Kia recalls Cadenza and Sportage over engine fire risk

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.

Recall summary  

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.

Warning signs

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.

Safety tips

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.

The repair

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.

Rebecca RandKia recalls Cadenza and Sportage over engine fire risk

Kia Motors recalls nearly 300,000 cars over engine fire risk

Irvine, CA – December 15, 2020 – Kia Motors (KIMTF:OTC US) is recalling 294,756 vehicles whose engines may catch on fire. The recall includes the following: 

  • 2012-2015 Kia Forte compact sedans equipped with 
    • 2.0L Nu Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines  
    • 2.4L Theta II Multi-Port Injection (MPI) engines
  • 2012-2015 Kia Forte Koup cars equipped with 
    • 2.0L Nu GDI engines 
    • 2.4L Theta II MPI engines
  • 2011-2013 Kia Optima Hybrid cars equipped with 
    • 2.4L Theta II MPI engines
  • 2012-2013 Kia Sorento SUVs equipped with 
    • 2.4L Theta II MPI engines
  • 2014-2015 Kia Soul hatchbacks equipped with
    • 2.0L Nu GDI engines
  • 2012 Kia Sportage compact SUVs equipped with
    • 2.4L Theta II MPI engines

Recall summary

The recall stems from a risk that the engines could catch fire while driving.  Neither Kia nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have found a definite cause for the high rates of engine fire in these models. Kia said that the recall was a “preventative measure” that would attempt to address any existing fuel leaks, oil leaks or engine damage to mitigate fire risks.

Background of the recall

This recall was prompted by a June 2018 petition by the Center For Auto Safety, a consumer watchdog group that pushed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to investigate the high rate of engine fires in certain Kia vehicles. While they have not yet determined the cause of the fires, NHTSA has recommended this recall based on the fire complaint data they got from Kia. 

As a result of the same investigation, Hyundai is set to recall close to 130,000 cars, including  2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs, 2011-2013 and 2016 Hyundai Sonata hybrids and 2015-2016 Hyundai Veloster hatchbacks. The recall is being conducted also due to the risk of a fire, as well as that of stalling while driving.

This is the second 2013 Kia Sorento recall related to engine fires. Fires also led to 2011-2012 Kia Sportage and 2013 Kia Optima recalls, according to NHTSA records.

Vehicle fires

Car fires are very dangerous. Please see the following article for tips on what to do if your vehicle catches fire.

Engine noise, the check engine light, the low oil light, fuel smell, burning smell, oil leaking, and smoke may indicate an active or potential fire in the recalled vehicles. 


This Kia Motors recall is slated to begin January 27, 2021. Kia will notify owners by mail, and dealers will inspect the engine compartment and perform an engine test. If they discover any problems, the dealer will repair them for free. This includes a replacement engine, if necessary. 

Kia is also working on a free software update designed to prevent engine damage, which dealers will install when available.  

Owners who have already repaired this defect on their own dime may be eligible for reimbursement.

Is your vehicle affected by this recall?

Nearly 300,000 cars are included with this Kia motors recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandKia Motors recalls nearly 300,000 cars over engine fire risk

Car Fires! Know This:

Heads up Kia and Hyundai Owners

Make: Kia and Hyundai –  2011-2014 Kia Sorento, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, and Hyundai Santa Fe, and 2010-2015 Kia Soul vehicles

Overview: About 400 complaints of engine fires, engine failures (with and without fires), melted wires. Some cars recalled in 2015, 2017 – others not yet recalled pending a government investigation.

Threat: Cars suddenly catching fire without warning or external trigger, like car crashes. Some crash-related fires as well. Some cars that have been repaired catch fire anyway.

Of Course: It’s free to get a recalled car repaired, but only some fire risk cars have been recalled. Many cars in question have *not* been recalled. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating nearly two million cars and may decide more recall solutions are in order. Car safety advocated group, the Center for Auto Safety, is demanding recalls now of three million cross-over models and sedans.

Right Now:  Check’s recall checker  to learn whether your car is under recall. Other makes are recalled for fire risk. Check you car now!

If you smell smoke, melting wires, experience engine failure or see fire —

  • Calmly pull over to the right side of the road. If you’re all the way left, pull off to the left
  • Turn off your car and carefully step out and away
  • Do not stand near your car. You don’t want to be close to a potential fire, of course. And what you may not realize is it’s dangerous on the shoulder where looky-loos often veer toward the direction in which they’re looking – at you on the shoulder! Seriously, people get killed standing on the shoulder all the time. Get away from the car and traffic!
  • Call 911
  • *And if you are driving a Kia or Hyundai and experience engine failure, a fire could follow. Get over, out and away.







Sandra ThomasCar Fires! Know This: