Kia recalls vehicles over risk of engine fire

Irvine, CA   – November 21, 2021 – Kia Motors (OTCMKTS: KIMTF) is recalling 10,731 cars whose engines may stall or catch fire as a result of premature wear, increasing the risk of a crash and injury.

This recall is the newest addition to the long list of fire-related issues that have been plaguing Kia. 

Vehicles that are affected by this recall include:

  • 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2017 Kia Optima PHEV
  • 2018 Kia Optima PHEV

Recall summary  

Connecting rod bearings are designed to cut down on the friction between engine parts.

In the affected vehicles, these bearings may suffer from premature wear, which may cause the engine to stall while driving. In addition, the connecting rod can snap and pierce the engine, which may cause an oil leak and result in a fire. 

Background of the recall

This recall is very similar to a recall conducted by Hyundai last year for the same reason. At least six fires have been reported leading up to this recall.

The reasons behind this and other Kia fire-related recalls are not clear. The affected component is the “engine assembly sub” with part number 189N12EH00.

Recall risks

As reported, stalling can lead to dangerous situations, especially if it happens in high-speed traffic. 

A fire inside the engine compartment that occurs while driving has a wide range of potential hazards. For more information, please visit this article.

Warning signs

Warning signs that may alert the driver include vibrations and metallic rattling coming from the engine. In most cases, the “ oil pressure” warning light on the dashboard will be illuminated. If that happens, the driver should stop the vehicle in the first safe spot and turn off the engine to prevent any further damage.

Other Kia Optima recalls 

This recall is one of the eight recalls that came about as a result of an ongoing U.S. government investigation into the reasons behind “non-collision” collision fires that keep affecting Kia vehicles. Other recalls related to this issue include a June recall affecting Kia Optima and Kia Sorento vehicles and one in December of last year affecting Kia Sportage, Kia Sorento and Kia Soul vehicles.

The last 2018 Kia Optima recall was conducted in 2018 due to a risk of stalling while driving.

The repair

As a part of the repair, dealers will inspect the condition of rod bearings. If there are signs of wear, the whole engine will be replaced. Additionally, updated control software that would detect if engines start producing any unusual vibrations will be installed. After the software installation, the warranty for engine block assembly repairs will be extended to 15 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first.

All repairs are free.

Notifications about the repair will be sent to vehicle owners on November 29, 2021.  

Is your vehicle a part of this recall?

This Kia Optima Hybrid engine recall includes more than 10,000 vehicles. To do a Kia recall check, use  MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

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