Kia Sorento Fire Risk Prompts Recall of Older SUVs
Kia is calling back some 80,000 older Sorento Sport utility vehicles, citing possible engine fires.
The automaker is still not sure what exactly is causing the problem.
“An engine compartment fire can occur while driving for many different reasons,” Kia said in a defect notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “And depending on the severity of the fire, the identification of the cause can be untraceable.”
The recall covers certain 2011 Sorento SUVs, Kia told NHTSA. The cars were built at a Kia plant in Georgia between October 2009 and June 2011. They feature Kia’s Theta II 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, which has previously been the subject of multiple recalls.
“A cause resulting from a manufacturing or design defect has not been identified,” Kia said in the notice. “As a preventative measure, Kia is conducting this recall to mitigate an unreasonable fire risk due to potential engine damage.”
The company plans to notify owners of recalled SUVs via mail by Feb. 9, it said. Kia will ask owners to bring their cars to authorized service providers for inspection and repair.
Service providers will install “Knock Sensor Detection System” software as part of what the company called a “preventive measure.” They will also replace engines when deemed necessary. The company will reimburse owners who have already paid out of pocket for repairs related to the issue.
“Upon installation of the KSDS software, Kia will provide extended warranty coverage for 15 years/150,000 miles, whichever occurs first, for related engine long block assembly repairs,” the company said.
Owners can also check the NHTSA website to see if their vehicles are included in the recall.
More Kia Fire Risks
The move comes just months after Kia and parent company Hyundai announced a different recall over separate fire risks.
The companies in September said they were calling back some 92,000 vehicles that could go up in flames. They - along with NHTSA - also urged owners of those cars to park outside until the vehicles were repaired.
That recall covers certain 2023 and 2024 Hyundai Palisade SUVs, as well some 2023 Tucson, Sonata, Elantra and Kona vehicles. The recalled Kias include the 2023 Soul and Sportage, along with certain 2023 and 2024 Seltos vehicles.
Know Your California Lemon Law Rights
Kia owners and lessors in California have some valuable rights and protections under the state’s lemon law.
The law forces automakers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also requires those companies to buy back vehicles that they cannot or will not fix. That includes covering the purchase price, financing fees and other related expenses.
Automakers can instead offer to replace the vehicle. It is up to the owner, however, to decide whether to accept or reject this alternative arrangement.
Talk with a Los Angeles Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a Los Angeles lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.