Fire Risk For 3.3 Million Hyundai, Kia Models Leads To Massive Recall

Hyundai Motor Group has the unfortunate distinction of launching one of the largest automotive recalls this year. 25 models from Hyundai and Kia totaling 3,372,743 vehicles are at risk for fire caused by potential problems with electronic modules. The fire could occur at any time, even when the vehicle is parked and turned off. As such, the automakers advise owners to park outside until the issue can be addressed.

Presently, the recall doesn’t extend beyond 2015 model-year vehicles, save for a few exceptions from Kia. Here’s a complete list of all models from Hyundai and Kia included in the recall:

The specific problem is slightly different, depending on which brand you drive. Both seem to stem from potential brake fluid leaks, though Kia’s investigation is still ongoing regarding a definitive cause. Kia’s issue is with the hydraulic electronic control unit, which has resulted in four fires and six thermal incidents (smoke, smoldering, or melted components) according to recall documents at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Fires at Hyundai have been a bit more problematic. Recall documents list 21 fires and 22 thermal events over the last few years, all apparently caused by brake fluid leaking internally in the anti-lock brake module. This can cause a short circuit in the module. Neither Hyundai nor Kia report any crashes, injuries, or fatalities resulting from these problems.

Of the 25 models included in the recall, the Hyundai Elantra accounts for 777,145 units. The Kia Sorento follows at 397,163, with the Kia Optima at 383,382 rounding out the top three most recalled models.

Hyundai Group advises owners of affected vehicles to park outside until the issue is fixed. The remedy involves replacing fuses in the hydraulic electronic control unit for Kias and the anti-lock brake module for Hyundais. Being a safety recall, Hyundai/Kia dealers will perform the fix free of charge. Owner notification of affected vehicles is expected to begin in November.

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