Kia is joining its sister company, Hyundai, in recalling about 229,000 vehicles in the United States because water could get into a brake computer, cause an electrical short and possibly a fire. According to a USA Today news report, this recall covers Sedona minivans from the 2006 through 2010 model yeas. Also covered are Sorento SUVs from 2007 through 2009. Kia is telling owners to park their vehicles outside and away from structures and other vehicles until the problem can be repaired.
In these vehicles, moisture can get into the antilock brake control computer and cause and electrical short and possible fires, the company said in documents posted Thursday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Kia has received seven reports of fires as a result of these vehicle defects, but no reports of injuries and fatalities. The automaker says the problem can occur even when the engine is turned off.
This recall is yet another in a series of problems that the South Korea automakers Kia and Hyundai have had with engine fires over the last few years. When the recall begins April 10, dealers will install a relay in the main electrical junction box to stop power from going to the brake computer when the engine is off. Earlier this month, Hyundai recalled nearly 430,000 small cars because of the same problem. That recall covered certain 2006 through 2011 Elantra and 2007 through 2011 Elantra Touring vehicles.
Ongoing Investigation and Recalls
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Hyundai and Kia fires including non-crash fires. The probes cover the 2011 through 2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe, the 2011 through 2014 Kia Optima and Sorento, and the 2010 through 2015 Kia Soul. The complaints came from consumers and from data provided by both automakers. Engine failure and fire problems with Hyundais and Kias have affected more than 6 million vehicles since 2015. So far, Hyundai and Kia have recalled about 2.4 million vehicles to fix problems that can cause fires and engine failures.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of an auto defect, you may be able to file an auto product liability lawsuit against the automaker and or manufacturers of the defective auto parts. Affected victims may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, property damage, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to help them better understand their legal rights and options.