DETROIT — Kia is recalling about 320,000 cars in the U.S. to fix a problem that could prevent the trunk from being opened from the inside.
The recall covers the Optima midsize car from 2016 through 2018, Optima hybrids and plug-ins from 2017 and 2018, and the Rio small car from 2016 and 2017.
Kia says in documents posted Thursday by U.S. safety regulators that the trunk latch base can crack, and may not open from the inside. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says a person inside the trunk could become trapped.
Dealers will replace part of the trunk latch base. Owners will be notified by letter starting Oct. 19.
It's not the only recall Kia has issued this year. At the beginning of August, Kia and Hyundai told the owners of nearly 92,000 vehicles in the U.S. to park them outside because an electronic controller in an oil pump can overheat and cause fires.
The affiliated Korean automakers recalled the vehicles and told owners to park them away from structures until repairs are made.
Those recalls cover certain 2023 and 2024 Hyundai Palisades, as well some 2023 Tucson, Sonata, Elantra and Kona vehicles. Affected Kias include the 2023 Soul and Sportage as well as some 2023 and 2024 Seltos vehicles.
The companies say in documents posted at the beginning of august by U.S. safety regulators that a capacitor on a circuit board in the oil pump assembly for the transmission may have been damaged by the supplier during manufacturing. That can cause a short-circuit and increase the risk of a fire.
Kia says it has six reports of melting components but no fires or injuries. Hyundai says it has confirmed four “thermal incidents” and no injuries.