Kia Motors Corp. is recalling 72,000 Sportages because of concerns relating to electrical fires. The South Korean car maker told highway safety regulators that road salt could corrode wire harness connector pins in the hydraulic electronic control unit assembly, which is part of the brake system. The company said that the issue does not affect brake performance, but could cause short circuits, leading to engine compartment fires in 2008 and 2009 model years. The issue could arise due to improper sealing of the unit, allowing salt water from road salt to get into the system, the company said.
Owners can bring the vehicles to dealers, who will inspect the connector pins for corrosion and replace the connector cover with a new one if none is found. Dealers will replace the whole assembly if corrosion is found. The first report of a fire was in April, in California. Kia learned that a 2008 model year Sportage caught fire in a driveway. Kia was able to identify nine other instances of “thermal events.” The Sportage is a small-size SUV. The recall was set to begin on Nov. 28.
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