Hyundai and Kia have issued a recall on 484,577 vehicles produced between 2014 and 2018 for a fire risk. Alarmingly, there is a possibility of a fire even if the vehicle is parked and not running.
The risk is such that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a special consumer alert to warn the owners of some model year 2014-2016 Kia Sportage, 2016-2018 Kia K900, and 2016-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe vehicles to park their vehicles outside and away from other vehicles or structures.
The root of the issue seems to be the ABS modules, in which an electrical short can develop increasing the risk of an engine compartment fire while parked or driving. Hyundai is still actively investigating the issue to determine the specific root cause of the malfunction.
Owners are told that they can still drive their vehicles, though they shouldn’t park them inside. If the issue presents itself when the owner is in the car, they may see smoke come from the engine compartment, smell burning and melting, and may see the MIL and/or ABS light illuminate on the dash.
As soon as Hyundai and Kia can, they will contact owners by first-class mail asking them to bring their vehicle to the dealership for inspection. The automakers will then investigate the vehicles to see if their ABS modules are problematic and will replace them with new parts if necessary. The automakers will reimburse any owners who had to repair their vehicles themselves.
Unfortunately, the companies don’t expect to be able to inform owners until April 5, 2022.