Kia Motors said on Friday it had started a recall of some 56,000 Soul and Sorento vehicles sold in the United States and South Korea due to defective wiring harnesses that could cause fires.
Some harnesses supplied by Johnson Controls for lighting in 2010 model-year Soul cars and 2011 model-year Sorento SUVs were improperly soldered, leading to possible electrical shorts, Kia said in a letter to U.S. safety regulators on August 30.
There were no reports of accidents or injuries due to the issue, which was identified in June, said Kia, an affiliate of South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. Kia determined that a recall was needed on August 23.
Through August, Kia Soul sales had more than doubled in the United States to nearly 44,000 from the first eight months of 2009. The Soul has been marketed to the same younger drivers targeted by Toyota Motor Corp's Scion brand.
Kia will replace the wiring harnesses, it said.
The U.S. recall covers 23,972 Soul cars produced from September 7, 2009, through June 8, 2010, and 11,213 Sorento vehicles built from October 23, 2009, through July 30, 2010, according to the notice filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In August, NHTSA launched a probe into possible steering defects in the 2010 model-year Soul after a driver said a steering shaft detached from the steering wheel in a two-month-old vehicle and fell onto the driver's side floor, causing a complete steering loss and limited braking.
NHTSA also has opened a preliminary probe into possible steering problems in the 2011 model-year Hyundai Sonata sedan, a key introduction for the automaker and its best-selling vehicle in the United States.