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8 Feb, 2022 17:18

Fire risk warning for almost half a million vehicles in US

Hyundai and Kia are recalling nearly half a million vehicles in the US amid concern they may catch fire even when stopped
Fire risk warning for almost half a million vehicles in US

Hyundai and Kia will recall some 485,000 vehicles in the US and are telling owners to park their cars outside because they can catch fire even when stopped, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Tuesday.

The Korean carmakers have been dogged by technical faults leading to fire and engine failure problems over the past six years. The current recall affects several models, including the Kia Sportage SUVs from 2014 through to 2016, and the K900 sedan from 2016 through to 2018. Recalled Hyundais include the 2018 Santa Fe Sports and the 2019 Santa Fe XL.

The problem concerns a technical issue within the anti-lock brake control module which can cause electrical circuits to short, possibly leading to a fire.

The firms say they have been made aware of 11 reported fires in the US, but no injuries were noted. 

In documents posted by the NHTSA, the carmakers recommend parking the related vehicles outside, and away from homes and other buildings, until the repairs have been made.

Car owners will be notified in the coming months concerning the repairs, and local dealers will inspect the vehicles and replace a fuse in each.

The first recalls made by the Korean carmakers in the US date back to 2015. There have been a further eight in the years since, according to NHTSA.

The agency said it would be monitoring the effectiveness of previous recalls, “as well as the long-term viability of related programs and non-safety field actions being conducted by Hyundai and Kia.”

The automakers have previously been fined by the NHTSA over safety and engineering concerns, including a $137 million charge in November 2020 because they were alleged to have moved too slowly to recall more than a million vehicles with engines that could fail.

In 2021, Hyundai Australia recalled more than 93,000 Tucsons made between 2015 and 2021 due to the anti-locking braking defect.