U.S. probes Kia headlight failures, GM steering issues
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Road Safety Agency (NHTSA) launched two investigations on Wednesday on reports of headlight failures in 392,000 Kia Sorento-Sport Utility Vehicles and steering problems in 781,000 General Motors vehicles.
NHTSA said it received 74 reports of sudden, unexpected headlight losses from Kia Sorento in the 2011-2013 model year, including some while drivers were cornering or driving on the highway.
Headlamps have been reported to turn off for some time until they correct themselves or the driver turns the vehicle off and on again. Some owners complain that they have taken vehicles to dealers for maintenance several times, but the problem has returned.
Kia didn't comment immediately.
NHTSA is also investigating 781,000 Chevrolet Equinoxes and GMC Terrain SUVs from 2010 to 2012 after receiving 52 complaints about a condition that could lead to increased friction in the steering system. The friction can make the driver feel like the steering wheel is stuck, the agency said, and added vehicles can still be turned, but may require more effort.
GM previously issued a service bulletin to fix the problem and offered a warranty extension to fix it.
NHTSA said there was a report of an accident involving injuries. The agency said it is testing vehicles where the steering gear was replaced under GM's special cover, but had additional steering problems months later.
The problem is "a slight feeling of friction in the steering system that can disturb customers," said GM spokesman Dan Flores. "We checked this problem internally and discussed it with NHTSA beforehand. We don't consider it a security problem."
(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; editing by Matthew Lewis)
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