Hyundai Tucson recall expanded due to risk of engine fire

Fountain Valley, CA – January 26, 2021 – Hyundai Motor Company (NASDAQ:HYMTF) expanded its September 4, 2020 recall of certain Tucson vehicles, due to an issue with the anti-lock brake system. The recall, which totals 652,024 vehicles, now includes 2016-2018 Tucson SUVs. The original recall involved Hyundai Tucson 2019 and Hyundai Tucson 2020, as well as the 2021 model year for the same car.

Recall summary  

The issue does not directly affect the brakes in the Tucson Instead, it concerns a hydraulic electronic control unit (HECU), which is a component of the anti-lock brake system. A defective circuit board inside the unit may corrode and cause an electrical short. This may result in an engine compartment fire.

For warning signs related to this issue, please see the article describing the original recall.

Engine fire lawsuit and previous recalls

The 2019 Hyundai Tucson equipped with Theta II gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines was among 2.3 million vehicles that were subject to a 2018 class action lawsuit that claimed that these vehicles were at a higher risk of engine fire and stalling, among other issues. The lawsuit was settled in 2019 with Hyundai and Kia – which used the engines supplied by Hyundai- agreeing to a host of remedies, including cash compensation, free inspection and reimbursement, according to a press release.

Both manufacturers subsequently announced several recalls of other cars – some equipped with Theta II engines – also due to the increased risk of fire. Both the recent Kia Optima and Sorento, as well as Hyundai Santa Fe Sport recalls were linked to brake fluid leaking into the HECU causing an electrical short and potentially, a fire. The third recall – conducted by Kia – did not have definitive reasons behind it.


For risks related to this recall, see our previous coverage about this Hyundai Tucson recall here.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will add a fuse kit to the ABS module. Model year 2019-2021 Tucsons will also require an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) software update.

The latest leg of this recall starts on February 19 and the owners will be notified when the repair is available. Until repairs have been completed,  owners are urged to  park vehicles outside and away from structures. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 652,000 vehicles are included in this Hyundai recall. To see if your vehicle is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydHyundai Tucson recall expanded due to risk of engine fire

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