South Korea's No. 2 automaker Kia Motors said on Friday that it had started a recall of some Soul and Sorento vehicles sold worldwide because of a fire hazard.

The recall, which began on September 1, would affect a combined 35,000 vehicles in the United States and 21,000 units in South Korea, a spokesperson in Seoul said.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Thursday that Kia planned to recall a total 35,185 Soul and Sorento units because of wiring problems that could cause fires.

U.S. regulators also launched a probe into possible steering defects in Soul vehicles.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)