Kia has issued a Technical Service Bulletin to its dealership network detailing the steps necessary to inspect and potentially replace engines on a number of its 2013 Rio subcompacts.
At fault is a defective timing chain and guide, which could create a clattering sound as it essentially chews up the inside of an engine. Instead of repairing the faulty timing chains and guides, a TSB released last month indicates that Kia wants its dealers to entirely replace the engine sub assembly and long block.
Kia is instructing its dealers to inspect for the "abnormal" sound by following a number of specific steps that involve repeatedly and precisely revving the engine to listen for what the automaker describes as a "chattering" noise.
The potentially affected vehicles were built between August 9, 2012 and October 9, 2012, according to the TSB. Affected are both manual and automatic transmission Rios, as well as those with and without the automaker's optional start/stop system.
Kia admits in the TSB that "only a very small number" of Rios will be affected. But to be safe, the automaker has told its dealers to perform the check before delivering any unsold 2013 Rios. Owners with affected Rios will be treated to a rental car while their engine is replaced.
Concerned owners can contact their dealers with Service Action number SA134.
It is unclear whether the a similar TSB will be issued for the 2013 Hyundai Accent and Veloster and the Kia Soul which use versions of the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine.