Toronto, Ontario – In a safety release issued Wednesday by U.S. safety regulators, automakers Hyundai and Kia have recalled nearly 3.4 million vehicles due to a fire risk.
Hyundai and Kia are urging drivers with affected vehicles to park outside and away from other vehicles and potentially flammable structures due to the risk of engine compartment fires.
The recall covers multiple car and SUV models from 2010 to 2019 including Hyundai’s Santa Fe SUV and Kia’s Sorrento SUV.
U.S safety regulators say the cause of the issue is that the anti-lock brake control module can leak fluid and cause an electrical short which can start a fire when an affected vehicle is being driven or even after it has been parked.
Specifically, Hyundai issued a statement on Wednesday saying that an O-ring in the anti-lock brake motor shaft can lose sealing strength over time due to moisture, dirt and dissolved metals in the brake fluid and this is the cause of the leaks.
At this current point in time, Hyundai has reported 21 fires in the affected vehicles in the U.S and another 22 “thermal incidents” such as smoking, burning and melting of parts; Kia has reported 10 fires and melting incidents.
Hyundai said in a statement that owners can continue to drive the vehicles and that no crashes or injuries have been reported. The automaker said it was doing the recall to ensure safety of its customers.
Dealers will replace the anti-lock brake fuse at no cost to owners. Kia says in documents that it will send notification letters to owners starting Nov. 14. For Hyundai the date is Nov. 21.
Affected Kia models include: the 2010 through 2019 Borrego, the 2014 to 2016 Cadenza, 2010 through 2013 Forte, Forte Koup and Sportage, the 2015 to 2018 K900, the 2011 to 2015 Optima, the 2011 to 2013 Optima Hybrid and Soul, the 2012 to 2017 Rio, the 2011 to 2014 Sorento, and the 2010 to 2011 Rondo.
Affected Hyundai models include: the 2011 to 2015 Elantra, Genesis Coupe, and Sonata Hybrid, the 2012 to 2015 Accent, Azera, and Veloster, the 2013 to 2015 Elantra Coupe and Santa Fe, the 2014 to 2015 Equus, the 2010 to 2012 Veracruz, the 2010 to 2013 Tucson, the 2015 Tucson Fuel Cell, and the 2013 Santa Fe Sport.
At this moment, Transportation Canada has not issued a similar safety release, but owners of affected vehicles are encouraged to stay up to date on future updates from the automakers.