Federal Regulators to Investigate Nearly 3 Million Hyundai and Kia Vehicles for Fire Hazard
Hyundai and Kia have added more than 500,000 vehicles to a string of recalls that has stretched out for more than three years now. According to a news report, three recalls released this week by the government add new problems and vehicles to the Korean automakers’ list of safety issues, which have brought in hundreds of complaints about vehicle fires nationwide.
What Led to These Recalls?
So far, Hyundai and Kia have recalled nearly 2.4 million vehicles for fires and engine failure since September 2015. The automakers are currently under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for potentially being slow to fix defective vehicles. The companies are also doing a “product improvement campaign” covering another 3.7 million vehicles to install software that will warn drivers about possible engine failures and send the cars into a reduced-speed mode if problems are detected.
Of the three recalls posted on NHTSA’s website on Feb. 27 the largest includes 379,000 Kia Soul small SUVs from the 2012 to 2016 model years with 1.6-liter engines. Documents show that high exhaust gas temperatures can damage the catalytic converters, which control pollution.
This could cause abnormal combustion and damage pistons and connecting rods. A failed connecting rod can in turn strike the engine block and lead to oil leaks, which could cause fires. In addition to the Souls, Hyundai and Kia are recalling 152,000 Tuscon SUVs from 2011 to 2013 and Sportage SUVs from 2011 and 2012 to fix an engine oil pan leak that also can cause fires.
Auto Product Liability Issues
More than 300 complaints have been filed with NHTSA in regarding these and other Kia and Hyundai vehicles that have yet to be recalled. One death linked to this safety defect was reported in Ohio in 2017. Safety advocates have voiced concern that the automakers have been dragging their feet on recalls and repairs. NHTSA’s investigation has been delayed due to the partial government shutdown earlier this year.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of these dangerous or defective vehicles, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to remain on your side, fight for your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your tremendous losses.