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Kia Recalls Spectra: Fuel Tank Could Fall on the Ground

South Korean manufacturer Kia announced it will be conducting a recall of certain Spectra (Cerato) vehicles sold in the United States, as a notification posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website said the fuel tank of the vehicles affected could fall on the ground and thus cause a fire.

Specifically, Kia is recalling more than 58,000 Spectra compact cars registered in cold-weather states, including 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.

The recall affects the Spectra LD models from the 2004 to 2007 model years, the NHTSA said on its website. The models in question have straps that hold the fuel tank to the frame of the vehicle, and if exposed to road salt, these can rust. The direct consequence of such a problem is that the tank can fall to the ground, which could cause a leak and a fire.

“There is a possibility that corrosion of the fuel tank straps which hold the tank may occur as a result of prolonged exposure to road salt. As a result of the corrosion, one or both straps may separate allowing the fuel tank to contact the ground and possibly disrupt the integrity of the tank,”
the notification reads.

Details on whether the issue had caused any fires or injuries have not been disclosed, but the company confirmed that dealers will replace the fuel tank straps with zinc-coated parts at no cost to owners, with the recall expected to begin during June 2011.
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