South Korean automakers Kia and Hyundai are facing a federal investigation into a series of recalls that affected 6.4 million vehicles. Reuters reported on Monday.
Since 2016, automakers have issued 16 separate fire hazard recalls due to brake fluid leaks.
In September, 3.3 million Kia and Hyundai cars were recalled. Vehicle owners were immediately advised by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to park “outside” and “away from homes and other buildings.” specified.
“The vehicle’s anti-lock brake system module could leak brake fluid internally and cause an electrical short. An electrical short could result in a significant overcurrent in the ABS module and increase the risk of an engine compartment fire while driving or parking,” the NHTSA explained.
The agency noted that neither Hyundai nor Kia was aware of any “accidents, injuries or deaths related to this defect.” According to reports in September, Hyundai has recorded 21 fires and 21 additional thermal incidents since 2017. According to Reuters, Kia recorded at least ten fires and meltdown incidents.
The recall affected 1.64 million Hyundai vehicles, including Accent, Azera, Elantra, Equus, Genesis, Santa Fe, Sonata HEV, Tucson, Veloster and Veracruz with model years 2011 to 2015.
In addition, approximately 1.73 million Kia vehicles were recalled, including Cadenza, Forte, K900, Optima, Rio, Rondo, Sorento, Soul and Sportage with model years 2010 to 2017.
On Monday, NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation announced it had launched one Audit query to examine the decision and speed of manufacturers in implementing the recalls. The agency will assess “companies’ compliance with reporting requirements” and understand the varying error descriptions and remedial actions between these recalls.
“The purpose of this [Open Audit Query] is to assess the timeliness and extent of Hyundai and Kia’s error decisions and compliance with reporting requirements; and understand the different error descriptions and corrective actions between these recalls,” NHTSA said.
The agency noted that all 16 recalls involved the automakers’ antilock brake system modules or hydraulic electronic control units manufactured by Mando.
Car manufacturers also recently got into trouble because they did not install anti-theft devices in some models. Since the vehicles can be easily stolen, crime has increased.
In August, Chicago filed a lawsuit against the two automakers, blaming the companies for “a car theft crisis.” More than 8,800 Kia and Hyundai vehicles were stolen in Chicago in 2022. New York City, Cleveland, San Diego, Milwaukee, Columbus and Seattle are also complain the car manufacturers.
Neither Hyundai nor Kia responded to a request for comment from Reuters.
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