DETROIT — Korean automaker Kia has recalled 295,000 vehicles because the engines can stall or catch fire, U.S. traffic safety officials said.
The recall covers:
- certain 2012 and 2013 Sorrento SUVs
- 2012 through 2015 Forte and Forte Koupe cars
- 2011 through 2013 Optima hybrid sedans
- 2014 and 2015 Soul SUVs
- 2012 Sportage SUVs
Kia said Saturday that they have not found a manufacturing defect, but are recalling the vehicles out of an abundance of caution. The company will start to notify owners Jan. 27 of the recall. Dealers will inspect and replace engines if needed as part of the notice.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation in 2019 leading to the recall after getting complaints of more than 3,100 fires, 103 injuries and one death.
The recall comes a week after Hyundai and Kia were fined by the U.S. government for allegedly delaying recalls. The companies were ordered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to pay $137 million in fines. The agency said the automakers moved too slow to recall more than 1 million vehicles with potentially faulty engines.
Kia denied the allegations but agreed to pay to avoid a legal fight. Both companies have had issues with engine fire problems on vehicles for at least five years.
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