updated 5/25/2005 2:06:59 PM ET 2005-05-25T18:06:59

Kia Motors America, Inc., is recalling more than 37,000 minivans because of potential damage to a rear wheel bearing that could cause a crash, the company said Wednesday.

Kia said a defect may exist on 37,358 Kia Sedona minivans from the 2003-2005 model years equipped with alloy wheels. Company engineers found that moisture may accumulate around the small steel cap that seals the rear hub and bearing assembly on alloy wheels, leading to damage to the wheel bearing.

The company said the damage can occur without warning and cause a crash. The company is unaware of any accidents caused by the defect. There have been four warranty claims due to the problem, said Kia spokeswoman Rose Krupp.

The majority of the vehicles, more than 26,000, were from the 2004 model year, the company told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Owners will be able to bring their vehicle to a Kia dealer to have the rear hub caps inspected and replaced, if necessary, at no charge.

Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's second largest automaker, is the parent company of the Irvine, California-based Kia Motors America.

Kia sold 61,149 Sedonas in the United States in 2004, a 20 percent increase from the more than 50,000 minivans sold in 2003, according to Autodata Corp. Through April 2005, Kia had sold 17,091 Sedonas, a decline of 13.7 percent during the same period in 2004.

Autodata Corp. reported that Kia sold 270,055 vehicles in the United States in 2004.

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