Fountain Valley, CA — July 15, 2016 — Two brands of vehicles are part of a pair of recalls for similar concerns. In certain Kia Sedona or Hyundai Tucson autos, a secondary hood latch could release the hood in certain circumstances after the primary latch has already been released. Drivers who aren’t expecting this could find themselves at risk of a sudden interruption or a crash.
Although the concerns are similar, each of these recalls comes with its own specific conditions.
The Hyundai recall
This action involves Tucson cars manufactured between May 19, 2015 and March 14, 2016. All of the recalled Tucsons have the 2016 model year.
Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall acknowledgment is dated June 10, the manufacturer’s report date is listed as May 23http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM524200/RCAK-16V348-3508.pdf. This statement said that the recall could potentially affect 81,000 units and that the recall itself, currently listed as number 145, is scheduled to begin July 15.
While the primary latch still needs to be triggered for this to pose a concern, the remedy focuses on replacing the secondary latch. As owners wait for the official notification, the manufacturer has encouraged them to contact the customer service line for help.
The Kia recall
For Kia customers, the suspect models represent a wider model year range, from 2006 to 2014. All are Kia Sedonas and the manufacturing dates also reflect a long time span, from June 15, 2005 to April 4, 2014. The NHTSA posted documents for this action, including a Part 573 Safety Recall Report submitted May 27, 2016. The dates reportedly come from manufacturing records.
According to this document, 219,800 vehicles are possibly involved in Kia’s latch recall, although just 1 percent of these are estimated to have the defect. This report revealed more information about the source of the problem, stating that the secondary hood latch could undergo mechanical binding that prevents it from closing. This stems from corrosion on the latch that could keep it from operating correctly.
No recall history was given, though the report did mention that the components originated from Pyeong Hwa Automotive in the Republic of Korea. The dealer notification date is planned for July 21, four days before owners are notified.
Kia’s remedy depends upon how serious the case is. Dealers can simply lubricate the secondary latch if they don’t need to perform a full replacement. In addition, vehicles sold in several states, including Alaska, Illinois, Wisconsin and all of New England, will need an improved latch.
This replacement will have an enhanced coating to protect against corrosion.
Other hood latch recalls
These are not the first hood-latch-related recalls announced this year. In January, Nissan announced a recall for 856,000 possibly impacted 2013-2015 Altima vehicles, also with secondary latch issues. A press release announced that this company would also replace the affected latches. This builds on two previous recall remedies.
A service bulletin included on the NHTSA website described the technique needed to remove and replace the latch. The source recommended that dealers use a flathead screwdriver to remove the plastic stop from the lock assembly as part of the process.
After the latch is replaced, the source advised dealers to shut the latch, then use the interior mechanism to open it again. This is so they can test the new latch by closing the hood again and pulling up on it.
In February, Subaru also addressed a hood latch concern affecting as many as 77,000 units. This didn’t center around the secondary latch specifically, instead focusing on the hood safety and lock systems as a whole. As such, the prescribed remedy required dealers to undertake a two-phase solution.