Irvine, Calif. – March 31, 2017 – Kia Motors America has recalled a number of vehicles equipped with defective vacuum hoses. The recall affects Cadenza midsize sedans produced between January and March 2017, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Affected models include improperly formed rubber vacuum hoses. Because these fixtures, which connect to brake boosters, were not fabricated correctly, they exhibit decreased elasticity and are therefore prone to kinking. When normal vacuum is circulated through these hoses, the flow is partially blocked, making it difficult for drivers to press down upon and operate the brake pedal. This lengthens braking distances, putting owners at risk and increasing the likelihood of a crash. However, no injuries have been connected to this defect.
Timeline of Events
On March 6, Kia motors received a complaint from an owner who had purchased his vehicle in Korea, according to the NHTSA. In the submission, the owner reported having difficulties when braking. The car maker immediately contacted the OEM parts provider that manufactured the vacuum hose assemblies and requested that the company, Hwasung R&A in Korea, review its production records to assess the components mentioned in the complaint. It traced the vacuum hose in the car back to a batch of parts produced Dec. 30, 2016. Hwasung reviewed its fabrication processes and discovered that the hose did not have time to fully form, which could cause kinking. The parts producer had noticed the problem at the time of production and modified its workflows to address the issue.
One day later, Kia evaluated the vacuum hoses at its production facility. During the first round of reviews, no Hwasung-made models from the Dec. 30 group were found. However, another pass showed that the hoses had been installed in Cadenza sedans assembled between January and March 2017. On March 9, the car maker decided to initiate a voluntary recall.
Kia has ordered dealers to evaluate the vacuum hoses in affected models and replace them should they belong to the batch produced Dec. 30, 2016. The car maker has pledged to reimburse owners for the repairs via its General Reimbursement Plan. Dealers are expected to receive notification of the recall April 10. Owners will receive notification through first-class mail April 17. Those in need of immediate assistance are encouraged to contact Kia customer service or call the NHTSA safety hotline.