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NHTSA 80-98
September, 1998 Contact: Tim Hurd

Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

Kia Motors America, Inc.

Models: Kia Sportage Years: 1998-1999

Number Involved: 22,106

Dates of Manufacture: September 1997 - May 1998

Defect: On certain sport utility vehicles built without an anti-lock braking system (ABS), the steering intermediate shaft coupling can contact a hydraulic brake line, causing fluid leakage. This condition can cause a loss of rear brake effectiveness, increasing the risk of a crash.

Remedy: Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, increase the clearance between the brake line and steering intermediate shaft coupling. Owner notification was to begin during October 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Kia at 1-800-333-4KIA (1-800-333-4542). [NHTSA Recall No.98V222]

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.