Kia will recall more than 419,000 SUVs in the U.S. and Canada due to the transmission being shifted out of park when the driver’s foot isn’t on the brake, which is a violation of safety laws. The recall includes Sorentos from the 2011 through 2013 model years.
Kia said in documents posted Thursday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the cars have the ability to roll away unexpectedly and cause a crash. The problem occurs when the gear shift lever is pushed too hard, causing a part in the shift mechanism to crack.
It has caused three injuries so far. In August Kia says it began investigating the trouble when it got a letter from a lawyer saying that a child moved a Sorento shift lever out of park and the SUV rolled in a parking lot.
According to the documents the child’s father stood in front of the SUV and was joined by his son. The son got between the Sorento and a stopped vehicle and suffered a broken leg.
Kia then began investigating and found 54 warranty claims. The company decided to recall the SUVs on Sept. 28.
Dealers will replace the brake-shift interlock mechanism with improved parts and owners will be notified starting Nov. 24. Kia said owners should always apply the parking brake firmly and make sure the shift lever is securely in park before leaving the vehicles.
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