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NHTSA Takes Next Step in Investigating Hyundai-Kia Engine Fires

| Photo: D.Boshouwers
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Derek Boshouwers
Some 3 million vehicles could be impacted if the NHTSA decides a large-scale recall is warranted

A new chapter has opened in the saga of the Hyundai Group’s engine-fire problems. U.S. regulatory agency NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has opened what it calls an “engineering analysis” in a bid to get to the bottom of the issues that have caused a number of engine fires in Hyundai and Kia vehicles in recent years. Potentially, the inquiry impacts about 3 million vehicles in all.

The agency says that it is currently aware of 161 incidents involving engine fires.

In NHTSA parlance, an engineering analysis is the step taken before a potential recall, although it is not a given that one leads to the other. The agency could conclude its investigation and decide that no recall is warranted., 100% online, shop for your next car, buy online and get it delivered to you anywhere in Quebec!

The NHTSA first took a look at the engine-fire problem in 2019, when it investigated possible problems with Kia’s 2011-2014 Optima and Sorento models and 2010-2015 Kia Soul SUVs, as well as 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonatas and Santa Fes.

Last year, Hyundai and Kia agreed to pay a $210 million USD civil penalty in connection with the problem after regulators found the automakers had not recalled 1.6 million vehicles quickly enough.

Both companies reiterated this week that they continue to cooperate fully with the NHTSA in the investigation.

Derek Boshouwers
Derek Boshouwers
Automotive expert
  • Over 5 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 50 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 30 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists