Kia is in the news again over fire risks, this time for the Sportage and Cadenza models. The automaker is recalling almost 380,000 of the vehicles, and it’s telling owners to park outdoors and away from buildings because of the risk of an engine compartment fire.
Kia is recalling many 2017-19 Cadenza sedans and 2017-21 Sportage crossovers, the AP reports. Owners can enter their car’s VIN into NHTSA’s website to see if their vehicle is affected. According to NHTSA, the recall affects a potential of 379,931 vehicles. Here are the details, from NHTSA:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2017-2021 Sportage and Cadenza vehicles. The electrical circuit in the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) may short-circuit, which can cause a fire in the engine compartment.
Kia will notify owners, and dealers will replace certain fuses in the electrical junction box. Vehicles equipped with an electronic parking brake (EPB) will also receive a HECU software update. Repairs will be performed free of charge. Owners are advised to park outside and away from structures as a precaution until the recall repair is complete. The recall is expected to begin April 30, 2021. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia’s number for this recall is SC206.
Kia says that the affected vehicles are not equipped with its Smart Cruise Control option. There are some warning signs that Sportage and Cadenza owners should watch out for, via the AP:
Owners could see tire pressure, antilock brake or other warning lights on their dashboard before the problem happens. They also might smell a burning or melting odor.
This recall is the result of a couple of years of NHTSA investigation. From the AP:
The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating Kia and Hyundai engine fires in 2019. The agency opened the probe after the nonprofit Centre for Auto Safety filed a petition seeking the investigation. When the inquiry began, the agency said it had owner complaints of more than 3,100 fires, 103 injuries and one death.
This news comes only months after NHTSA fined Hyundai and Kia $US137 ($178) million for being too slow to recall one million vehicles for engine failure. According to NHTSA documents, engine failures and fires have plagued more than six million Kia and Hyundai vehicles since 2015.
This is a good reminder to check for recalls of your vehicle. It’s easy to miss a recall, and sometimes they’re for components so important that they can cause a crash or worse — and you don’t want that.
Australian Kia owners can check this website to see if their car has been impacted by a recall.