Kia issued a recall covering 71,704 examples of the 2008-2009. The crossovers in question have build dates between 9 August 2007 and 13 May 2009. This recall started as an investigation in April 2016.
The issue relates to the car's circuitry. A cover on the Sportage's brake control unit might not be sealed properly. Throw in some corrosion catalyst, like the salt-water spray common on roads in the winter, and a wiring harness could corrode. If that happens, it could create a short circuit that could lead to a fire, or as Kia calls it, a "thermal event."
Fixing the issue is straightforward. Kia's dealerships will replace affected control unit assemblies with properly sealed units, if corrosion already occurred. If there is no corrosion present, the dealer will only replace the improperly sealed cover.
Kia believes that less than one percent of recalled vehicles have this issue, but as usual, automakers don't mess around with fire. Kia is aware of nine such "thermal events" taking place, but it appears there are no resulting injuries.
In the interim, Kia suggests that owners park their vehicles outside and away from both other vehicles and structures. Fire tends to, you know, travel between flammable materials, so that might be a smart idea. Owners should start receiving notifications on November 28.