Despite the government shutdown, Kia is recalling approximately 68,000 vehicles in the U.S. because of a fuel injector pipe issue that can potentially lead to engine fires, reports the Associated Press.
Specifically, the recall covers 2011-2014 Optima midsize sedans, 2012-2014 Sorento midsize SUVs, and 2011-2013 Sportage compact SUVs with 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines.
Ordinarily, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would oversee the recall, but NHTSA safety investigators are not presently working due to the shutdown.
The current Kia recall originates from a previous recall that involved inadequate repairs. In 2015, both Hyundai — who uses the same engines as Kia — and Kia began recalling 1.7 million vehicles. Approximately 618,000 of those were Kia vehicles.
That original recall was due to manufacturing debris that could potentially restrict oil flow to connecting bearing rods. That situation can cause bearings in 2.0-liter and 4.0-liter four-cylinder engines to wear and fail and also cause fires, according to the report.
While the appropriate repair is an engine block replacement, Kia is now saying the engine replacements may have been improperly performed. The high-pressure fuel pipe may have been damaged, misaligned or improperly tightened while the engines were being replaced. Any of these scenarios can allow fuel to leak and hit hot engine parts, resulting in fires.
To fix the current problem, Kia sent letters to dealers around Jan. 10 and the automaker says owners will also be notified of the recall by letter.
It is unclear why Kia plans to make the repair on just 68,000 of its 618,000 vehicles, reports the Associated Press. Kia also said it will install sensors in 1.7 million U.S. vehicles that will alert drivers to possible engine failures and send the cars into a reduced-speed "limp" mode if problems are detected.