main business, despite there being no reports of accidents or injuries.
  • March, 2017: Kia decided to conduct a recall and submitted a report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Resolution

The report said that the company stopped producing vehicles with the defect as of Dec. 23, 2016. Still, the report said that dealer notification is still on the horizon, planned for April 4, 2017. Dealer notification is set to follow just three days after. The fix will have dealers replacing the faulty motor with a new, intact connector that doesn’t have the same damage.

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