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Hyundai, Kia recall more than 1.8 million vehicles in U.S.

A sign for automaker Hyundai hangs at the 2008 New York International Auto Show March 19, 2008. REUTERS/Keith Bedford
A sign for automaker Hyundai hangs at the 2008 New York International Auto Show March 19, 2008. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

DETROIT (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Corp and its Kia Motors affiliate are recalling more than 1.8 million cars and SUVs in the United States to address a potentially faulty switch and a loose headliner, according to U.S. safety regulators.

Hyundai is recalling 1,059,824 cars and SUVs and Kia 623,658 vehicles from model years 2007 through 2011 to replace a switch that could malfunction and increase the risk of a crash, according to documents filed with U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A Kia spokesman in the United States said the company was not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue and did not have any information on whether the recall was being done in other countries. A Hyundai spokesman in the United States said there had been no reports of accident or injuries.

In addition, Hyundai is recalling 186,254 Elantra cars from model years 2011 through 2013 to apply adhesive strips to prevent the headliner from becoming displaced during a side curtain airbag deployment, the NHTSA said. The Hyundai spokesman said there was one report of a minor injury, a cut ear, related to the issue.

In the larger recall, the malfunctioning stop lamp switch may cause the brake lights not to illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed, or may cause an inability to deactivate the cruise control by pressing the brake pedal, the NHTSA said.

The switch may also cause intermittent operation of the push-button start feature, prevent the shifter from being moved out of the park position, allow the driver to move the shifter out of park without applying the brake, or cause the electronic stability control malfunction light to illuminate, according to NHTSA documents.

Failure to illuminate the brake lights or disengage cruise control could increase the risk of a crash, while disabling the brake-transmission interlock could result in a vehicle rollaway, the NHTSA said.

The South Korean automakers are notifying owners, and dealers will replace the switch at no cost.

The affected Hyundai models include 2007-2009 Accent cars and Tucson SUVs, 2007-2010 Elantras, 2007-2011 Santa Fe SUVs, 2008-2009 Veracruz SUVs, 2010-2011 Genesis coupes and 2011 Sonata cars, according to the NHTSA.

The affected Kia models include 2011 Optima cars, 2007-2010 Rondo crossovers, 2007 Sedona minivans, 2007-2011 Sorento crossovers, 2010-2011 Soul cars and 2007-2010 Sportage SUVs.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and John Wallace)

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