Hyundai Recalls Vehicles with Tire Inflator Kits Because of Fire Risk
Hyundai has issued an auto defect recall for nearly 430,000 small cars because water can enter the antilock brake computer, cause an electrical shock which can potentially lead to an engine fire. According to an Associated Press news report, the recall is another in a series of problems that the South Korean automaker and its sister company, Kia, have had with engine fires during the past few years. Past problems with engine fires triggered an investigation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
This latest recall covers certain 2006 through 2011 Elantra and 2007-2011 Elantra Touring vehicles. The company says the electrical short could spark a fire even when the cars are turned off. So far, the automaker has reported three fires and no related injuries. When the recall begins April 3, dealers will install a relay in the cars’ main electrical junction box to prevent short circuits while the car is turned off.
Hyundai and Kia Fires
Last April, NHTSA opened two new investigations into fires involving Kia and Hyundai vehicles after getting complaints from consumers about more than 3,100 fires and 103 injuries. The agency began to investigate the cases after receiving a petition from the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, which is a consumer advocacy group. The investigations into Hyundai and Kia vehicles cover non-crash fires in nearly 3 million vehicles including 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe; 2011-2014 Kia Optima and Sorento; and 2010-2015 Kia Soul vehicles.
Engine failure and fire risks with Hyundai and Kia vehicles have affected more than 6 million vehicles since 2015. But so far, the automakers have only recalled about 2.4 million vehicles to fix these issues. A Hyundai spokesman has said the most recent recall is not related to prior Hyundai recalls for engine issues.
Auto Product Liability Issues
These auto defects are cause for deep concern. If you own a vehicle that has been recalled for a fire risk, especially if it could catch on fire while turned off, it is best to park the vehicle outside to avoid the danger of a structural fire. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective auto, you may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced auto defect lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.