Kia has recalled 319,436 sedans because the trunk latch can crack and prevent people from opening it—from inside the trunk. Should you find yourself inside the trunk, the cracked latch pawl could increase your risk of injury, the NHTSA disclosed last week.

More seriously, a child or other person could become trapped inside the trunk and unable to get out.

Upon investigation of complaints that the trunk would not latch shut, Kia found 32 incidents where the trunk would not open from the emergency release lever located inside the trunk, which is a violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The recall encompasses the following vehicles:

2016-2017 Kia Rio subcompact car

2016-2018 Kia Optima midsize sedan

2017-2018 Kia Optima hybrid and plug-in hybrid models

The Kia Rio hatchback is not included in this recall. Subsequent model years were not affected by the faulty latch, including when the Optima was redesigned and renamed the Kia K5 for the 2021 model year.

Last week, it was reported Kia would discontinue the Rio in 2024.

This is the 12th recall issued by Kia this year, increasing the number of recalled cars to more than 1 million, according to Automotive News.

Kia will notify owners by mail of the recall and its fix as early as October 16, 2023. Owners will be advised to bring their Kia to a dealer service center to replace the trunk latch with a strengthened pawl at no cost to owners. For more info, contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542 or visit Kia’s recall hub here.

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