Kia to recall vehicles to fix problem that can cause fires

DETROIT (AP) — Kia says it will ignore the partial U.S. government shutdown and recall more than 68,000 vehicles to fix a fuel-pipe problem that can cause engine fires. The problem stems from previous recall repairs due to engine failures.

The fuel injector pipe recall covers some 2011 through 2014 Optima cars, 2012 through 2014 Sorrento SUVs, and 2011 through 2013 Sportage SUVs, all with 2-liter and 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines.

The company says owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified by letter.

The Korean automaker also says it will do a "product improvement campaign" to install sensors in 1.7 million U.S. vehicles that will alert drivers to possible engine failures and send the cars into a reduced-speed "limp" mode if problems are detected.

Kia confirmed the recall and improvement campaign in statements issued today after The Associated Press found in Canadian government records that the recall is being done in that country. Hyundai, a larger affiliate of Kia that uses the same engines and also has had failure problems, said it will take similar actions.

Both Hyundai and Kia have been dogged by fire and engine failure complaints from across the nation. They're under investigation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees recalls. But the agency is mostly closed because of the shutdown.

NHTSA employees who do safety investigations and recall notifications are not at work. Under normal circumstances, the agency would have reviewed the Kia recall to make sure it was adequate and posted details on its website. It also would monitor notices to customers, and make sure customers could check to see if their vehicles are included.

Kia spokesman James Bell said the company is proceeding with the recall and improvement campaign regardless of government delays.

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