WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Kia Motors Corp. is recalling more than 36,500 MY 2001-2004 Optima vehicles in states that use road salt in wintertime.
The salt could lead to corrosion of the front subframe, which in turn could lead to separation that increases the likelihood of a vehicle crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
The recall affects those vehicles originally sold or currently registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
Road salt applied to the streets during winter months may result in progressive internal corrosion of the front subframe. Over time, such subframe corrosion near the connection to the lower control arm can lead to wheel misalignment or other noticeable stress in steering, or accelerated abnormal tire wear, the NHTSA said.
Dealers will repair the vehicles free of charge. The safety recall goes into effect this month.
Vehicle owners can reach Kia at (800) 333-4542.