Washington — Kia Motors said Thursday it will recall 377,000 Sorento SUVs in the United States after reports of three injuries from parked vehicles rolling away.
The recall covers the 2011-13 Sorento. The Korean automaker says in a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that if "excessive force is applied to the gear shift lever, the brake-shift interlock mechanism may chip or crack allowing the transmission being able to be shifted out of ‘park’ without the brakes being depressed."
That means the vehicles don't comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard aimed at preventing theft.
Kia said in August it received a letter from an attorney alleging that an owner had opened the doors of a 2011 Sorento remotely, allowing the owner's son to enter the SUV, who then moved the shift lever from park. The driver said the key was not in the ignition and brakes were not applied, and the vehicle began to roll in a parking lot.
"The father stepped in front of car and the son got out and joined him. Son was between Sorento and stopped vehicle and allegedly suffered a fractured leg," the letter said.
Kia said it had reports of 54 warranty claims, 14 customer complaints and three alleged injuries.
Kia will launch the recall Nov. 24 and dealers will replace the brakeshift interlock.