The automakers Hyundai and Kia are warning nearly 485,000 vehicle owners to park their cars outside because they are at risk of catching fire even when parked.
This risk of combustion is due to a problem of contamination within the antilock brake control that can cause an electrical short.
The affected vehicles are:
- Certain Kia Sportage SUVs from 2014-2016
- The 2016-2018 Kia K900 sedan
- The 2016-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs
- The 2018 and 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sports
- The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL
- The 2014 and 2015 Hyundai Tucson SUVs
There are currently reports of 11 fires in the U.S. but no reported injuries.
On Tuesday, February 8th, U.S. safety regulators posted documents stating that the owners of these vehicles should park their cars outside and away from all structures until the correct repairs are made.
In order for these cars to safely operate, Hyundai and Kia dealers need to replace a fuse. In addition, Hyundai dealers will inspect the vehicle’s control models and replace them if needed. Hyundai owners will be notified of these updates starting April 5th, while Kia owners will be notified via mail starting on March 31st.
Both Hyundai and Kia have previously had to warn vehicle owners to park their cars outside in May of 2021, March of 2021, and February of 2020.
The latest of these recalls was due to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opening a series of investigations researching the various engine compartment fires that have been an issue for both of the Korean automakers.
Data collected by the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety highlights that over 30 fire and engine-related recalls have plagued Hyundai and Kia since 2015. These recalls involve more than 20 different car models from 2006-to 2021, totaling over 8.4 million vehicles.
Most of these recalls were caused by manufacturing defects that prevented oil from flowing through the engine block. In these instances, expensive engine replacements were the only solution.
In December, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) consolidated two separate investigations from 2018 into a new engineering analysis that covered more than 3 million vehicles. At the time, NHTSA had received 161 reports of engine fires.
NSTSA stated that they are opening the engineering analysis with the goal of evaluating whether previous recalls covered enough vehicles. In addition, they will also monitor the effectiveness of all previous recalls, “as well as the long-term viability of related programs and non-safety field actions being conducted by Hyundai and Kia”.
At this time, both Hyundai and Kia have stated that they are cooperating with the NSTSA.
In addition, both of the automakers claim that they have taken steps to address all the pressing engine issues, including recalls, new engine monitoring technology, and provide extended warranties.
In November of 2020, the NHTSA announced that Kia and Hyundai must pay $137 million in fines due to the fact that they moved too slowly to recall more than 1 million vehicles with engines that are at risk of failing.
Kia agreed to pay $27 million, in addition to investing $16 million into safety performance measures. The NHTSA states that another $27 million payment will be deferred, as long as Kia meets all necessary safety conditions.
Representatives of Kia openly denied all allegations, however, they stated that they would like to avoid a lengthy legal battle.
If you or a loved one have been affected by a car accident, please reach out to the attorneys at Rheingold, Giuffra, Ruffo & Plotkin LLP. Auto accident claims have been a significant part of our firm’s practice for many years. Please contact us today to set up a free consultation.