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Hyundai and Kia Recall 570,000 Vehicles for Fire Risk

Hyundai Santa Cruz | Photo: D.Boshouwers
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Daniel Rufiange
Owners are being asked to park their vehicles outside until the problem is fixed.

•    Hyundai and Kia are recalling 570,000 vehicles for a fire risk.

•    The affected models are the Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Cruz, and the Kia Carnival.

•    The problem is related to a defect related to the tow hitch.

Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia are recalling just over 570,000 vehicles due to a fire risk. Owners of the affected vehicles are being urged to park them away from structures until a fix is implemented. 

The affected models are the 2019-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2022-2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz and 2022-2023 Kia Carnival minivan. 

Kia Carnival
Kia Carnival | Photo: D.Boshouwers

The fire hazard is related to a defect in the factory-installed or dealer-purchased accessory tow hitch. The risk is due to the accumulation of water on the tow hitch harness’ circuit board, which can cause an electrical short and possibly a fire. 

Hyundai says 567,912 units are affected, although the company believes only 1 percent of recalled models have the defect. Documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the equivalent of Transport Canada, indicate that Kia has identified 3,555 potentially affected models, with the issue also affecting 1 percent of those. 

According to the NHTSA, Hyundai has identified six incidents related to the recall, with one report of fire and five reports of isolated thermal damage to the trailer beam. Nothing was reported at Kia for the Carnival van. Neither manufacturer has reported any injuries related to the recall.

Hyundai plans to inspect the affected vehicles and remove the trailer hitch harness, if necessary, while working on a long-term solution. When the final fix is available, dealers will install a new fuse and cable extension kit. Kia documents outline a plan to verify the vehicle is equipped with an original Kia accessory tow hitch, and to install a new fuse and cable extension kit, if necessary.

Letters will be sent to affected owners in May 2023.

Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe | Photo: Hyundai Santa Fe
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists