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Hyundai recalls 430,000 Elantra sedans over fire danger

Hyundai has issued its first major recall of the year after the discovery of a fault with one of its models that could potentially lead to a fire.

The Korean automaker will soon begin repair work on just shy of 430,000 Hyundai Elantra sedans and wagons in the U.S. after a fault was found with its ABS (anti-lock braking system) module.

According to Consumer Reports, moisture can enter the module, leading to a possible short circuit that could result in a fire.

A fire could even occur while the vehicle is unattended as the ABS module stays powered when the vehicle’s engine has been switched off.

The 396,025 Hyundai Elantra sedans subject to recall are from the 2006 through 2011 model years and were manufactured between August 26, 2005, and November 23, 2010. The 33,361 recalled Hyundai Elantra Touring wagons are from the 2007 through 2011 model years and were manufactured between June 21, 2007, and December 6, 2010.

Notably, Hyundai is yet to work out precisely why moisture is able to enter the module — according to a document sent by the automaker to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — making a comprehensive fix rather more challenging.

The free fix will involve dealers fitting a relay in the affected vehicles’ main electrical system that will prevent power from going to the ABS module when the vehicle is shut off. But that doesn’t solve the issue for when the vehicle is in use. Until Hyundai works out why moisture is entering the module, the company says drivers will have to stay alert for signs that a short circuit has occurred when the engine is on.

“When the vehicle is on, short circuits are preceded by other noticeable symptoms” such as noise or an ABS warning light on the dashboard, a Hyundai spokesperson told Consumer Reports.

Hyundai told Digital Trends that it’s aware of “10 fires that are likely the result of the problem identified in this recall,” adding that it’s not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue. It described the problem as “extremely rare,” noting that it’s only occurring in only 0.0023% of the 430,000 vehicles being recalled.

Hyundai is expected to start contacting affected Elantra owners starting April 3, 2020. If you own a Hyundai Elantra and have any questions or concerns about the recall, Hyundai customer service can be contacted at 1-855-371-9460. Hyundai’s official code number for the recall is 188.

Hyundai’s recall is one of several to have been announced so far in 2020. At the start of the year, Toyota called in around 700,000 vehicles in the U.S. to sort out an issue with a faulty fuel pump, which, if it fails, could lead to a stall, increasing the chances of an accident.

Updated with information from Hyundai.

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Trevor Mogg
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