Korean automakers, Hyundai and Kia, have both issued new fire risk recalls for vehicles that can ignite and catch fire.
According to Consumer Reports, the recalled vehicles include 2016-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2017-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL, 2014-2015 Hyundai Tucson, 2014-2016 Kia Sportage SUVs, and 2016-2018 Kia K900 sedans. The two automakers have the same corporate parent and share parts, designs, and suppliers. Hyundai and Kia want vehicle owners to park outdoors and away from structures due to the fire risk. They should park outdoors until repairs are complete.
Fire Risk Issue with the Vehicles
All these recalled vehicles use the same faulty component called the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit or HECU that is part of the anti-lock braking system (ABS), documents provided by Kia to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) state. This component is made by Mando, a major supplier of auto parts. However, neither Hyundai nor Kia has determined the cause of the fires. Hyundai has said it is aware of eight fires related to these latest recalls, and Kia said it knows of three Sportage SUVs that caught fire. No injuries or crashes were related to the recall.
Drivers of these vehicles may notice several warning signs alerting them about this issue, including a burning or melting smell, an illuminated ABS warning light on the dashboard, and smoke coming from the engine compartment. For this recall, dealers will install new fuses in the affected vehicles’ ABS modules free of charge to mitigate the fire risk. It must be noted that the automakers haven’t identified the root cause of the fires.
In recent years, Kia and Hyundai have issued multiple recalls covering more than 3.5 million vehicles at risk of catching fire for various reasons. Prior recalls involving both automakers included problems with brake fluid, leaks, faulty oil pans, fuel leaks, oil leaks, ABS sensor issues, HECU issues, and engine problems.
The Danger of Vehicle Fires
Vehicle fires have the potential to result in significant injuries and fatalities. If a vehicle you are driving catches fire, the first step to take is to pull over and turn off the engine. Doing so helps stop the flow of fuel. It is also crucial that you get yourself and your passengers out of the vehicle as quickly as possible and stay a significant distance away from the car. Call 911 to get emergency personnel on the scene as soon as possible. Be aware of the roadway and make sure you are out of the way of other vehicles.
If you or a loved one has been injured by these or other defective autos, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. An experienced auto defect lawyer will advise you regarding your legal rights and options.