Hyundai and Kia Recall Nearly 168,000 Vehicles for Potential Fuel Leaks and Fire Risk

 

Laguna Hills, Calif. – Jan. 26, 2019 – Hyundai Motor Co and affiliate Kia Motors Corp are recalling close to 168,000 U.S. vehicles at risk of fuel leaks. This recall comes after a previous recall in 2017 for engine fire risks. The companies will also offer software upgrades for 3.7 million vehicles. The new recall covers 68,000 various Kia Optima, Sorento and Sportage vehicles from the 2011 through 2014 model years, and also affects 100,000 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata and 2013-2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport vehicles.

The Defect

According to Reuters, engine replacements during the prior recall could have involved a high-pressure fuel pipe that may have been damaged or improperly installed. The faulty installation could increase the risk of fire. Hyundai and Kia now also state that the high-pressure fuel line may have been damaged, misaligned, or improperly adjusted during the engine replacement procedure. That could allow fuel to leak and increase the risk of fire.

Timeline of Events

According to Reuters, in 2015, Hyundai recalled 470,000 U.S. Sonata sedans. The reason for the recall was given as a possibility of engine failure that could result in a vehicle stall, increasing the risk of a crash. Kia did not recall its vehicles, which share the same “Theta II” engines, at that time.

In 2016, a South Korean whistleblower reported concerns regarding this design flaw to NHTSA. The U.S. agency had been investigating the timeliness of three U.S. recalls, and the number of vehicles recalled.  In March 2017, Hyundai expanded the recall to include an additional 572,000 Sonata and Santa Fe Sport vehicles with “Theta II” engines, claiming a small amount of manufacturing debris was responsible for potential engine stall, and Kia recalled 618,000 Optima, Sorento and Sportage vehicles with the same engine at the same time.

According to Consumer Reports, in May 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a formal investigation into the recalls. The Center for Auto Safety (CAS), a consumer watchdog group, filed a formal petition with the NHTSA in June 2018 to investigate multiple fire complaints.

The Solution

Authorized dealers will inspect the connection between the high-pressure fuel pipe and the fuel pump outlet. If leaking fuel is detected, the dealer will replace the fuel pipe and properly install a new one, at no charge to owners.

In addition to the recall, both automakers have announced a software update and warranty extension. This announcement affects approximately 2 million 2011-2018 Hyundai Sonata sedans and 2013-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUVs, and about 1.6 million 2011-2018 Kia Optima sedans, 2012-2018 Kia Sorento SUVs, and 2011-2018 Kia Sportage SUVs. The software update is reported to protect the engine from damage that could lead to vibrations or stalling. Kia and Hyundai will also extend engine warranties to 10 years and 120,000 miles for owners of affected vehicles who contact their dealer for a free software update.

Hyundai and Kia will notify owners of the recall details via first-class mail. Owners of affected vehicles may call Hyundai at 800-633-5151 or Kia at 800-333-4542. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Sean ReyesHyundai and Kia Recall Nearly 168,000 Vehicles for Potential Fuel Leaks and Fire Risk

Kia Motors Recalls Nearly 2,000 Forte Vehicles Due to Incorrect Headlamp Aiming

Laguna Hills, CA – November 27, 2018 – Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2019 Kia Forte vehicles equipped with LED headlamps due to incorrect aiming of the headlamp beam. The potential number of units affected is 1,754.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the headlamps on affected vehicles may not have been manufactured with the correct low beam aiming. The LED headlamps may not have been produced by the supplier with the proper low-beam lamp aiming, resulting in a potential leftward deviation in low-beam lamp aiming. Insufficient illumination of the roadway caused by improperly aimed headlamps may result in the driver having reduced visibility, which can increase the risk of a crash.

Timeline of Events

During normal quality check of production process on July 27, 2018,  Kia Motors Mexico (“KMM”) identified an LED headlamp with a leftward deviation in low-beam lamp aiming during production. KMM notified the supplier of the issue.

Between July 28 – August 15, 2018, the supplier conducted an internal evaluation relating to improper low-beam lamp aiming with the LED headlamps, and identified the Master Headlamp used on the production line for headlamp aiming adjustment purposes as being not accurately adjusted. The supplier began use of a properly-adjusted Master Headlamp beginning on August 15, 2018.

Between August 16 – September 10, 2018, KMM conducted field monitoring and found no customer complaints. Between September 11 – October 8, 2018, KMM requested Kia Motors America, Inc. (“KMA”) to inspect KMA’s port stock vehicles, and subsequently, the potential aiming issue was confirmed and KMA advised Kia Motors Corporation (“KMC”) of inspection results.

Between October 9 – October 23, 2018, KMC and supplier conducted further review and confirmatory testing to determine the existence of potential non-compliance issue, and on October 24, 2018, KMC made the decision to conduct a non-compliance recall although no customer complaints have been registered and there have been no reported accidents or injuries.

The Solution

The recalled parts are the LED headlamps, Part Number 92101-M7200 and 92102-M7200. All owners of the subject vehicles will be notified by first class mail with instructions to bring their vehicles to a Kia dealer. Kia will instruct dealers to inspect the headlamps and, if headlamp aiming is out of spec, replace the headlamp(s), free of charge. Kia will reimburse owners for repair expenses already incurred if necessary. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia’s number for this recall is SC171. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-771.

Sean ReyesKia Motors Recalls Nearly 2,000 Forte Vehicles Due to Incorrect Headlamp Aiming

Kia Recalls More Than 16,000 Stinger Vehicles for Wiring Harness Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – November 5, 2018 – Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2018 Kia Stinger vehicles for electrical problems relating to a wiring harness. This recall is expected to affect 16011 vehicles in North America.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the front wiring harness located in the engine and passenger compartment of affected Stinger vehicles may get damaged from contacting a burr on a sheet metal hole on the left fender apron body panel. Such contact can damage the insulation on one or more wires and cause increased electrical short, thereby generating heat. Once sufficient heat is generated, thermal damage may occur to surrounding materials. The damaged wiring harness may then short circuit, increasing the risk of a fire. Owners may or may not be alerted to an issue by illumination of the Malfunction Indicator Light (“MIL”) or activation of limp home mode.

Timeline of Events

On May 3, 2018, Kia Motors America, Inc.’s (KMA) Consumer Affairs Department was notified by dealer of a fire involving a 2018MY Kia Stinger, which affected other vehicles and a structure. On September 6, 2018, KMA inspected the subject Stinger vehicle and identified the origin of fire to likely have occurred in left rear of engine compartment behind left strut tower and under the left hood hinge support. The potential cause of fire was identified as damage to wiring harness insulation resulting in electrical arcing and/or resistance heating.

KMA subsequently conducted inspection of Stinger vehicles at the port for any potential front wiring harness damage and found none. KMA was able to identify that stamping direction of the left fender apron body panel was changed on April 5, 2018, and although testing was conducted to evaluate any potential relationship between front wiring harness damage and fire, the incident could not be replicated during testing. A potential for thermal damage was confirmed due to an electrical short caused by damaged wires, however, and in late October, KMC made the decision to conduct a safety recall due to the single fire incident. No injuries were reported.

The Solution

Kia will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the wiring harness for damage. If no damage is found, a cover will be installed free of charge. If damage is found, the wiring harness will be repaired, and a cover will be installed, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 20, 2018. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia’s number for this recall SC170. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-754.

Sean ReyesKia Recalls More Than 16,000 Stinger Vehicles for Wiring Harness Issue

Kia recalls vehicles with defective air bag features

Irvine, Calif. – June 14, 2018 – Kia Motors America has recalled more than 500,00 vehicles potentially equipped with defective air bag control units, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple models, including:
  • 2010-2013 Kia Forte sedans produced between Feb. 24, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2012.
  • 2011-2013 Kia Optima sedans produced between Aug. 12, 2010, and Aug. 31, 2012.
  • 2011-2012 Kia Optima Hybrid sedans produced between Feb. 15, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2012.
  • 2010-2013 Kia Koup sport sedans produced between June 5, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2012.
  • 2011-2012 Kia Sedona minivans produced between March 3, 2010, and Aug. 14, 2012.
The South Korean automaker suspects all of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain defective components.
The Defect
The vehicles involved in this action likely contain defective ACUs with application-specific integrated circuits that are prone to electrical overstress during frontal crashes. In the event of ASCI failure, front air bag and seat belt pretensioner deployment is inhibited, leaving both drivers and front passengers susceptible to injury. However, as of May 28, 2018, Kia has yet to receive field reports connecting the defective ACUs to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
In March 2014, a customer filed suit against Kia, alleging that the frontal air bags installed in his 2012 Kia Forte sedan failed to deploy during an accident, according to an internal chronology document given to the NHTSA. The automaker reported this event to the NHTSA, which then reached out to Kia for more information regarding the potential defect in July 2014.
Between March 2015 and June 2015, Kia conducted tests on the vehicle, including one trial during which an engineer attempted to download the ACU but was unable to communicate with the module. This prompted the car company to connect with its Michigan-based ACU supplier ZRF TWR. Personnel from the vendor replicated Kia’s actions and were unable to connect to the ACU. External engineering consultants looked into the matter and determined that ACU had compromised the front impact sensors, rendering the air bags in the vehicle useless. ZRF TWR then informed Kia that the NHTSA was investigating numerous models using its ACU units.
Kia continued to investigate the matter throughout the remainder of 2015, 2016 and 2017. These analyses failed to reveal a root cause. However, owners continued to report air bag deployment issues, forcing the automaker to expand the group of potentially affected vehicles to include Optima and Koup sedans and Sedona minivans.
Between January and February 2018, the NHTSA reconnected with Kia on several occasions to discuss the defective ACUs and requested that it re-establish a partnership with ZRF TWR to finally resolve the issue. In March, Hyundai recalled a large population of vehicles suffering from ACU failure, an event that engineers had linked to ASCI degradation caused by electrical overstress. On March 14, 2018, Kia officials met with the NHTSA in Washington D.C. to discuss the ACU failures occurring in its vehicles in the context of the findings mentioned in the Hyundai recall disclosure. Following this meeting, the NHTSA requested that Kia open a new investigation to assess whether the ASCIs in its ACUs were susceptible electrical overstress.
Throughout May 2018, Kia engineers conducted several tests, including a number of trials at the Vehicle Research and Test Center. On May 24, 2018, the automaker met with the NHTSA to review the data collected during one such test and found that vehicle involved showed signs of ASCI breakdown as a result of electrical overstress. This finding compelled Kia to issue a voluntary recall May 28, 2018.
The Solution
Kia has not yet developed an effective remedy, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. However, the car company does intend to reach out to dealers July 24, 2018, and contact owners via first-class mail July 27, 2018. Owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the recall can speak with Kia customer service staff by calling (888) 333-4542. Callers should use the internal recall reference code SC165. They can also connect with the NHTSA directly by using the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Sean ReyesKia recalls vehicles with defective air bag features

Kia recalls vehicles with defective clutch components

Irvine, Calif. – May 10, 2018 – Kia Motors America has recalled more than 27,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective clutch components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Kia Niro hybrid sport utility vehicles produced between Nov. 1, 2016, and Sept. 11, 2017. The South Korean automaker suspects just 1 percent of the vehicles referenced in the action contain the defective components.
The Defect
Affected vehicles contain defective hydraulic clutch actuator assemblies with rough edges that may damage to the adjacent oil seal and cause oil to leak or accumulate near the phase cap. Should either of these events occur, the likelihood of electrical shorting and engine fire increases. Consequently, this defect poses a serious hazard to occupants. However, Kia has yet to receive reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
KMA on Dec. 7, 2017, notified its parent company via a quality information report that some 2018 Kia Niro hybrid SUVs were generating hydraulic clutch actuator trouble codes, according to an internal chronology report submitted to the NHTSA. Almost three weeks later, the Kia Motor Corporation initiated an investigation in response to the QIR. Throughout January and February 2018, KMC worked with suppliers to evaluate hydraulic clutch actuator assemblies installed in 2018 Kia Nitro hybrid SUVs. This collaborative inquiry revealed that oil was leaking within the actuator housing, causing the vehicle to generate an error code. Investigators were able to duplicate electrical shorting associated with the leakage but could not recreate thermal decay or engine fire.
Over the course of February and March 2018, KMC conducted more tests to confirm the root cause of the error codes mentioned in the original QIR. On April 16, 2018, the car manufacturer reviewed all available data related to the defective hydraulic clutch actuator assemblies and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall.
The Solution
Kia will direct dealers to inspect the hydraulic clutch actuator assemblies installed in affected vehicles and install additional sealant or replace them free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The automaker intends to notify dealers June 8, 2018, and reach out to owners via first-class mail June 15, 2018. Owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the recall can contact Kia customer service personnel at (800) 333-4542. Callers should use the internal recall reference code SC163. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Sean ReyesKia recalls vehicles with defective clutch components

Kia Recalling Sorentos over Air Bag Inflators

 

Irvine, Calif. – Dec. 27, 2017 – Kia Motors America recently announced a recall of more than 2,000 of its Sorento light sport utility vehicles from the 2018 model year, stemming from concerns related to assembly of their side curtain air bags, according to a defect filing made with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Specifically, the vehicles have side curtain air bags for both the driver and passenger sides with diffusers that can detach from the inflators during the air bag deployment process, potentially launching them inside the vehicle at high velocities and increasing the risk of injury in a crash.

All of the vehicles in the recall are expected to contain this production defect, and were manufactured from Sept. 5 to Nov. 29, 2017, but were not produced in VIN order.

This same issue has also led to recalls for both Hyundai and Ford within the past month.

The Defect

All inflators in the Sorentos’ side curtain air bags come with a top hat diffuser, but in some of these vehicles – i.e. those in the recall – the manufacturing process saw the company install improperly formed diffusers. As such, when a crash that would deploy the side curtain airbags takes place, the diffuser can detach from the inflator and enter the occupant compartment, increasing risk of injury.

Unfortunately for owners, there is no way for them to determine whether this risk will apply to their vehicles unless they receive the recall notices.

Timeline of Events

On Nov. 18, a supplier of the diffusers identified and contained the potentially defective diffusers and began using only correct parts in side curtain airbag assemblies going forward.

Nine days later, on Nov. 27, the supplier informed Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia of the potential issue with the improperly formed diffusers. The following day, KMMG stopped release of 2018 Sorentos that had potentially been equipped with the side curtain airbag assemblies with defective diffusers and notified Kia Motors Corporation of the issue.

Then on Dec. 1, Kia Motors made the decision to recall the 2,000-plus affected vehicles, despite the fact that there were no reported accidents or injuries for the affected vehicles.

The Solution

All owners of the affected vehicles received notification of the recall via the mail, with instructions to bring their Sorentos to a local Kia dealer. There, the dealers will replace both the driver and passenger side curtain airbags with new and improved models that have proper diffusers. These repairs will be made free of charge, and Kia will also reimburse any drivers who incurred out-of-pocket repair costs for this issue previous to the recall being announced.

Dealers first learned of the recall on Dec. 11, while owners of the affected vehicles got their notifications on Dec. 13.

adminKia Recalling Sorentos over Air Bag Inflators

Kia Recalling Fortes For Brake Pad Stopper Issue

 

Irvine, California – Dec. 22, 2017 – Kia Motors America recently announced that it would need to recall more than 134,000 of its Forte sedans and Forte Koups from model years 2012 to 2014, due to concerns about brake pedal stopper pads, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Specifically, the stopper pads – which are installed between the switch that lights up a vehicle’s brake lights and the brake pedal arm itself – can deteriorate over time and potentially lead to a greater risk for crash and injury. That’s because the brake lights may get stuck in the on position, among other potentially serious issues.

Of all the vehicles in the recall, which were produced from May 2, 2012, to Feb. 28, 2014, only about 1 percent of them are expected to have this issue. The affected cars were determined through a review of vehicle production records.

The Defect

The brake pad stoppers that can deteriorate in these cases may not only lead to brake lights becoming stuck on – potentially increasing the risk of crash for trailing traffic specifically – but can also result in the dashboard traction control warning lamp lighting up unexpectedly. Furthermore, the problem may allow drivers to move the shift level without actually pressing down on the brake pedal, or even activate the vehicle’s brake pedal override feature.

The only way drivers may be able to determine if this issue has affected their vehicles during operation is if the traction control warning lamp comes on.

Timeline of Events

From July to October, 2017, Kia began to receive warranty claim data about the brake pedal stopper pads on various Fortes, and noted that the rate of such filings was increasing over time. From Nov. 3 to 16, the company contacted its supplier to investigate the issue, and during that time the supplier identified a change to its polymer mix cycle times for those stoppers made on Feb. 28, 2014. That investigation found that pads with shorter cycle times would likely have less durability.

As such, on Nov. 24, Kia decided to issue the safety recall based on 183 warranty claims and two complaints from owners of their brake lights staying on even after they took pressure off the brakes in their vehicles from the 2014 model year. However, no accidents or injuries were reported during this time.

The Solution

Drivers will be able to bring affected vehicles to their local Kia dealers, where improved replacement brake pedal stopper pads will be installed free of charge. Kia will also reimburse owners for expenses they incurred stemming from this issue prior to the recall.

The company will notify dealerships of the recall on Jan. 24, 2018, and owners will receive notifications six days later.

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