Automobile

Kia Recalls 308,000 Vehicles for Fire Risk, Tells Owners to Park Outside

  • Kia has issued a recall for 379,931 of its vehicles, including the 2017 to 2019 Cadenza and the 2017 to 2021 Sportage due to the risk of a fire coming from the engine compartment.
  • The fire can result from an electrical short, and before owners bring their vehicles in to dealers to have the part replaced, Kia says the vehicles should be parked outside.
  • Kia, as well as Hyundai, has recalled many other vehicles for fire risk and was recently fined for moving too slowly on recalling certain vehicles.

    Kia has issued a recall for 379,931 of its vehicles, including the 2017 to 2019 Cadenza sedan and the 2017 to 2021 Sportage due to the risk of an electric short-circuit in the engine compartment leading to a fire, according to documents on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. Kia recommends that before owners are able to get the affected part replaced, they should park their vehicles outside and away from structures. Kia Cadenza and Sportage owners can check the NHTSA recalls website to find out if their vehicle is affected.

    The electric short occurs within the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit, but the exact cause of the short is unknown. Owners could see the pressure warning light, ABS warning light, or MIL warning light illuminate on the dashboard before the fire starts, or possibly smell or see smoke. Kia will begin notifying owners of the recall beginning on April 30 and dealers will remedy the recall through replacing fuses in the electrical junction box.

    Kia said that it is unaware of any fires resulting from the electrical short in the affected Cadenzas and Sportages, but the potential for fires has become a common reason Kia and Hyundai vehicles have been recalled. In the fall of last year, Hyundai and Kia recalled 591,000 vehicles for a brake-fluid leak which could result in a fire. And earlier in the 2020, Hyundai recalled 430,000 Elantra sedans for the potential of water entering the ABS module and starting a fire.

    The Associated Press estimates that six million vehicles built by Hyundai and Kia have been recalled for risk of catching fire or engine failure since 2015. Back in 2019, NHTSA launched an investigation into three million Hyundai and Kia vehicles for their risk to catch fire. The vehicles included in the investigation were 2010 to 2015 Hyundai and Kia models with 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines. In addition to recalls, that investigation resulted in Hyundai and Kia being fined $210 million for moving too slowly on recalling certain vehicles.

    Kia denied the allegations that they moved too slowly but agreed to pay the fine and avoid a legal fight, according to the AP.

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