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Hyundai, Kia recall half a million U.S. cars over fire risk

Hyundai and Kia are recalling nearly half a million vehicles in the U.S. over a fire risk.

The issue is deemed so serious that the automakers are telling affected owners to park their vehicle outside and away from buildings until a repair has been carried out.

The problem centers on a component inside the antilock braking system (ABS) that could short-circuit and cause a fire.

Hyundai, which owns 34% of Kia, has yet to work out the cause.

Affected vehicles

Vehicles in the recall include the 2016-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2017-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL, and 2014-2015 Hyundai Tucson.

Also included are the 2014-2016 Kia Sportage and the 2016-2018 Kia K900 sedan.

Hyundai is recalling a total of 357,830 vehicles while Kia is recalling 126,747.

Warning signs of the issue include an illuminated ABS warning light on the dashboard. More serious signs include a burning or melting smell or smoke coming from the engine compartment.

The automakers will contact owners via mail beginning in March, though concerned owners can also call Hyundai at 855-371-9460 and Kia at 800-333-4542.

The free fix will involve dealers installing new fuses in the vehicles’ ABS modules.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) number for Hyundai’s recall is 22V056, while Hyundai’s own number for the recall is 218. NHTSA’s number for Kia’s recall is 22V051, and its own number is SC227.

You can also input your vehicle’s unique 17-digit identification number on the NHTSA’s website to see if it’s part of Hyundai or Kia’s recall. The online tool is also a useful way for any vehicle owner to check if their automobile is subject to a recall.

Hyundai said it is aware of eight fires linked to these latest recalls, while Kia said it’s aware of three Sportages catching fire. The good news is that no injuries or crashes have been linked to the fault, according to NHTSA documentation seen by Consumer Reports.

This isn’t the first time that Hyundai and Kia have issued recalls over faults that could have led to a fire. In 2019, for example, Kia recalled 380,000 Soul vehicles over a possible piston-related failure that could have led to a connecting rod puncturing the engine block and causing engine oil to leak, while Hyundai recalled 123,000 Tucson vehicles over a potential engine oil pan leak that could have caused engine damage and potentially a fire.

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