Kia and Hyundai recall 3.4 million cars that may burst into flames while parked

Irvine, CA – October 7, 2023 – Hyundai (OTCMKTS:HYMTF) and its sister company, Kia (OTCMKTS:KIMTF) are recalling approximately 3.4 million vehicles that may catch fire while driving or parked and turned off. This dramatically ups the risk of a crash and injury.

The recalls follow on the back of multiple fires, “melting incidents” and lawsuits dating back to 2017. Some of the cars involved are also subject to an ongoing US government investigation and have already been subject to fire-related recalls in the past. 

Hyundai’s recall affects 1.73 million cars, including the following models: 

  • 2012 – 2015 Hyundai Accent
  • 2012 – 2015 Hyundai Azera 
  • 2011 – 2015 Hyundai Elantra 
  • 2013 – 2015 Hyundai Elantra Coupe
  • 2014 – 2015 Hyundai Equus 
  • 2011 – 2015 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 
  • 2013 – 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • 2011 – 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
  • 2010 – 2013 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2012 – 2015 Hyundai Veloster
  • 2010 – 2012 Hyundai Veracruz 
  • 2013 Santa Fe Sport
  • 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell 

Kia’s recall affects 1.64 million vehicles, including the following models: 

  • 2010 – 2019 Kia Borrego 
  • 2014 – 2016 Kia Cadenza
  • 2010 – 2013 Kia Forte
  • 2010 – 2013 Kia Forte Koup
  • 2015 – 2018 Kia K900
  • 2011 – 2015 Kia Optima
  • 2011 – 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2012 – 2017 Kia Rio
  • 2010 – 2011 Kia Rondo
  • 2011 – 2014 Kia Sorento
  • 2011 – 2013 Kia Soul
  • 2010 – 2013 Kia Sportage 

Recall summary

All listed vehicles are equipped with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), which prevents the wheels from locking up in slippery conditions. This is done by the ABS module – or Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU), as Kia calls it –  which adjusts the brake force to each wheel. 

In affected vehicles, the ABS module may experience an “electrical short” which may cause it to catch fire. This may happen while driving or when the car is parked and its engine shut off. 

Recall risks

You can find out more about fire-related risks in this article about a November 2022 Kia recall over the same issue.

A 2020 class action lawsuit filed against the manufacturers for ABS fires related to previous recalls describes hair-raising situations involving “the entire garage” catching fire due to an Elantra vehicle combusting into flames and vehicles bursting into flames “after being turned off for hours.”

Warning signs 

The malfunction indicator or the ABS light may come on the dashboard in the event of a fire. The occupants of the car may also notice smoke or a burning smell.

Safety tips

If your car catches fire, please follow the safety tips laid out in this article about a related GM recall

The manufacturer recommends parking the vehicle “outside and away from structures” until the repair has been conducted.

Background of the recalls

The recalls come on the heels of at least six lawsuits, 66 fires and “melting” incidents dating back to 2017. No injuries, fatalities or crashes have been reported.

Some of the affected vehicles are subject to an ongoing U.S. government investigation that has been looking into the adequacy of fire-related recalls Kia and Hyundai have conducted so far, as well as the need to recall more vehicles. It is not clear, however, if the present recalls are directly related to this investigation.

The recalls do appear to involve previously recalled vehicles or serve as expansions of recalls conducted for ABS fires in the past.

The repair

Both Kia and Hyundai dealers will remedy the defect by replacing the ABS fuse with one that has a lower amperage rating.

It is possible that your vehicle will need this remedy performed even if it was repaired under a previous fire-related recall.

All repairs will be conducted free of charge.

Kia will notify the owners between November 14, 2023 and November 23, 2023, while Hyundai will do the same on November 21, 2023. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

This large-scale Hyundai and Kia fire recall affects almost 3.5 million vehicles. To do a Hyundai or Kia recall check and see if yours is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool

Bojan PopicKia and Hyundai recall 3.4 million cars that may burst into flames while parked

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