Fuel Leak Prompts Kia to Recall Over 70,000 Optima Sedans

Last time we’ve talked about Kia, an EV6 crashed and burst into flames. Combustion-engined vehicles can be turned into fireballs rather easily as well, more so if the fuel system is badly designed or badly repaired.
Kia Optima 6 photos
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Back in February 2020, the South Korean automaker called back older Optimas produced in the United States by Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia due to a fuel leak from the low-pressure fuel tube. Those vehicles had their low-pressure tubes replaced or repaired with a heat-protective tape at the connection between the fuel pump and the low-pressure fuel pump.

Fast forward to November 2020, and that’s when Kia North America received a report over a fuel leak in a 2013 model year Optima repaired with the aforementioned tape. The company immediately issued a technical service bulletin over this problem, instructing dealers to inspect the quick connect fitting rotation at the gasoline direct-injection pump. In case of a low-resistance condition, the low-pressure fuel tube would be replaced.

Come December 2021, the South Korean automaker’s North American office admitted that “the remedy for the previous recall may not have been properly performed in all cases.” That’s why 2013 to 2014 model year Optima sedans that had the protective tape applied are called back once again.

As of February 10th, the company is aware of 155 warranty claims, 12 customer complaints, and eight techline cases ranging from July 2020 to January 2022. Happily for everyone, no post-remedy fires have been reported thus far. A grand total of 72,848 vehicles from the 2013 and 2014 model years are called back, sedans fitted with the 2.0L and 2.4L mills.

Known owners of the subject Optimas will be notified by first-class mail on April 15th. Dealer notifications are planned for April 12th, when dealers will be instructed to replace the tube. The remedy component is made from a different material. It also features a protective sleeve and connector structure developed specifically for increased stress and heat resistance.
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 Download: Kia Optima fuel leak recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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