Hyundai and Kia motors recently issued a recall of 280,000 vehicles and are ae advising the owners of certain models to park their cars outside and away from structures because they may burst into flames, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this week.
The recall involves the 2020-2022 model years of the Hyundai Palisade SUV and the Kia Telluride SUV. The manufacturers claim that only 1% of the recalled cars have the defect that presents a fire risk. Both models have a faulty tow hitch system that can let in moisture and cause a short circuit, which can ignite a fire.
Documents posted by the NHTSA Tuesday revealed the manufacturers still had not figured out how to repair the defect. Hyundai will offer an interim repair that will remove the fuse from the tow hitch module to eliminate the fire risk.
Earlier this year, Kia issued a recall for 379,931 of its vehicles due to the risk of an electric short-circuit in the engine compartment, which could lead to a fire. The affected vehicles from that recall were the 2017 to 2019 Cadenza sedan and the 2017 to 2021 Sportage. Similarly, Kia recommended at that time that before owners were able to get the affected part replaced, they should park their vehicles outside and away from structures. That defect involved an electric short within the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit.
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 that could result in a fire. And earlier in 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 more than 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.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a fire in a Kia or Hyundai, please contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-222-7211 or toll-free at 1‑800-870-9584.