Automakers Hyundai and Kia are telling almost 500,000 United States owners to park outside and away from buildings. The reason is a possible defect that may cause the vehicles to spontaneously catch fire even when not running. The problem is due to “foreign contaminants” withing the anti-lock brake computer control module can short circuit and possibly start an engine compartment fire.
The Hyundai recall includes 2016-2018 model year Santa Fe SUVs, 2017-2018 Santa Fe Sport SUVs, 2019 Santa Fe XL models and 2014-2015 Tucson SUVs. The Kia recall includes the 2016-2018 K900 sedans and 2014-2016 Sportage SUVs. In total, Hyundai is recalling 357,830 vehicles while Kia is recalling 126,747. As a result of the recall dealers will inspect the vehicles’ anti-lock braking control module, a small computer system that controls the vehicle’s emergency anti-lock braking system, and may replace it with a new one. Dealers will also replace a fuse that controls the electric current to the anti-lock braking control unit at no cost to owners. The new fuse will reduce the amount of power going into the module.
Hyundai Motor Group, Hyundai’s parent company, owns a controlling interest in Kia, and the two companies share a lot of engineering in their various models. In the United States, however, they operate as two entirely separate companies. Documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that Kia has admitted they are aware of three vehicles that have caught fire. The companies said owners could safely continue driving the vehicles, but they should be parked away from any buildings or structures. Kia owners who suspect their vehicle might be involved can contact a Kia dealer or the company’s customer service department. Owners can also check NHTSA’s auto safety website.
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