More than 300,000 Kia and Hyundai vehicles are being recalled due to a risk that the hood latch may disengage suddenly, potentially allowing the vehicle’s hood to open while driving and increasing the risk of an auto accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a Kia Sedona recall and a Hyundai Tucson recall on June 10, indicating that a latch problem may cause the hood to spring open while the vehicle is in operation. To date, no injuries or crashes have been linked to the problem.
According to the manufacturers, both vehicles have a separate primary and secondary hood latching assembly, designed to ensure that the hood remains down when the vehicle is in motion. However, both recalled sets of vehicles may be prone to eroding secondary latch assemblies, which may not fully close.
If a moving vehicle’s hood releases and opens up toward the windshield, the driver’s view of the roadway will be blocked and it is likely to create a serious hazard.
Owners of the recalled Kia and Hyundai vehicles are encouraged to verify that their hood latches are properly clamped, and to schedule a recall repair appointment as soon as possible.
An estimated 219,800 Kia Sedona vehicles from the 2006 through 2014 model years are impacted by the recall, which were manufactured from June 15, 2005 through April 4, 2014. The latches were manufactured by Kia’s parts supplier Pyeong Hwa Automotive of Korea, where they were installed in vehicles sold across the U.S. at licensed dealers.
The Hyundai recall includes an estimated 81,000 Tucson vehicles from the 2016 model year, which were manufactured from May 19, 2015 to March 14, 2016.
The Kia recall is expected to begin on July 25, and will consist of a full inspection by dealers of the latches to determine whether the secondary latch will be replaced or clean and lubricated to prevent latching failure. Customers with further questions may contact Kia Customers Service at 1-800-333-4542 and reference recall number SC134.
Hyundai announced that owners and dealers will be notified of their recall and plan to replace to the secondary hood latch free of charge beginning on July 15, 2016. Customers with further questions may contact Hyundai Customer Service at 1-855-371-9460 and reference recall number 145.
The NHTSA is encouraging all customers to report safety defects and adverse events to the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or online at www.safecar.gov.