On Thursday, Hyundai Motor (005380. KS) and Kia Motor (000270. KS) said they are recalling more than 91,000 newer vehicles in the United States because of fire risks and urged owners to park outside and away from structures awaiting repairs. The recall covers Hyundai 2023-2024 Palisade, Tucson, Sonata, Elantra, Kona, and Kia Soul, Sportage vehicles. The Korean automakers said electronic controllers for the Idle Stop & Go oil pump assembly may contain damaged circuit boards that could cause the vehicles to overheat, posing a fire risk. The companies are urging owners to contact dealers and have the affected vehicles replaced free of charge.
The problem was discovered during an inspection, the companies said. They have received 11 reports of fires but no injuries from the problem, which they said occurred when the vehicles were being driven. The cars were built between March 1 and September 30, 2017. The companies said they had sent letters to impacted vehicle owners. According to Hyundai and Kia, dealers will replace a fuse to protect the vehicle. The companies are also reimbursing owners who incurred out-of-pocket expenses to fix their cars before the recall was announced.
Both car makers have forged ahead with recalls even though the U.S. government remains partially shut down and many National Highway Traffic Safety Administration staff members are furloughed. The companies are facing pressure from some lawmakers to address the issue of fire-prone vehicles that have led to hundreds of complaints to NHTSA.
The attorneys general of two states, California and Texas, have also joined the recall efforts. They said the ease with which the SUVs can be stolen posed a severe public safety hazard. They wrote to NHTSA that thieves can drive these vehicles recklessly and perform stunts, causing “catastrophic crashes, significant injuries or death.”
In its statement, Hyundai said it continues fully cooperating with the NHTSA investigation of fire-prone vehicles. It added that it will repair the affected vehicles once the appropriate parts are available.
Hyundai and Kia recalled 2.4 million vehicles last year for engine problems that led to fires, adding to a string of fire-related recalls that have plagued the carmakers since 2015.
The latest recalls follow a request from U.S. safety regulators to investigate reports of fires from Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the past year. The automakers have offered to fix the cars to appease regulators and lawmakers. They are now being investigated by the Center for Auto Safety and a congressional committee to see if they have been slow in fixing faulty vehicles. The Center has asked Congress to hold both carmakers accountable for the fires. source: herald diary