New Delhi: Hyundai and Kia, two of the most popular Korean car brands, have announced a massive recall of their vehicles in the US and Canada due to a fire risk caused by a faulty anti-lock brake system. The recall affects nearly 3.4 million vehicles, including Hyundai’s Santa Fe and Kia’s Sorento SUVs, manufactured between 2010 and 2019. The companies have advised their customers to park their vehicles away from their homes and other structures until the problem is fixed.
According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the anti-lock brake system in these vehicles can leak brake fluid, which can cause an electrical short circuit and ignite a fire in the engine compartment. The fire can occur while the vehicle is in motion or parked. The NHTSA has received reports of 21 fires and 22 smoke incidents in Hyundai vehicles, and 10 fires and six smoke incidents in Kia vehicles, related to this issue. However, no injuries or fatalities have been reported so far.
Hyundai and Kia will start notifying the owners of the affected vehicles on November 14 and November 21, respectively. The owners will be asked to bring their vehicles to the nearest authorized dealerships, where the anti-lock brake system fuse will be replaced free of charge. The replacement will prevent the brake fluid from leaking and reduce the fire risk. The companies have also said that they will reimburse the owners who have already paid for the repair.
The recall is one of the largest and latest in a series of recalls by Hyundai and Kia over fire-related issues. In August, the companies recalled about 92,000 vehicles in the US and Canada for a potential oil pump defect that could cause overheating and fire. In March, they recalled over 570,000 vehicles in the US for a possible fuel hose leak that could also result in fire. The companies have faced several lawsuits and investigations from regulators and consumers over their handling of the fire problems.
The affected models in the current recall are as follows:
- Hyundai: Accent (2012-15), Azera (2012-15), Elantra (2011-15), Elantra Coupe (2013-15), Equus (2014-15), Genesis Coupe (2011-15), Santa Fe (2013-15), Santa Fe Sport (2013), Sonata HEV (2011-15), Tucson (2010-13), Tucson Fuel Cell (2015), Veloster (2012-15) and Veracruz (2010-12).
- Kia: Cadenza (2014-16), Forte/Forte Koup (2011-13), K900 (2015-17), Optima (2010-15), Optima Hybrid (2011-13), Rio (2011-17), Rondo (2010), Sorento (2011-14), Soul (2011-13) and Sportage (2010-13).