Hyundai and Kia Recalling Half a Million Vehicles for Fire Hazard

  • Hyundai/Kia will recall 591,000 vehicles in the United States over a brake-fluid leak that could cause an engine fire.
  • The recall will include 2013–2015 Kia Optima sedans and Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs plus 2014–2015 Kia Sorento SUVs.
  • There have been 15 reports of engine fires in Hyundai and eight in Kia vehicles because of this issue, although no accidents or injuries have been reported.

        UPDATE, 9/6/2020: Hyundai is now recommending that owners of recalled 2013–2015 Santa Fe SUVs park the vehicles outside until they can be seen by dealers, the Associated Press reported this weekend. “Out of an abundance of caution,” Hyundai spokesman Michael Stewart told the AP, the vehicles should not be parked inside garages. The Hyundai recall starts October 23. Car and Driver has reached out to Kia for comment on the situation as it relates to the Optima and Sorento vehicles also under recall.

        Hyundai and Kia have announced a recall for nearly 600,000 vehicles from the 2013 through 2015 model years to fix a problem with a brake-fluid leak in the anti-lock brakes’ hydraulic control unit. The problem was first reported in 2018 and the automaker had been investigating. Hyundai said an engine fire could happen even if the car is not turned on.

        Affected vehicles include 440,370 Kia vehicles, including 283,803 Optimas from 2013–2015 and 156,567 Sorentos from 2014 and 2015, plus 151,000 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs from the 2013–2015 model year.

        Earlier in 2020, Hyundai recalled 2006–2011 Elantra and 2007–2011 Elantra Touring vehicles over another electrical short-circuit issue involving water getting into the ABS computer unit, again raising the possibility of an engine fire. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating the Korean automakers since April 2019 over complaints of more than 3000 engine fires and 103 injuries that were unrelated to crashes.

        Owners of these models of Kia or Hyundai vehicles can check the NHTSA recalls website to find out if their vehicle is affected. Kia owners will be notified by the automakers starting on October 15, while Hyundai owners will get their letters starting a week later, and dealers will replace hydraulic electronic control units found to be faulty at no charge.

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