Kia Motors has issued a recall for select 2006 - 2012 Kia Sedona minivans. According to a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some of those vehicles may experience corrosion from the salts employed on roadways during icy weather.
The recall is targeted at Kia Sedonas manufactured between June 15, 2005 and August 14, 2012. More specifically, it affects vehicles that were either initially sold in 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 the District of Columbia. These constitute what's commonly called the "Salt Belt", since they tend to use salt-based means of de-icing roads in winter.
As we've seen many times before, such salty environments can wreak havoc on automobiles. NHTSA's bulletin explains that in Kia Sedona vehicles operating in Salt Belt states, "the front lower control arms may break due to corrosion resulting from prolonged exposure to salty environments". As the name implies, control arms allow drivers to control a car's wheels -- in this case, the front wheels -- so losing them could easily cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Kia says that it will inform Sedona owners of the corrosion problem in December 2013. Once they receive the official recall notice, owners will be able to take their vehicles to Kia dealers, who will inspect the front lower control arms and either replace them or rustproof them, depending on the degree of damage they've endured. The inspection and replacement/rustproofing will be carried out free of charge.
If own one of the affected vehicles and have questions in the meantime, you're encouraged to contact Kia at 800-333-4542 and ask about recall SC100. Or, if you prefer, you can ring NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and inquire about campaign #13V550000.