Irvine, CA – March 19, 2021 – Kia (OTCMKTS:KIMTF) has recalled 379,931 cars whose engines may catch fire due to an electrical issue. The recall includes the following mid-size cars and compact SUVs:
- 2017 Kia Cadenza
- 2018 Kia Cadenza
- 2019 Kia Cadenza
- 2017 Kia Sportage
- 2018 Kia Sportage
- 2019 Kia Sportage
- 2020 Kia Sportage
- 2021 Kia Sportage
The 2020 Kia Cadenza and 2021 Kia Cadenza are not included in the recall. The affected part is the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU), which is part of the anti-lock brakes’ system (ABS). The part numbers are 58920-D9100 and 58920-F6210 for Sportage and Cadenza, respectively.
The recall stems from an electrical issue in the HECU, a component of the anti-lock braking system, which ensures that the car maintains contact with the road and prevents the wheels from locking, as reported.
A short in the wiring of the HECU may spark a fire in the engine compartment. The recall has been issued for cars sold in the United States and South Korea, where Kia is based. Kia said in recall documents that they did not know what was causing the short-circuit in the HECU.
Ongoing fire issues
Shorting in the ABS system seem to be an ongoing issue for this manufacturer.
In the past five years, Kia and its parent company, Hyundai, have recalled over 2.5 million cars due to fire risks arising from ABS problems. Kia is also subject to an ongoing investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) looking into the frequency of vehicle fires in Optima, Sorento, and Soul vehicles.
The driver may be alerted to this issue if he or she notices the illumination of “tire pressure,” ABS or the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) warning lights. The latter is also known as the “check engine” light.
Additionally, the driver may smell “burning [or] melting odor” and see “smoke from [the] engine compartment,” according to the manufacturer.
Kia has advised that owners should park their recalled cars outdoors and away from structures until they have their cars repaired.
Read more about the dangers of vehicle fires and what to do if one occurs in this article about a recent Kia Stinger recall.
Kia dealers will replace certain fuses in the car’s electronics to prevent the HECU from short-circuiting. Certain vehicles will also receive a software update. Both repairs will be conducted free of charge.
Owner notifications with more detailed instructions will be sent out on April 30.
Is your vehicle part of this recall?
Nearly 380,000 vehicles are included in this Kia vehicle recall. Want to check for Kia recalls? Use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.