Korean auto giants Hyundai and Kia have been forced to order the humiliating recall of 3.37 million vehicles in the United States because of the risk of engine fires.
Owners have been told to park their vehicles outside and away from structures until repairs are done after it emerged brake fluid leaks can cause a short that could lead to a blaze.
Hyundai said it has reports of 21 fires and 21 other thermal incidents since 2017 related to the recall, while Kia has reports of at least 10 confirmed fires and melting incidents.
Kia America’s recall covers 1.73 million Borrego, Cadenza, Forte, Sportage, K900, Optima, Soul Rio, Sorento, and Rondo vehicles. The recall covers various model years for each vehicle from 2010 through 2017, according to a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) in the vehicles may experience an electrical short as a result of brake fluid leaks, which can result in an engine compartment fire while parked or driving, the automaker said.
Hyundai is recalling 1.64 million Elantra, Genesis Coupe, Sonata Hybrid, Accent, Azera, Veloster, Santa Fe, Equus, Veracruz, Tucson, Tucson Fuel Cell, and Santa Fe Sport vehicles from model years covering 2011 through 2015.
The Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) module may leak brake fluid internally and cause an electrical short, which can result in an engine compartment fire while parked or driving, the carmaker said in the filing.
Dealers will replace the HECU and ABS fuses as necessary, the automakers said. Owners are expected to be notified of the recalls in November.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara