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NHTSA 05-98
Wednesday, February 4, 1998 Contact: Tim Hurd

Tel. No. (202) 366-9550


Kia Motors America, Incorporated


Kia Sportage Years: 1996-1997

Number Involved: 23,493
Dates of Manufacture: July 1996 - August 1997
NHTSA Recall No.: 97V234
Vehicle Description: Passenger vehicles.
Description of Defect: A microswitch on the rear hatch lock cylinder can malfunction, causing the power door locks to unlock inadvertently.
Consequence of Defect: Should this occur, security from unwanted intrusion into the vehicle is lost.
Corrective Action: Dealers will modify the rear hatch door unlock circuit.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began Dec. 15, 1997.
Note: Owners who take their vehicles to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Kia at 1-800-333-4KIA (800-333-4542).

NHTSA said it is publicizing the recalls to alert consumers about safety problems and encourages them to take action. Under federal law, safety problems must be remedied without cost to consumers. Currently, 70 percent of the owners of vehicles with safety problems have the recall work performed.

NHTSA said manufacturers are required to mail a recall notice to all purchasers, owners and dealers when a safety defect or noncompliance with federal safety standards is found. The agency urges owners to wait until they receive notification from the manufacturer before contacting their dealers to schedule the repair work. Not all vehicles of a particular make and model may be subject to the recall.