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Hyundai, Kia Ask US Owners of Recalled Vehicles to Park Outside

Automakers announce separate recalls for 484,000 vehicles, saying Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit modules may malfunction and lead to a fire in these cars’ engine compartments

A Hyundai Motor booth is seen near the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza in Pyeongchang
The Korean automaker's decision is rooted in safety concerns. Photo: Reuters


South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia on Tuesday advised the owners of 484,000 US vehicles to park outside and away from other vehicles because of fire risks until they get new recall repairs completed.

Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia announced separate US recalls because a hydraulic electronic control unit (HECU) module could malfunction and cause an electrical short, which could result in an engine compartment fire.

Dealers will install a new fuse for the circuit board to address the fire risks.

The new recalls cover 2014-2016 Kia Sportage, 2016-2018 Kia K900 and 2016-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe vehicles. Owners should park vehicles outdoors and away from other vehicles or structures, even if vehicles are turned off.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urged owners to follow the automakers advice.

“The manufacturers believe an electrical component in the anti-lock brake system may experience an internal electrical short circuit that could increase the risk of fire both while the vehicle is being driven or parked,” the agency said.

The recalls covers 126,747 Kia vehicles and 357,830 Hyundai vehicles. There are no reports of injuries but 11 total reports of fires, the automakers said.

The Korean automakers have issued and expanded several recalls in recent years for fire risks.

In November, NHTSA issued first-ever reward to a whistleblower, handing out more than $24 million to a former Hyundai employee who reported to NHTSA in 2016 that the carmaker failed to address a design flaw linked to its Theta II engines.

In 2020, Hyundai and Kia’s US units agreed to a record $210 million civil penalty after NHTSA said they failed to recall vehicles for engine issues in a timely fashion.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard





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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.


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