South Korean manufacturer Kia and NHTSA announced a recall of certain Spectra (Cerato) vehicles sold in the United States, in addition to the Sorento SUVs being recalled. According to a notification posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, the recall affects the Spectra LD models from the 2004 to 2007 model years. This recall will affect around 58,322 Spectra cars over the problems related to fuel straps that may corrode and eventually give away, dropping the gas tank to the ground.
The models in question have straps that hold the fuel tank to the frame of the vehicle, and if exposed to road salt, these can rust. The direct consequence of such a problem is that the tank can fall to the ground, which could cause a leak and a fire.
According to Kia:
There is a possibility that corrosion of the fuel tank straps which hold the tank may occur as a result of prolonged exposure to road salt
As a result of the corrosion, one or both straps may separate allowing the fuel tank to contact the ground and possibly disrupt the integrity of the tank
Should a fuel tank fall from the vehicle, it could leak and increase the chances of a fire
Only vehicles operated in states using road salt during winter months are susceptible to the corrosion issue
Specifically, Kia is recalling more than 58,000 Spectra compact cars registered in cold-weather states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. The Spectra compact cars manufactured between November 7th 2003 and March 6th 2007 also fall under the recall.
Details on whether the issue had caused any fires or injuries have not been disclosed, but the company confirmed that dealers will replace the fuel tank straps and bracket hardware with zinc-coated parts on all affected vehicles at no cost to owners and the recall is expected to begin in June 2011.
The Sorento SUVs
The Sorento SUVs in question were manufactured till the start of 2011 model year production from May 22, 2010
All the Sorento SUVs affected have two-wheel drive, automatic transmissions and 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine
All the Sorento SUVs have their problem stemmed from a misalignment that took place during assembly between the intermediate shaft and the right-side output gear
The problem in the Sorento SUVs can create excessive wear and noise, eventually leading to damage to the transmission
This recall of the Sorento SUVs marks the second for the 2011 Sorento, following a fire risk recall issued in September 2010. For the latest recall, Kia says it will replace the right side output gear and intermediate shaft on the affected vehicles.
The Sorento recall will begin this month and the Spectra recall, in June.