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Rolling Kias Return to Sender

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On: Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 9:59AM | By: Chris Salamone


Rolling Kias Return to Sender

If you own a Kia Optima, use the parking brake and check the mailbox regularly this month. Drivers will be notified via post of a recall relating to the vehicle’s transmission shifter cable which, if left unrepaired, could cause the disobedient cars to roll away while in park. Kia Motors is recalling more than 70,000 automatic transmission Optimas from model years 2006 to 2008 which were actually built from September 29th, 2005 to June 13th, 2007.

In Kia’s documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on March 3rd, the automaker said that in some of the cars a transmission shifter cable was installed incorrectly and could potentially become detached from the shifter. If that happens, and the cable comes off, the car would remain in the last gear it was used in. Thus, drivers who just returned from a jaunt to the Hamptons might park their Kia only to lose control of their vehicle in a HAL - 2001: A Space Odyssey-type of way…watch out for the prerecorded message from Mission Control which reveals the true reasons for Kia’s faulty transmission cable installation.

“If the driver leaves the vehicle without engaging the parking brake, there is a possibility that the vehicle can roll, creating the risk of a crash,” Kia mentioned. Hopefully everyone will use their parking brakes and prevent Kias and heads from rolling simultaneously.

So far no injuries have been reported which stem from incorrectly installed transmission cables, but Kia believes that under “extraordinary circumstances” Optimas could roll inadvertently. The recall should begin this month and affected drivers will be notified by mail. The recall notice will probably also include instructions for drivers to employ the parking brake when putting their vehicles into park. Dealers will inspect recalled vehicles free of charge and reinstall cables if necessary.

Owners with questions should call Kia at (800) 333-4542.


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