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NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2002 Kia Spectra

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2002 Kia Spectra, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:


    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE04065

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: September 21, 2004
    • Date Closed: February 08, 2005
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Foundation Components:Drum:Wheel Cylinders

    Summary: The Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened this preliminary evaluation to investigate allegations of rear drum brake wheel cylinder leakage in 2002 Kia Spectra vehicles.this investigation was prompted by Kia's early warning report to the Agency for the first quarter of 2004, which contained a single field report that identified 13 incidents of wheel cylinder leakage in the subject vehicles.the subject vehicles are available in both 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback body styles.the same parts supplier provides wheel cylinders for both vehicle types, although their part numbers differ.these parts are used on all MY2002-2004 Spectra ¿type-I¿ vehicles manufactured through 12/30/2003.additionally, MY2001-2005 Kia rio vehicles built through 11/17/2004 use the same wheel cylinders as the subject Spectra ¿type-I¿ 4-door sedan.MY2004 Spectra ¿type-II¿ vehicles, which started production on 12/8/2003, do not use the subject components as they are equipped with rear disc brakes.the manufacturer notified ODI of one complainant whom alleged a crash caused by, ¿inadequate brake system response, ¿ resulting in one person injured.however, it appears that multiple causal factors may have contributed to the crash incident and no single factor has been identified as the primary total, ODI is aware of 5 consumer complaints, 1 field report, and 813 warranty claims related to the alleged defect in 2002 Kia Spectra vehicles.none of the complainants alleged degraded stopping performance or loss of braking capability caused by wheel cylinder date, the complaint rate is 7.0 per 100,000 vehicles and the warranty rate is 1.13%.Kia's analysis of warranty return parts indicates a slow rate of fluid loss; tests showed a maximum fluid loss rate of 1 cc per 4000 brake applications (the master cylinder reservoir has a 134cc fluid capacity between the ¿full¿ and the level at which the brake warning lamp is illuminated).Kia testing of a vehicle equipped with a leaking wheel cylinder showed that after 100 stops from 100 km/H the pedal stroke increased 5%, pedal force increased 13%, and the braking distance increased 7% (51.7M vs. 48.1M) when compared to the same vehicle with a non-leaking wheel cylinder.a safety-related defect has not been identified at this time and further use of Agency resources does not appear to be warranted.accordingly, this investigation is closed.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.the Agency will take further action if warranted by the circumstances.

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