Hyundai and Kia are advising 485,000 vehicle owners to park their cars outdoors. That’s because even when turned off, some Hyundai and Kia cars can catch fire. Needless to say, the two-car companies are now in the midst of recalling affected vehicles in the US.
Don’t Park Hyundai and Kia Cars Indoors, They Might Catch Fire
Hyundai and Kia will recall nearly 485.000 US vehicles due to a fire risk even when off. Both manufacturers reported that the problem stemmed from contamination in the antilock brake control module. This issue can lead to an electrical short and set the car on fire.
Consequently, this latest recall from the Korean manufacturers is the latest in a series of fire and engine problems. For the past six years, both companies issued recalls and warnings about potential safety issues. In fact, the advisory to park cars outside due to the risk of fire already happened before. Similar recalls from either Hyundai or Kia happened in May of 2021, March 2021, and February 2020.
Hyundai and Kia Models Affected
The list of affected vehicles includes Kia Sportage SUVs from 2014 to 2016, as well as the 2016-2018 K900 Sedan. For Hyundai, the recalled vehicles include Sante Fe SUVs from 2016 to 2018. 2017 and 2018 Sante Fe Sports, 2019, Santa Fe XL, and 2015 Tucson SUVs are also part of the recall. All in all, the recall will involve around 485,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
The two Korean automakers reported that they received 11 reports of fires in the United States. However, the incidents did not cause any deaths or injuries. However, US safety regulators say owners should park the affected vehicles outside until repairs are made. Hyundai will start notifying owners beginning April 5. Meanwhile, Kia will start to mail letters to car owners beginning March 31. For this issue, dealers will replace a fuse. In addition, Hyundai dealers will perform additional control module inspections and make replacements if needed.
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NHTSA Steps Up In Its Investigations
This latest recall happened after the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stepped up its investigations. Specifically, they looked more closely into engine compartment fires that plagued both Hyundai and Kia. Meanwhile, the Center for Auto Safety reported more than 30 US fire and engine-related recalls from both automakers since 2015. In total, these recalls involved more than 8.4 million cars from 20-plus models between 2006 through 2021.
In addition, most recalls involved manufacturing defects that stopped oil from flowing through the engine block. They eventually led to expensive engine replacements. During the time, both Hyundai and Kia said they cooperated with the NHTSA. Separately, the companies said they took numerous steps to address engine issues. This included recalls, new engine monitoring technology, and provide extended warranties.
Hyundai and Kia Faced $137 Million In Fines in 2020
In November of 2020, NHTSA said that Kia and Hyundai faced $137 million in fines for safety improvements. This is because they moved too slowly to recall more than 1 million vehicles with failed engines. The fine will also resolve a previous probe involving multiple models dating back to 2011. Kia went on to pay $27 million and invest $16 million in safety performance measures. The NHTSA will defer another $27 million if Kia meets safety conditions, NHTSA said.
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