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Kia is recalling 295,000 US vehicles because of engine fire risks

BY: cnn.com
The 2014 Kia Forte Koup is displayed at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. The automaker recently announced a recall of some 2012-2015 Forte Koup models.
The 2014 Kia Forte Koup is displayed at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. The automaker recently announced a recall of some 2012-2015 Forte Koup models.

Kia is recalling about 295,000 vehicles in the US because their engines are at risk of catching fire while driving.

The affected models include some 2012-2013 Sorento, 2012-2015 Forte and Forte Koup, 2011-2013 Optima Hybrid, 2014-2015 Soul, and 2012 Sportage vehicles.

Kia Motors America will alert owners of the affected models about the issue, while dealers will make necessary inspections and repairs for free, the company said. It is also developing a Knock Sensor Detection System software update.

Owners can contact Kia customer service or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline with concerns.

The recall is expected to start on January 27, 2021.

Kia said it was recalling the vehicles "as a preventative measure to mitigate any unreasonable fire risk due to potential fuel leaking, oil leaking and/or engine damage," according to a report from US auto regulators.

Though a small percentage of models being recalled have experienced engine fires, the fires haven't been traced back to a manufacturing or design defect, according to the report.

The recall comes about a week after the Korean automaker and its parent company Hyundai Motor America were fined by the US government for a safety issue involving its Theta II engines.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that Hyundai and Kia took too long to recall more than 1.6 million vehicles that were fitted with the engines, and that they inaccurately reported information about the recalls to the agency.

Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America agreed to consent orders with the agency in November and will pay a combined total of $210 million.