Hyundai has discovered a new problem that could cause its vehicle’s engines to fail or catch fire issuing another recall to fix problems that have affected more than 6 million vehicles over the past three years. According to a WGN-TV news report, the Korean automaker, under pressure from federal safety regulators, is recalling about 20,000 Velostar cars in the United States and Canada because fuel could prematurely ignite in the cylinders around the pistons. This could cause excessive pressure and damage the engine causing vehicles to stall and in some cases, catch fire.
Problems Involving Engine Fires
This problem is different from what has caused other recalls from 2015 involving Hyundai and its affiliate, Kia. Both manufacturers have been plagued by engine fires and complaints from consumers about vehicle fires. The current recall, which covers only the 2013 Veloster with 1.6-liter engines, is because of a software problem that has been found only in that model year and not in other Hyundai engines. A spokesman also said that the automaker did not use any engines from the plant that made Veloster engines. When the recall begins, dealers will install updated software on the recalled cars.
Jason Levine with the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer group, has petitioned the government seeking more recalls of Kia and Hyundai vehicles because the fire and engine problems continue to involve more vehicles. He said this latest Veloster recall raises the question of how many vehicles should actually be recalled for fire and engine problems. He correctly points out that Hyundai and Kia have recalled a smaller number of vehicles stating that the problem is peculiar only to a certain model or group of vehicles. But, we later find out that more vehicles are involved.
So far Hyundai and Kia have recalled about 2.4 million vehicles to fix problems that can cause fires and engine failures since 2015. In addition to that, the companies are also carrying out a “product improvement campaign” involving 3.7 million vehicles to install software that will alert drivers about potential engine failures. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating both Hyundai and Kia for being slow to fix defective vehicles.
Need for a Comprehensive Recall
Hyundai and Kia appear to be dragging their feet on a full-blown recall because of the potential costs involved and the PR nightmare. But product manufacturers owe the highest duty of care to consumers. As auto defect attorneys we often find that manufacturers put their interests before consumer safety. This is unacceptable. Kia and Hyundai should do the right thing and issue and comprehensive recall for all vehicles that have an engine problem.