Hyundai is recalling more than 390,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada for two problems that could potentially cause engine fires. In one recall, owners are being told to park their vehicles outdoors until repairs are made. The largest recall covers more than 203,000 Santa Fe Sport SUVs from 2013 through 2015. Some are being recalled a second time.
According to documents from the U.S. National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), brake fluid can leak into the anti-lock brake computer, causing an electrical short that could lead to fires. Owners are asked to park outdoors and away from structures until the problem is fixed. Dealers will replace a fuse and the computer, if necessary.
Vehicle owners will be notified in June. So far, according to NHTSA documents, the brake computer issue has caused 18 fires in the United States, but no injuries. Hyundai says the recall enhances the remedy from the one issued in September 2020. The automaker says it continued to investigate after the recall in September and found that replacing the fuse would reduce the safety recall.
The other recall covers about 187,000 2019 and 2020 Elantra vehicles and 2019 through 2021 Kona and Velosters with 2-liter engines. In these vehicles, the piston rings may not have been properly treated, which could cause engine damage, oil leaks and even fires. Hyundai says the rings could be too hard and can be chipped, thereby scuffing the engine cylinder. According to NHTSA documents, this piston issue has caused five fires but no injuries.
When this recall begins in late June, dealers are expected to replace the engine if necessary and install piston noise-sensing software. Engine and fire issues have plagued Hyundai and Kia for over five years, affecting more than 8 million vehicle owners. Last month, Kia recalled more than 147,000 2020 and 2021 Soul and Selto SUVs because of the piston ring problem. Kia said it received four reports of fires related to the issue.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Vehicle fires are indeed a serious hazard. Car fires could lead to burn injuries, smoke inhalation injuries and even death. These types of fires could also result in significant property damage, so the automakers have asked vehicle owners to park their vehicles outside until the repairs can be made.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Kia or Hyundai vehicle fire involving recalled or unrecalled vehicles, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries, damages and losses you have sustained. An experienced auto defect lawyer can advise you regarding your legal rights and options.