The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that Kia is recalling 58,322 2004 through 2007 Spectra models due to fuel tank straps that may corrode over time. The recall, however, is only taking place in northern states that utilize salt on roads during the winter.
The NHTSA report says that one or both straps may separate, allowing the tank to make contact with the ground. If that happens, fuel can leak, metal on cement could produce sparks and a serious fire could result.
Owners of the affected vehicles will be contacted by the automaker and instructed to go to a Kia dealership for a free-of-charge repair. A technician will replace the straps and attaching hardware with zinc-coated parts.
The Korean automaker is also recalling 12,690 2011 Kia Sorento crossovers with 2WD and the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine for a transmission issue. NHTSA says the intermediate shaft may suffer from noise and excessive wear due to a misalignment of the shaft with the right side output gear. If the condition goes unchecked, it could lead to a whirring or whining noise, and eventually the transmission could be damaged. Owners of the affected vehicles will need to take their Sorento to a Kia dealer, where a technician will replace the right side output gear and intermediate shaft free of charge.
UPDATE: NHTSA just added the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe to the same recall affecting the 2011 Kia Sorento. Approximately 6,169 units of the Santa Fe are affected. Click here for more details.