Kia recalls more than 440,000 vehicles over risk of fire

Irvine, CA – June 11, 2021 – Kia (OTCMKTS:KIMTF) is recalling 440,370 cars for a possible brake fluid leak, which may result in a short circuit and  cause a fire. This increases the risk of a crash and injury. The affected component is the hydraulic electronic control unit (HECU), with several part numbers that start with 58920.

The recall supersedes a 2020 recall that encompassed the same model years and is a result of an ongoing investigation that has so far resulted in seven recalls.

 This Kia recall includes the following sedans and SUVs:

  • 2013 Kia Optima
  • 2014 Kia Optima
  • 2015 Kia Optima
  • 2014 Kia Sorento 
  • 2015 Kia Sorento 

Recall summary  

The anti-lock brake system, or ABS, is a safety system that adjusts the braking force to each wheel, to “prevent them from locking up when braking.” This gives the driver better control over the vehicle when having to stop quickly, especially in less-than-ideal road conditions. As a result of a supplier error, brake fluid may leak into the HECU, which is part of the ABS module, and cause the electronic circuitry inside it to short out, which may result in an engine fire. 

The fire may occur “while parked or driving,” according to Kia.

Previous recall

This recall supersedes the previous recall that was conducted in 2020 for the same model years because of an enhanced remedy that was developed by Kia subsequent to the start of the previous recall.  

It is also a result of an ongoing investigation launched in 2019 by auto safety regulator, the National Highway Safety Administration, into “non-collision related fires on model year…2011-2014 Kia Optima and Sorento, and Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe vehicles,” which now also includes the 2011-2015 Kia Soul cars. 

The investigation has so far resulted in seven recalls, including the December for almost 300,000 Kia vehicles that may catch fire.

Warning signs

The driver may be alerted to the electrical short by the malfunction indicator light (MIL) or the ABS warning light.  Other warning signs include a burning smell and smoke coming from underneath the hood. 


A fire that occurs while driving is a serious safety concern with a wide range of potential hazards. Besides increasing the risk of collision and posing a threat to other drivers, it may not be possible to stop and evacuate the vehicle in time, which may result in injury or death. There is also a risk of property damage, as the burning vehicle may damage surrounding structures and vehicles. 

Safety tips

Until the vehicle is repaired, it is important to park it outside, away from other vehicles and structures. This will prevent additional property damage in the event of fire when the vehicle is stationary. 

In case a fire breaks out while driving, the driver and all occupants should follow these steps to get themselves to safety quickly.

Other 2015 Kia Optima recalls

Apart from this recall, the 2015 Kia Optima and 2015 Kia Sorento were among the cars recalled in December 2018 due to fire risk because of a fuel leak. The cars involved in that recall previously received a new engine.

Other 2015 Kia Sorento recalls

Please see above.

The repair

As a part of the repair, dealers will inspect the ABS module and replace it with an updated unit if a brake fluid leak is discovered. As an additional safety measure, dealers will replace the ABS fuse with one that is rated at a lower amperage, which will reduce the risk of fire in case of an electric short. The repair is free and the recall is expected to begin on  July 2.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 440,000 vehicles are included in this Kia Sorento recall. To find out if your Optima or Sorento is a part of it, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicKia recalls more than 440,000 vehicles over risk of fire

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