Kia Recalls Over 300,000 Souls in US for Second Time

This May 30, 2014, file photo shows a Kia Soul at the 2014 AMI Auto Show in Leipzig, Germany. Jens Schlueter/Getty Images, File

Kia Motors Corp. is recalling 342,381 vehicles in the U.S. for a second time because the first repair may not have solved a steering defect.

The recall affects the Soul and Soul EV from the 2014-2016 model years.

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Kia says a pinion plug may not be properly secured, which could allow the pinion gear to separate from the steering assembly. If that happens, steering function can be lost, increasing the risk of a crash.

The company says some vehicles may not have been properly repaired in previous recalls. It couldn't say how many vehicles are affected outside the U.S.

Kia will notify owners starting next month. Dealers will repair the vehicles for free.