Hyundai and Kia, two major US automakers, have warned that up to 90 thousand cars and SUVs may catch fire. For safety, car owners must park outside, away from buildings and other vehicles.
Companies have had to cope with many fire-related recalls in recent years. The gearbox oil pump electronics, specifically the car’s “Idle Stop and Go” function, are the problem. This device immediately cuts off the engine when the vehicle stops. Drivers must press the brake pedal to restart the engine. However, some electrical parts in the affected Hyundai and Kia vehicles can overheat and cause damage and localized melting and fire. This problem affects only a few brand instances.
Hyundai has reported at least four “thermal incidents” related to this issue, while Kia has recorded six “localized melting.” Fortunately, no related accidents, injuries, or deaths have occurred.
Drivers should watch for dashboard warning lights, smoke from under the car, and the smell of burning or melting.
The recall affects the 2023 Elantra, Sonata, Tucson, Kona, and Kia Palisades. 52,000 US and 11,000 Canadian automobiles are recalled. 40,000 Kia automobiles are recalled. These cars include the 2023 and 2024 Kia Soul, Sportage, and Seltos.
Both firms will send owners letters in late September regarding the recall, asking them to bring their cars to a supplier for free oil pump repairs.
Hyundai and Kia have recalled automobiles for fire risks before. In 2017, almost half a million car owners were warned to park far from buildings because their anti-lock braking control electronics might start fires. In 2022, both automakers recalled over 250,000 vehicles due to trailer hitch wiring issues and advised customers to park outdoors. Electrical connections beneath the hood could cause fires; therefore, 380,000 Kia owners were advised to park outdoors in 2021. Because gasoline leaks could start fires while driving, Kia recalled 295,000 automobiles in 2020. In 2021, Hyundai recalled 82,000 electric cars due to lithium-ion battery issues that could cause fires even while the vehicles were stopped. This prompted a callback.
South Korean Hyundai Motor Group owns Hyundai and Kia. Hyundai and Kia, two US businesses, exchange parts. Both businesses’ car thefts have increased, especially with their older models without anti-theft systems. To remedy this, they’ve been adding anti-theft hardware and software to these models.