Automobile

Kia issues new fix for 440,000 previously recalled Optima, Sorento vehicles

Kia Motors America has issued a new fix for more than 440,000 vehicles recalled last year because of the possibility of leaking brake fluid that can lead to fires while parked or driving.

The affected vehicles in the U.S. are 283,803 Kia Optima sedans from the 2013-15 model years and 156,567 Kia Sorento crossovers from 2014-15, according to a document submitted May 10 to U.S. vehicle safety regulators.

“Due to suspected supplier quality deviation issue, brake fluid may leak internally inside the hydraulic electronic control unit (HECU) which, over time, can result in an electrical short circuit,” the NHTSA document said.

The parts supplier is Mando America Corp. in Hogansville, Ga.

In the previous recall, Kia instructed dealers to inspect the HECU for leaking brake fluid and to replace the unit if leaking brake fluid is found.

Kia said it has now developed an updated fix to enhance the unit’s protection against “significant overcurrent and subsequent shorting that could result in a fire.”

The South Korean automaker said it has received six Optima and two Sorento alleged fire-related customer complaints. The automaker said it also has received one dealer report of “isolated melting” in an Optima vehicle after completion of the initial recall repair.

No injuries, crashes or fatalities have been reported in the affected vehicles, Kia said.

While Kia said it is unaware of any fires occurring in the recalled vehicles while parked, the automaker is advising customers to park those vehicles outside and away from other vehicles and structures until the updated recall repair is completed.

Kia will begin notifying dealers on June 28 and customers on July 2.

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