Kia is recalling nearly 8,000 Sorento crossovers from the 2016 model year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some of those vehicles may suffer from a serious suspension problem that could boost the risk of accidents.
The Sorento's problem stems from a bracket that was improperly welded by the manufacturer, Hwashin America Corporation. NHTSA's defect bulletin explains:
"During the welding process at the supplier, the assist arm bracket was improperly seated to the rear crossmember prior to application of the tack welds. As a result, the continuous weld failed to connect the bracket to the crossmember."
If the weld in question breaks and the bracket and crossmember separate, the rear suspension alignment could be thrown off. That would make the Sorento harder to control and increase the possibility of a crash.
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The good news is, Kia has already sent out recall notices to owners of the 7,901 affected vehicles registered in the U.S. Those notices encourage owners to schedule service with their local dealerships, where the suspicious welds will be inspected. If necessary, dealers will replace the Sorento's rear cross-member assembly at no charge.
If you own one of these vehicles and have questions, you're encouraged to contact Kia's Customer Service Department at 1-800-333-4542 and ask about recall SC137. You can also call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #16V480000.