Efforts to contact Mr. Butterfield at home were unsuccessful. Kia could not be reached for comment.
Kia has been trying to evolve from its mid-1990s debut as an inexpensive brand into a well-built brand offering good value.
Kia’s Amanti received the highest rank for a mid-size car in an annual customer satisfaction survey released last month by consultant J.D. Power and Associates. It was the first time a Kia entry made it to the top.