Hyundai and Kia announce recall for 3.4 million vehicles

A new Hyundai car is displayed on the sales lot at San Leandro Hyundai on May 30, 2023 in San Leandro, California.
A new Hyundai car is displayed on the sales lot at San Leandro Hyundai on May 30, 2023 in San Leandro, California. Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Hyundai Motor America and Kia America Inc have announced that they are recalling a combined 3.4 million cars because they could catch fire due to a brake fluid leak that could cause an electrical short.

The recall involves 2010 through 2019 model years of numerous Kia and Hyundai vehicles, according to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In total, Hyundai recalled 1.64 million vehicles, and the NHTSA shared that the automaker planned on replacing the affected vehicles’ anti-lock brake system module fuse.

The agency also shared that Kia recalled 1.73 million vehicles and is still working to find a remedy for its issue.

The repairs will be done at no cost to vehicle owners, though it may take some time. Kia isn't expected to send notification letters to affected owners until Nov. 14 and Hyundai until Nov. 21.

Because of the fire risk, owners are being advised to park their cars outdoors and away from structures until the recall has been repaired.

So far, Hyundai has received 21 reports of fires in the affected vehicles in the U.S. and another 22 “thermal incidents,” including burning and melting parts or smoke, the agency shared.

Kia has had reports of 10 fires and melting incidents.

In a statement from Hyundai, the auto manufacturer said that the vehicles can continue to be driven and that no crashes or injuries have resulted from the issue.

The company said that the O-ring in the antilock brake motor shaft could lose its sealing strength over time due to the presence of dirt, moisture, or dissolved metals in the brake fluid. This can, in turn, create leaks that result in a fire risk.

Kia shared in a statement that an engine compartment fire could occur in the brake control unit due to an electrical short that results in excessive current. However, Kia said it is still unaware of the exact cause of the short circuit. It also said there haven’t been any reports of injuries or crashes due to the issue.

The recalled models for Kia include models include the 2010 through 2019 Borrego, the 2014 to 2016 Cadenza, 2010 through 2013 Forte, Forte Koup and Sportage, the 2015 to 2018 K900, the 2011 to 2015 Optima, the 2011 to 2013 Optima Hybrid and Soul, the 2012 to 2017 Rio, the 2011 to 2014 Sorento, and the 2010 to 2011 Rondo.

Hyundai models that have been recalled include the 2011 to 2015 Elantra, Genesis Coupe, and Sonata Hybrid, the 2012 to 2015 Accent, Azera, and Veloster, the 2013 to 2015 Elantra Coupe and Santa Fe, the 2014 to 2015 Equus, the 2010 to 2012 Veracruz, the 2010 to 2013 Tucson, the 2015 Tucson Fuel Cell, and the 2013 Santa Fe Sport.

To see if your vehicle is affected by the recall, visit the NHTSA’s website here.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images