Another Massive Recall for Hyundai and Kia

3.4M vehicles recalled over fire risk; owners warned to park outside, away from structures
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 27, 2023 11:54 AM CDT
Another Massive Recall for Hyundai and Kia
The Hyundai company logo is displayed Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Littleton, Colo. Hyundai and Kia are recalling nearly 3.4 million vehicles in the US, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, and telling owners to park them outside due to the risk of engine compartment fires.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Hyundai and Kia are recalling nearly 3.4 million vehicles in the US and again telling owners to park them outside due to the risk of engine compartment fires. As the AP reports, the recalls cover multiple car and SUV models from the 2010 through 2019 model years, including Hyundai's Santa Fe SUV and Kia's Sorento SUV. Documents posted Wednesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say the anti-lock brake control module can leak fluid and cause an electrical short, which can touch off a fire while the vehicles are parked or being driven.

The automakers are advising owners to park outdoors and away from structures until repairs are done. Dealers will replace the anti-lock brake fuse at no cost to owners. Kia says in documents that it will send notification letters to owners starting Nov. 14. For Hyundai the date is Nov. 21. Hyundai reported 21 fires in the affected US vehicles, and another 22 "thermal incidents," including smoke, burning, and melting of parts. Kia reported 10 fires and melting incidents. Hyundai said in a statement that owners can continue to drive the vehicles and that no crashes or injuries have been reported. The automaker said it was doing the recall to ensure customer safety.

The company said an O-ring in the antilock brake motor shaft can lose sealing strength over time due to the presence of moisture, dirt and dissolved metals in the brake fluid, causing leaks. The new fuse limits the operating current of the brake module, the statement said. Michael Brooks, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, questioned why the companies aren't fixing the leak and why they're waiting so long to send letters to owners. "What you're not doing here is fixing the O-ring and the leak that's causing the problem in the first place. You're combating a symptom or part of the problem without actually fixing the underlying design issue," Brooks said.

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Statements from both companies don't address why the fluid leaks aren't being repaired or why it will take about two months to notify owners by letter. The NHTSA said that automakers can choose the remedy to fix a defect. The agency said it will monitor the effectiveness of the repairs and open an investigation if warranted.

  • Affected Kia models include the 2010 through 2019 Borrego; the 2014 to 2016 Cadenza; the 2010 through 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 models covered by the recall include 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 Fuel Cell; and the 2013 Santa Fe Sport.

Owners can go here and key in their 17-digit VIN to see if their vehicle is affected.

(More Hyundai stories.)

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