The 2001-2004 Kia Optima is being recalled in several states for corrosion of the front subframe. The recall covers some 36,538 examples sold in the U.S. in the following states: 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 – all areas typically noted for being high rust threats due to their difficult winters and use of road salt.

According to the recall, internal corrosion of the front subframe can weaken the mounting points near the lower control arm, leading to everything from irregular tire wear to abnormal stress levels in the system that may contribute to a cras.

The recall begins this month, but neither Kia nor NHTSA have outlined a potential fix in the recall notice posted after the jump.

[Source: NHTSA]


NHTSA NOTICE

Vehicle Make / Model: KIA / OPTIMA
Model Year(s): 2001-2004
Manufacturer: HYUNDAI-KIA AMERICA TECHNICAL CENTER INC
Mfr's Report Date: MAY 26, 2009
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V183000
NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: SUSPENSION:FRONT
Potential Number of Units Affected: 36538

Summary:

KIA MOTORS CORPORATION (KMC) IS RECALLING 36,538 MODEL YEAR 2001-2004 OPTIMA VEHICLES ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF 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. ROAD SALT APPLIED IN THESE STATES DURING THE WINTER MONTHS MAY RESULT IN PROGRESSIVE, INTERNAL CORROSION OF THE FRONT SUBFRAME. OVER TIME, SUCH SUBFRAME CORROSION NEAR THE CONNECTION TO THE LOWER CONTROL ARM CAN LEAD TO WHEEL MISALIGNMENT AND/OR OTHER NOTICEABLE STRESS IN STEERING, OR ACCELERATED ABNORMAL TIRE WEAR.

Consequence:

CORROSION OF THE FRONT SUBFRAME COULD LEAD TO SEPARATION, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A VEHICLE CRASH.

Remedy:

KMC WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND DEALERS WILL REPAIR THE VEHICLES FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING JUNE 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT KIA'S CONSUMER ASSISTANCE CENTER AT 1-800-333-4542.

Notes:

KMC'S RECALL CAMPAIGN NO. SC075. OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .