Hyundai and Kia are recalling 3.4 million vehicles due to risk of engine compartment fires.
The recall is due to the potential of an anti-lock brake control module to leak fluid, which can cause an electrical short and a fire in the vehicle, according to documents from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Associated Press reported :
In a statement, Kia said an engine compartment fire could happen in the area of the brake control unit due to an electrical short that results in excessive current. The statement says the exact cause of the short circuit is unknown and that there have been no crashes or injuries.
Dealers will replace the anti-lock brake fuse at no cost to owners, but in the meantime owners are being instructed to park outdoors until the repairs are completed.
Kia will send notification letters to owners starting November 14, and Hyundai will send letters out on November 21.
However, Michael Brooks, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, raises concerns about why the companies aren’t fixing the leak problem.
“Why not fix the problem?” Brooks told the AP. “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 combatting a symptom or part of the problem without actually fixing the underlying design issue.”
Brooks also questions why it is taking two months to notify the owners of a potential fire hazard.
AP listed the affected models:
Affected Kia models include the 2010 through 2019 Borrego, the 2014 to 2016 Cadenza, 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.
Fire concerns have plagued both Hyundai and Kia for years. In June 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received more than 3,100 owner complaints of fires, and both companies were fined in 2020 for delaying recalls for vehicles that tended to have problems with engine failures.