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A Large Recall Is Targeting 500,000 Hyundai, Kia Models Over Fire Risk

2016 Hyundai Santa Fe | Photo: Hyundai
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Daniel Rufiange
The Korean automakers continue to struggle with fire-related issues

In the late 2010s, Hyundai and Kia issued a number of recalls in response to fire risks in their vehicles. Seems like it’s more of the same as we advance into the 2020s for the two Korean automakers, part of the Hyundai Auto Group.

The two companies have announced a large-scale recall of close to half a million vehicles, again over fire risks. The announcement comes with a warning, as owners are being asked to park their vehicles outside, away from other vehicles and structures, until they are repaired.

A big reason for that warning is that the vehicles identified in the recall can catch fire even if the engine is turned off.

The recall affects certain 2014-2016 Kia Sportage SUVs and certain 2016-2019 Kia K900 sedans. Also impacted are 2016-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2017-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL and 2014-2015 Hyundai Tucson models.

In total, we’re talking about 126,747 Kia and 357,830 Hyundai vehicles, for a total of 484,588 units.

Update: In Canada, a total of 67,355 Hyundai vehicles are affected; Kia Canada says that 17 K900 models (2016-2018) and 13,554 Sportage SUVs (2014-2016) are included in Canada., 100% online, shop for your next car, buy online and get it delivered to you anywhere in Quebec!

2014 Kia Sportage
2014 Kia Sportage | Photo: Kia

Hyundai models falling under the scope of the recall may suffer from an anti-lock brake system malfunction. This could cause a short circuit, potentially resulting in a fire. Over at Kia, there’s talk of a similar problem with the hydraulic electronic control unit (HECU) that could cause a short circuit and a fire.

This new recall campaign comes on top of earlier recalls issued to address similar problems. The recurring problems are frequent and serious enough that U.S. federal authorities are closely monitoring the situation at both Hyundai and Kia. In December, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the equivalent of Transport Canada, opened an "engineering analysis" targeting both manufacturers to investigate their recall efforts. The analysis covered approximately three million vehicles.

Hyundai and Kia will notify owners by mail to contact their respective dealerships to schedule a visit. At no cost, Kia dealers will install a new fuse for the HECU circuit board, while Hyundai technicians will also install a new fuse and inspect and replace the ABS module, if necessary.

Kia will begin sending out notification letters on March 31. Hyundai will do the same beginning on April 5.

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