Kia Recalling 440K Vehicles for a 2nd Time

The automaker told owners to park them outdoors and away from structures due to a risk of fires.

Kia dealership in Centennial, Colo., Dec. 20, 2020.
Kia dealership in Centennial, Colo., Dec. 20, 2020.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

DETROIT (AP) — Kia is recalling more than 440,000 cars and SUVs in the U.S. for a second time to fix a problem that can cause engine fires. And the automaker is telling owners to park them outdoors and away from structures because fires could happen when the engines aren't running.

The recall covers certain Optima sedans from 2013 through 2015 and Sorento SUVs from 2014 and 2015.

The same vehicles were recalled last year because brake fluid can leak into a control computer, causing an electrical short. That can increase the risk of fire even when the vehicles are parked.

This time dealers will install a new fuse, inspect the computers, and replace them if needed. Owners will get recall notification letters starting July 2.

Documents posted Tuesday by U.S. safety regulators say the new fuse has a lower amperage rating, mitigating the potential for fire.

Kia says in the documents that it has customer complaints of six fires in Optimas and two in Sorentos involving “isolated melting.” One dealer reported melting in an Optima that had the previous recall fix. There were no reports of injuries or crashes, it said.

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