Hyundai warns owners to park outside, recalling 180,000 SUVs

For the second time in this month, Hyundai is asking some SUV owners to park outside because the lack of power in a computer could cause vehicles to fire

DETROIT – For the second time in this month, Hyundai is asking some SUV owners to park outside because electric shorts in a computer could cause vehicles to catch fire.

The Korean automaker is recalling around 180,000 Tucson SUVs in the US from 2019 through 209 to fix the problem. The company says that corrosion-prone anti-lock brakes can cause a short circuit in the circuit board that can cause a fire even when the engine is shut down.

Hyundai says on Friday that it is aware of the problem of a dozen engine fires but no injuries.

In addition, Hyundai says that if the anti-lock brake warning light comes on, the SUV should not run and owners should disconnect the positive cable on the battery. They should contact a dealer who will provide a lender vehicle if needed.

Separately, Kia, which is affiliated with Hyundai, is recalling more than 9,000 Stinger sports cars with a 3.3-liter turbocharged engine for a similar problem. Documents posted by US security regulators say that an anti-lock brake control computer area could catch fire.

Kia said in a statement on Friday that it had six fire reports in which no one was injured. The statement said the company had no news of the fire after the engine was shut down, but still recommended that they be parked outside until repairs were made. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

The recalls are the latest in a series of engine fire problems that have plagued two automakers and have touched scrutiny by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Hyundai will notify the owners of the recall by mail starting around 30 October. Meanwhile, owners can see the key in their 17-digit vehicle identification number at to see if their Tucson is affected.

The automaker said it is investigating whether other countries have the same problem.

On September 3, US safety regulators announced that Hyundai and Kia would call back more than 600,000 vehicles in the US and Canada to fix brake engine leaks, which could cause engine fires.

Those recall are not related to Tuscan recall. They cover more than 440,000 Kia Optima midsize sedans from 2013 to 2015 and Kia Sorento SUVs from 2014 and 2015. From 2013 to 2015, 203,000 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs are also included.

A day later, Hyundai said it recommends vehicles be parked outside until the problem is repaired. Kia said on Friday that Sorrentos should be parked outside.

In February, Hyundai recalled about 430,000 small cars for a similar problem. The company said that water could get into the antilock brake computer, causing power shortages and possibly a fire in the engine. Certain 2006 recall through 2011 Elantra and 2007 through 2011 Allantra Touring vehicles.

The company said an electrical short could cause a fire, while cars would be shut down.

In April of 2019, NHTSA conducted two new investigations of the fire involving Hyundai and Kia vehicles after receiving complaints of over 3,100 fires and 103 injuries.

The investigation, for another Kia for Hyundai, covers non-accident fires in about 3 million vehicles from affiliated automakers.

The agency filed a petition demanding an investigation by the non-profit center Auto Safety, a consumer advocacy group.

The center’s executive director, Jason Levine, said Friday that the recall shows that consumer complaints need to be monitored and taken seriously by NHTSA and the automaker.

“This recollection of the brand new model eventually retracts the story that the Hyundai epidemic was happening on the old vehicles that caught fire, and they fixed the problem,” Levine said.

NHTSA previously said it would include noncrash fires in its 2017 investigation that investigated the recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles for engine failures. It conducted new investigations based on the agency’s analysis derived from several manufacturers, consumer complaints, and other sources.

Engine failure and fire problems with Hyundai and KIS have affected more than 6 million vehicles since 2015, according to NHTSA documents.

Hyundai said in a statement that it has recalled the vehicles when a safety defect has been identified.

“We are constantly evaluating data from various sources and will not hesitate to conduct or extend a recall when necessary to protect the safety of our owners.”


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