Hyundai and Kia have recalled about 90,000 cars in the United States. They warn owners to park their vehicles outside and away other vehicles and structures because they may catch fire.
This recall is the latest of many recalls related to fires that have been issued for Hyundai and Kia cars in the last few years.
The recall affects several models and is caused by a problem with the electronics of a transmission oil pumps, which are part of the 'Idle, Stop, and Go' systems. The system stops the engine when the vehicle reaches a complete stop and restarts it as soon as the driver releases the brake pedal. This feature is common to many of the newer models made by different automakers. In the Hyundais and Kias that were recalled, some electronic components could overheat and cause damage, increasing the risk of "localized melting" and fire.
Hyundai has at least four 'thermal events' in relation to this problem, but there have been no crashes or confirmed injuries. Kia has six instances of "localized melting" but no accidents, injuries, or deaths have been reported.
The National Highway Traffic Administration has posted documents on its auto safety web site that advise drivers to be alert for warning lights and other signs of possible problems. According to documents posted on the National Highway Traffic Administration auto safety website, drivers should also be alert for burning or melting smells and smoke from beneath the vehicle.
New models involved
Hyundai models affected by the recall include 2023 Hyundai Sonatas Tucsons Konas Elantras 2023 Hyundai Palisades 2023 and 2024 Palisades. In the United States, there are more than 52,000 Hyundais involved in this recall. An additional 11,000 Hyundais were recalled in Canada.
Kia has recalled an additional 40,000 cars in the US. Kia is recalling vehicles from 2023, including Kia Souls and Sportages as well as 2023 and 2020 Kia Seltos.
Companies will start notifying their owners of the recall in late September. Owners are advised to bring their cars to a dealer to have the oil pumps replaced at no cost, if needed.
In the same way, last year, nearly 500,000 Kias and Hyundais were warned to park away from buildings because there was a fire risk. The problem was with the anti-lock brake controls. In 2022, Hyundai and Kia recalled 250,000 cars, warning drivers that a problem with the wiring of the trailer hitch could cause a fire. Owners of 380,000 vehicles from Kia were warned to park their cars outside in a recall of 2021 because of the risk of fire caused by electronic circuits underneath the hood. Kia recalled 295,00 vehicles in 2020 because fuel leaks could cause them to catch fire. Hyundai also recalled electric vehicles in 2021 due to a defect with the lithium-ion battery that could cause the vehicle to start spontaneously burning, even while it was parked.
Hyundai Motor Group in South Korea owns both Kia and Hyundai, which are separate companies operating in the United States. However, their vehicles have many common components.
The theft rate of older models of both companies has also increased dramatically, mainly because they lacked anti-theft technologies. Both Hyundai and Kia are taking steps to equip these models with anti-theft software and hardware.