Photo courtesy of Kia Motors.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors.

Kia Motors America is recalling 71,704 2008- and 2009-model year Kia Sportage compact SUVs because of a potential fire risk, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The SUVs at issue were manufactured from Aug. 9, 2007, to May 13, 2009. In these vehicles, the wire harness cover on the hydraulic electronic control unit (HECU) may be improperly sealed, allowing water to seep into the HECU circuit board. If the water is contaminated with salt, which could occur from melted snow, the wire harness connector pins might corrode and cause the circuit board to short circuit, NHTSA said.

If the HECU short circuits, there is an increased risk of an engine compartment fire,” NHTSA warned on its website.

Kia dealers will inspect the connector pins for corrosion. If no corrosion is found, the connector cover will be replaced. If corrosion is present, the HECU assembly and the connector cover will be replaced. There will be no charge for these services.

The recall is expected to begin Nov. 28. Vehicle owners can reach Kia customer service at (800) 333-4542. Kia’s number for this recall is SC138.