U.S. investigates Kia headlight failures, General Motors steering issues

Kia Sorento

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Wednesday it has started two investigations into reports of headlight failures concerning 392,000 Kia Sorento sport utility vehicles and steering issues concerning 781,000 General Motors vehicles.

NHTSA stated it received 74 reports of sudden, unexpected loss of headlights in the model year 2011-2013 Kia Sorento vehicles consisting of those where drivers were making a turn or traveling on the highway.

Reports claim headlights can turn off for some time before they correct themselves or the driver turns the vehicle off and on again. Some owners complain they have taken vehicles to dealerships for service but that the problem remained unresolved.

Kia has not commented yet.

NHTSA is also investigating 781,000 Chevrolet Equinoxes and GMC Terrain SUVs made from 2010 to 2012 after getting 52 complaints about a condition that could cause increased friction in the steering system. The friction may result in drivers feeling as if the steering wheel was sticking, the agency said, and added vehicles can still be turned but may need more effort.

GM earlier issued a service bulletin to address the issue and offered extended-warranty coverage for addressing the concern.

NHTSA said it is aware of one report of an injury crash. The agency stated it is reviewing vehicles that had the steering gear replaced under the automaker’s special coverage but months later had further steering concerns.

The issue is “a slight feeling of friction in the steering system that can be an annoyance to customers,” GM spokesman Dan Flores stated. “We’ve reviewed this issue internally and have reviewed it with NHTSA previously. We do not recognize it to be a safety issue.”

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