Hyundai, Kia Recall Almost 3.4M Automobiles As a result of Fireplace Danger

By Tom Krisher

Hyundai and Kia are recalling practically 3.4 million automobiles within the U.S. and telling homeowners to park them exterior because of the threat of engine compartment fires.

Paperwork posted Wednesday by the U.S. Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration say the anti-lock brake management module can leak fluid and trigger {an electrical} brief, which might spark off a hearth whereas the automobiles are parked or being pushed.

The automakers are advising homeowners to park outdoor and away from buildings till repairs are performed.

Sellers will exchange the anti-lock brake fuse for free of charge to homeowners. Kia says in paperwork that it’s going to ship notification letters to homeowners beginning Nov. 14. For Hyundai the date is Nov. 21.

Hyundai reported 21 fires within the affected automobiles within the U.S., and one other 22 “thermal incidents” together with smoke, burning and melting of elements, the paperwork say. Kia reported 10 fires and melting incidents.

Hyundai mentioned in a press release that homeowners can proceed to drive the automobiles and that no crashes or accidents have been reported. The automaker mentioned it was doing the recall to make sure security of its prospects.

The corporate mentioned an O-ring within the antilock brake motor shaft can lose sealing power over time because of the presence of moisture, grime and dissolved metals within the brake fluid, inflicting leaks. The brand new fuse limits the working present of the brake module, the assertion mentioned.

In a press release, Kia mentioned an engine compartment hearth may occur within the space of the brake management unit attributable to {an electrical} brief that ends in extreme present. The assertion says the precise reason for the brief circuit is unknown and that there have been no crashes or accidents.

Michael Brooks, government director of the nonprofit Heart for Auto Security, questioned why the businesses aren’t fixing the leak drawback and why they’re ready so lengthy to ship letters to homeowners.

The treatment is changing one fuse with one other, however brake fluid can nonetheless leak, doubtlessly inflicting a security drawback, Brooks mentioned.

“Why not repair the issue?” he requested. “What you are not doing right here is fixing the O-ring and the leak that is inflicting the issue within the first place. You are combatting a symptom or a part of the issue with out really fixing the underlying design difficulty.”

Brooks additionally questioned why NHTSA is permitting the businesses to solely exchange a fuse, and why homeowners aren’t being despatched interim letters instantly warning them of a major problem. “You’ll assume that try to be notifying these homeowners proper now that they shouldn’t be parking of their garages or their home may catch hearth,” he mentioned.

Statements from each firms do not tackle why the fluid leaks aren’t being repaired or why it would take about two months to inform homeowners by letter. Spokespeople for each firms mentioned they might verify into the questions.

NHTSA mentioned that beneath the federal motorized vehicle security act, automakers can select the treatment to repair a defect. The company mentioned it would monitor the effectiveness of the repairs and open an investigation if warranted.

As well as, automakers have 60 days to inform homeowners of recalled automobiles by letter, however typically the mailings can occur sooner, the company mentioned.

NHTSA additionally issued a press release Wednesday warning homeowners to park the automobiles outdoor till repairs are made.

Affected Kia fashions embrace the 2010 by way of 2019 Borrego, the 2014 to 2016 Cadenza, 2010 by way of 2013 Forte, Forte Koup and Sportage, the 2015 to 2018 K900, the 2011 to 2015 Optima, the 2011 to 2013 Optima Hybrid and Soul, the 2012 to 2017 Rio, the 2011 to 2014 Sorento, and the 2010 to 2011 Rondo.

Hyundai fashions lined by the recall embrace the 2011 to 2015 Elantra, Genesis Coupe, and Sonata Hybrid, the 2012 to 2015 Accent, Azera, and Veloster, the 2013 to 2015 Elantra Coupe and Santa Fe, the 2014 to 2015 Equus, the 2010 to 2012 Veracruz, the 2010 to 2013 Tucson, the 2015 Tucson Gasoline Cell, and the 2013 Santa Fe Sport.

House owners can go to and key of their 17-digit car identification quantity to see if their car is affected.

Hyundai and Kia have been affected by hearth issues since 2015. The Heart for Auto Security efficiently petitioned U.S. regulators to hunt remembers in 2018 and says on its web site that the automakers have recalled greater than 9.2 million automobiles for fires and engine issues, not together with the remembers introduced Wednesday. Greater than two dozen of the remembers concerned over 20 fashions from the 2006 by way of 2021 mannequin years.

As well as, NHTSA is investigating 3 million automobiles made by the automakers from the 2011 by way of 2016 mannequin years. NHTSA says it’s obtained 161 complaints of engine fires, a few of which occurred in automobiles that had already been recalled.
In June 2018, NHTSA mentioned it had obtained proprietor complaints of greater than 3,100 fires, 103 accidents and one loss of life. Hyundai and Kia had been fined by NHTSA in 2020 for transferring too slowly to recall automobiles that had been susceptible to engine failures.