The 2023 Kia Sportage has barely had time to enjoy being on the market before suffering its first recall. The potential problem is a loose alternator battery nut responsible for a solid connection between the battery wire harness terminal plate and the alternator terminal. If it comes loose, the degraded electrical connection can cause the Sportage to stall when the engine is running. At worst, electric surges can cause arcing that melts the wiring and insulators and starts a fire in the engine bay. After a customer reported engine stalling and a dealer fixed the issue, Kia identified the source of the problem and worked with the supplier on an “improved alternator nut visual inspection process during production” and an additional torque confirmation process at the end of the assembly line. It’s a small blemish on a new crossover we called an absolute winner for the segment, combining the space needed for family duty and the electrified versions demanded today for multiple reasons, while maintaining the combo of distinctive style and strong value that’s been a Sportage staple for two generations.
There are 19,701 Sportages possibly affected, manufactured at Kia Georgia from January 12, 2022, through August 8, 2022. The automaker said no injuries, fatalities, or crashes have been reported as a result of the problem. Kia will begin sending letters to owners September 23. The fix is a trip to the dealer to have the nut torqued down properly.
Until then, owners can get in touch with Kia customer service at 800-333-4542 and refer to recall number SC248. They can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) and mention campaign number 22V651, or go to NHTSA’s website.