Irvine, CA — October 27, 2015 — A breakable gear shift lever in some hundreds of thousands of Kia Sorento units has prompted attention from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to the Part 573 Safety Recall Report posted by this source, more than 377,000 of these light vehicles could shift unintentionally during use if excessive force was applied to the shifting lever.
Normally, these vehicles can only be shifted out of park mode if the service brake pedal is pressed. Though the discovery of this problem dates back to this August, the concerned vehicles were manufactured as far back as 2009, with model years ranging between 2011 and 2013. These voluntary Kia recalls come after three claims of related injuries and more than 50 warranty claims.
The planned dealer notification date is scheduled for November 18, with owners informed some time between November 24 and December 1. The same recall report explains the actions that the manufacturer will take and that dealers will be expected to.
“Kia will instruct dealers to replace the brake-shift interlock mechanism with a new one,” it reads. The statement further explains what this means, adding that “the recalled brake-shift interlock mechanism is comprised of a shift lever and an interlock hook, along with associated fasteners. The remedy replaces these parts with improved parts.”
This is a possible threat to drivers and passengers because the vehicles could accidentally move once they have been shifted. The initial case noting this defect concerned a father whose son received a fractured leg while trying to stop the vehicle from rolling in a parking lot.