In early March 2021, Kia announced a safety recall over issues in two models that could increase the risk of fire. This announcement follows several other fire-related recalls for Kia and Hyundai vehicles. The brands share a parent company, so their vehicles share many of the same parts and engineering. Here’s what consumers should know about the latest Kia recall campaign.
The New Fire Risk in Kia Vehicles
Under the latest recall, which affects approximately 30,000 Kia Sportage SUVs and Kia Cadenza sedans, the automaker urges consumers to keep their vehicles parked outside and at a distance from any structures until they receive the repair. At the center of the issue lies a faulty hydraulic electronic control unit (HECU) that may short circuit and spark a fire in the engine compartment. Drivers may notice warning lights suddenly illuminating and the scent of burning or smoke.
Another Addition to Current Fire-Risk Recalls
In recent years, Kia and Hyundai have issued many safety recalls over potential fire risks. After more than 3,000 reports of engine fires from concerned customers, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation—which is ongoing—into fire-related safety concerns in Hyundai and Kia models. In addition to the HECU defect, brake fluid leaks, fuel leaks, faulty oil pans, and engine issues have all prompted safety recalls. So far, Kia has yet to comment on whether this new recall is linked to any of the previous recall efforts.
What to Expect From the Current Kia Recall Effort
Those who own or drive a 2017-2021 Kia Sportage SUV or a 2017-2019 Kia Cadenza will receive notification starting in late April 2021. Consumers may take their vehicle to the Kia dealership to receive new electrical junction box fuses to prevent HECU short circuits. Some vehicles may also require a software update to minimize engine fire risk.
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