Kia Motors UK is recalling 816 new Sportage SUVs to replace possibly defective handbrake ratchet and pawl assemblies.

The recall was made by parent company Kia Motors Corporation following the discovery of a possible manufacturing defect in South Korea that could result in the parking brake failing to engage even when properly applied. No cases of the fault have been reported in the UK, however.

Almost 3,000 units of the new Sportage, introduced at the start of the year, have been sold so far but the recall applies only to specific vehicles manufactured in April and May 2005.

Kia dealers will replace the handbrake assembly in an operation taking about 40 minutes.