Kia Motors Corp. recalled 58,322 of its Spectra LD cars because there is a possibility that road salt used in 20 northern states and Washington, D.C. could corrode the metal straps that hold the car's fuel tank in place, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The same corrosion issue with road salt prompted Nissan to recall almost 196,000 Pathfinders and Infiniti QX4s sport utility vehicles. In that recall, there's a possibility the steering column could break.
In the Kia recall, if the straps corrode and break, the fuel tank could hit the ground, damaging it and causing a fuel leak and fire hazard, the agency said. The recall affects model years 2004 through 2007 of the economy sedan and wagon. The Spectra model was discontinued in 2010 and replaced by the Forte.In a letter to the NHTSA, Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center Inc., which is handling the recall for Kia Motors, said the metal straps can separate as a result of prolonged exposure to road salt. Although drivers usually hear the straps dragging on the ground and notice the condition before any real damage is done, the company said it was possible the fuel tank could also hit the pavement, which could damage the tank and create a fire risk.
Consumers can expect to get notification of the recall in early June. They will be asked to take their cars to dealers so that the metal straps can be replaced with zinc-coated parts to increase the straps' resistance to corrosion.
Included in the recall are cars sold or currently registered in 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 Washington, D.C.
Consumers can call Kia at (800) 333-4542 for more information.
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