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Kia Warns Some Owners of Pistons Defect, Car Fire Risk

» Posted July 12, 2021Resources | Share This Post

Some Kia sport utility vehicles and wagons are so hot they are literally on fire.

The Korean automaker is recalling nearly 150,000 vehicles, citing a pistons issue that it says could cause engines to overheat and cars to stall or catch fire, according to Consumer Reports. The recall covers certain 2021 Seltos SUVs and 2020-2021 Soul Wagons whose inconsistent heat-treating process for the piston oil rings can damage the cars’ engines.

“If the vehicle is continually operated in this condition, connecting rod bearing seizure can occur,” the company said in a notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “A seized connecting rod bearing can result in engine damage, thereby increasing the risk of loss of motive power and/or in limited cases a fire, due to a connecting rod puncturing the engine block allowing engine oil to leak onto a hot exhaust.”

Kia planned to start notifying owners of recalled cars in early June. It wants those owners to bring their vehicles to local dealerships for inspection and a possible engine replacement. The company said it will reimburse owners for any expenses already incurred as a result of the defect.

“When available and as a preventative measure, dealers will also be instructed to install a Piston-ring Noise Sensing System (PNSS) software to alert the driver of potential damage to the piston oil ring,” Kia said in the NHTSA notice.

How the California Lemon Law Protects Car Owners

Kia and other major auto manufacturers around the globe recall millions of vehicles each year, citing a wide range of defects that put people’s safety at serious risk.

The company recalled more than 140,000 Optima vehicles last year because of faulty fuel hoses that could crack. Kia said at the time that the defect increased the risk of a fire, and of an accident.

The problem is that recalls are often not announced until well after the cars have left the factory and been sold by dealers to owners who have no notice that their vehicles are defective.

Fortunately, the California lemon law offers some protections for car owners and lessors in the Golden State. The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act generally requires car manufacturers to perform a full range of repairs on cars while they are under warranty. The law also forces manufacturers to buy back - or, sometimes, replace - vehicles that the company cannot or will not fix.

At Bickel Sannipoli, our California lemon law attorneys have helped hundreds of clients across the state stuck with defective or malfunctioning vehicles. We are tireless advocates, dedicated to ensuring that car manufacturers are held responsible when they do not live up to their responsibilities. 

Our California lemon law attorneys are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law attorney today.


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