Kia is recalling select 2016 Kia Optima sedans to replace a faulty driveshaft. More than 12,000 vehicles in the U.S. are affected.
The problematic part is the right front axle driveshaft, which was manufactured in South Korea by Seo Han Industries. A defect notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains the issue in greater detail:
"The right front axle driveshaft may develop a crack in the area of the stub at the wheel end of the shaft. When moving from a stopped location, the crack can lead to a separation of the shaft, causing a loud noise. The vehicle would then lose motive power. In addition, if the driver fails to engage the parking brake when the vehicle is parked on an incline, it may roll."
Both events would dramatically boost the possibility of a crash.
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The recall is limited to 2016 Kia Optima vehicles built between November 13, 2015 and April 23, 2016 that came equipped with a 2.4l engine. All told, the recall affects 12,214 cars registered in the U.S.
Kia plans to mail recall notices to the owners of those vehicles no later than November 29. After receiving those notices, owners will be able to take their Optimas to Kia dealers, who will replace the front axle driveshaft at no charge.
If you believe that you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to call Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542 and ask about recall SC139. If you prefer, you can also call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #16V705000.