Kia Recalls 50k SUVs Over Warning Labels That May Peel Off

Federal motor vehicle safety standards were adopted to ensure the safety of the occupants and other traffic participants. On the other hand, certain standards are somewhat ridiculous. FMVSS 208 section 4.5.1 stands out as being one of the most absurd of the bunch.
2023 Kia Sorento 12 photos
Photo: Kia / edited
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Said federal motor vehicle safety standard requires automakers to equip their vehicles with permanently affixed sun visor airbag warning labels. Emphasis on permanently affixed. Recall number 23V-579 concerns a little over 50,000 vehicles equipped with labels that may peel off. Given that the law is the law, Kia was required to call back the MY23 Sorento.

The South Korean automaker's Georgia-based assembly plant notified Kia North America of this condition on July 28. The safety boffins identified no fewer than 10 peeling incidents. Come August 8, the peeps in charge of regulatory matters determined that peeling of said warning label is a noncompliance with FMVSS 208.

The airbag warning label's purpose is to warn the driver and front passenger of certain things. For example, children aged 12 and under can be killed by the airbag. The label also instructs the driver and occupants to always use seatbelts and child restraints. In other words, all the warnings displayed are common knowledge.

Why do said labels peel off from the sun visors of the 2023 model year Sorento? According to the document attached below, the supplier didn't affix the warning labels properly. The process of adhering the label to the sun visor was improved on August 6. Care to guess what kind of remedy has Kia prepared for this comical condition?

The answer is no, not replacement labels. Believe it or not, affected vehicles will receive replacement sun visors with properly affixed warning labels. The part numbers for the sun visor assemblies in question are 85210-R5000, 85210-R5500, 85220-R5000, and 85220-R5500.

2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid
Photo: Kia
Dealers will be informed of this recall no later than October 5, whereas known owners will be notified by first-class mail on October 10. Of the 50,517 units recalled, one percent of them are believed to have been equipped with improperly affixed warning labels. Build dates range between October 2022 and August 2023.

Scheduled to receive a mid-cycle refresh for 2024, the Kia Sorento bridges the gap between the compact Sportage and three-row Telluride. Currently priced at $30,090 in the United States, the front-/all-wheel-drive crossover is also offered as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid.

The hybrid carries a sticker price of $36,690 (excluding destination charge). For the plug-in hybrid, make that $49,990. The pricing difference may be tremendous, but remember that the 261-hp plug-in hybrid comes with a larger high-voltage battery than the 227-hp hybrid. The numbers are 1.6 kWh and 13.8 kWh, respectively.

In the first half of 2023, the South Korean automaker delivered 51,376 units of the Sorento in the United States, up from 48,518 in the first half of 2022. This means the Sorento is Kia's fourth best-selling nameplate in this part of the world after the Telluride (65,043 units), Forte (73,065 units), and Sportage (83,742 units).
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 Download: 2023 Kia Sorento peeling warning label 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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