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Hyundai Recalls 130,000 2017 Tucson SUVs & Sonata Hybrids Over Fire Risk

2017 Hyundai Tucson |
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Daniel Rufiange
Hyundai is aware of 45 fires related to the issue so far

Hyundai is set to recall just over 130,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada due to a defect at the engine height, a defect that can increase the risk of fire.

The recall involves certain 2017 Tucson compact SUVs, as well as 2017 Sonata Hybrid midsize sedans equipped with 2.0L 4-cylinder engines produced by the automaker's engine plant in Ulsan, South Korea. The information was released in a document submitted by the company to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The recall involves approximately 95,515 units in the United States and 34,607 in Canada.

Here is how Transport Canada describes the problem:

“On certain vehicles equipped with a 2.0 L Nu GDI engine, the connecting rod bearings could wear prematurely. As a result, there could be an abnormal knocking noise from the engine and/or the oil pressure warning light may turn on. If you continue to drive the vehicle with worn connecting rod bearings, the engine could fail. An engine failure would cause a sudden loss of power with an inability to restart. In some cases, a damaged connecting rod could puncture the engine block and cause an oil leak.”

- Transport Canada

As of Sept. 17, Hyundai said it was aware of 45 fires related to the issue in the United States. The automaker is not aware of any accidents, injuries or fatalities due to this problem, according to Hyundai spokesman Michael Stewart., 100% online, shop for your next car, buy online and get it delivered to you anywhere in Quebec!

2017 Hyundai Sonata
2017 Hyundai Sonata | Photo: Hyundai

Dealers and model owners will receive recall notifications beginning Nov. 12.

Dealers will inspect the engines for bearing damage. If damage is found, the engine will be replaced. In addition, dealers will update the engine control module software. This is part of another recall that affects a total of 152,924 models across the country (2014-2016 Elantra, 2014-2019 Elantra GT, 2016-2019 Sonata, 2014-2019 Tucson).

When it comes to fire recalls, this is not Hyundai's first, of course. The last one stemmed from a 2019 NHTSA investigation of nearly 1.3 million Sonata and Santa Fe units from the 2011 to 2014 model years, all due to allegations of fires that occurred without a collision.

For years, Hyundai and its Kia subsidiary have suffered from engine defects, leading to NHTSA investigations and subsequent recalls.

Last November, Hyundai and Kia's U.S. units agreed to pay a record $210 million USD in civil penalties after the NHTSA found that they failed to recall 1.6 million vehicles for engine problems in a timely manner.

Hyundai’s Stewart said Hyundai had adopted “hundreds of modifications and implemented additional manufacturing processes to ensure the quality and integrity” of its engine production.

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