Some Hyundai and Kia owners fear for their safety as the company continues a years-long recall rollout for vehicles prone to catch fire. The manufacturers will recall 651,000 Hyundai Tucson SUVs and Kia Stinger sedans for model years 2016 through 2021. Now consumer advocates warn owners that these vehicles should not be parked in a garage until they are repaired.
The Hyundai issues piggyback on a September 2020 recall for antilock braking systems (ABS), which can lead to fires. The two manufacturers (Hyundai is the parent company) share parts and supplies and have issued a total of more than 2.5 million vehicles recalled due to fire risk.
According to a Hyundai spokesperson, the new recall in 2021 is different from the 2020 recall. The automakers confirmed that there had been 12 Tucson engine compartment fires, one crash, but no injuries due to the ABS issue. Kia claims that there have been six fires related to this issue, but none led to crashes or injury.
The current investigation and recall are based on 3,000-plus reports of non-collision fires and a petition by the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Past fire risks
The cause of previous fires involving Hyundai and Kia vehicles involved:
- Brake fluid leaks
- Fuel leaks
- Faulty oil pans
- Oil leaks
The Hyundai also had previously had a different problem related to its ABS sensor.
What to do
If the ABS warning light on the dashboard illuminates, drivers should:
- Not drive the vehicle
- Not park the vehicle in an enclosed area
- Notify the local Hyundai dealer
- Disconnect the vehicle battery
- Request a loaner vehicle if necessary
Issue is ongoing
This latest recall is not likely to be the last. Hyundai and Kia owners should check to make sure that their vehicle is safe and not recalled. Moreover, they may wish to sign up for alerts from the NHTSA regarding their model. Despite the manufacturers acknowledging the potential for fire, owners may still need to take legal action.