The affected vehicles may suffer failure in the brake-shift interlock mechanism. Put enough force on the lever and the interlock will crack or chip. Once that happens, the Sorento can be shifted out of park without stepping on the brakes. That's bad news for safety, and as the National Highway Traffic Safety Association bulletin notes, it's a violation the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards on theft protection.
Naturally, Kia will notify owners of the affected vehicles and ask them to report to dealers for a new brake-shift interlock mechanism. Repairs will be carried out free of charge. The official start date of the recall is November 24.
Read on for the official press release from Kia.
Report Receipt Date: OCT 06, 2015
NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V626000
Component(s): POWER TRAIN
Potential Number of Units Affected: 377,062
Manufacturer: Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2011-2013 Kia Sorento vehicles manufactured October 19, 2009, to January 31, 2013. In the affected vehicles, if excessive force is applied to the gear shift lever, the brake-shift interlock mechanism may chip or crack allowing the transmission being able to be shifted out of "Park" without the brakes being depressed. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 114, "Theft Protection."
Without requiring the brake to be pressed, the vehicle may be unintentionally shifted out of Park, allowing it to roll, which may result in a crash.
Kia will notify owners, and dealers will replace the brake-shift interlock mechanism, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 24, 2015. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC124.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.