Kia Motors America is recalling select Sportage vehicles from the 2011 model year. According to a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some of those vehicles may suffer from an electrical flaw that could affect the crossover's brake lights and cruise control.
The flaw is rooted in a stop lamp switch manufactured by INFAC, a supplier based in South Korea. As NHTSA reports:
"The stop lamp switch may experience interruption in the electrical flow in the switch contact. This condition could potentially result in intermittent operation of the cruise control feature, the intermittent illumination of the ESC indicator lamp or interfere with the brake light illumination."
The most serious of those problems would appear to be the brake lights. Without them, other drivers may not notice when the Sportage slows down, increasing the risk of the vehicle being rear-ended.
The recall is limited to 2011 Sportage models built between March 7, 2011 and June 8, 2011. All told, Kia believes that 7,722 vehicles in the U.S. are affected.
If you own one of those vehicles, you'll receive a recall notice from Kia via first class mail. Afterward, you'll be able to take your Sportage to a Kia dealer, who will replace the stop lamp switch. (If you've already had your vehicle repaired for this problem, Kia will reimburse you.)
If you have questions, please call Kia customer service at 800-333-4542 and ask about recall #SC121. Alternately, you can call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #15V360000.