Owners of about 3.3 million Hyundai and Kia cars and SUVs in the United States should avoid parking in or near structures because the vehicles could suddenly catch fire – whether they’re being driven or not, according to an announcement Wednesday from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The recall is just the latest in a long and frequent series of fire-related recalls of Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the past few years for a variety of reasons.
The vehicles adressed in this particular recall could develop an internal fluid leak in the anti-lock brake module. This could result in a short circuit leading to overheating and, possibly, a fire, according to the NHTSA.
Hyundai and Kia plan to notify owners of the affected vehicles requesting they bring their vehicle to a dealership to have a fuse in the module replaced. Owners should watch out for burning or melting smells, visible smoke or warning lights in the gauge cluster, Kia said in a separate announcement.
The recall covers 1.64 million Hyundai models including 2012 through 2015 Hyundai Accents, 2011 through 2015 Elantras and 2011-2015 Genesis coupes. Many other models from the 2010 through 2017 model years are also included.
It is still safe to drive the vehicles, though, a Hyundai spokesperson said.
About 1.73 million Kia vehicles are also involved in the recall including 2011 through 2014 Sorentos and 2011 to 2013 Souls among a number of other models.
Hyundai and Kia are both part of the Hyundai Motor Group and their vehicles frequently share engineering. Neither automaker is aware of any injuries or deaths resulting from this problem, but both know of various instances of fires and overheating resulting in melting components, according to the NHTSA announcement.
Kia and Hyundai owners are being advised to check NHTSA’s website to see if their specific vehicle is involved in this, or any, recalls.
Last August, owners of 90,000 Kia and Hyundai models were similarly warned to park away from structures because of possible fires caused by the automatic engine start-stop system.
In 2022, owners of 500,000 Kia and Hyundai vehicles were also warned to park outside because a problem with anti-lock brake control electronics. Hyundai and Kia also recalled over 250,000 vehicles that year, again warning drivers to park outside, because of the potential for fire from a trailer hitch wiring issue.
In a 2021 recall, owners of 380,000 Kia vehicles were also warned to park outside because there was a risk of fire from electronic circuits under the hood. In 2020, Kia recalled 295,000 vehicles because they could catch fire while driving because of fuel leaks. Hyundai also recalled 82,000 electric vehicles in in 2021 because a defect in the lithium-ion batteries could cause them to spontaneously start burning even when the vehicles were parked.