Hyundai and Kia Photo: Reuters

Hyundai-Kia recalls almost 600,000 cars over defect that can cause fire in vehicles

*Company says a brake fluid leak has caused at least 23 vehicle fires

*Affected vehicles involve 440,370 Kia Optimas and Sorentos, 151,000 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Auto manufacturing giants Hyundai and Kia are recalling nearly 600,000 cars in the United States (US) as a result of a defect that the companies say could cause the vehicles to catch fire.

ConsumerConnect gathered that the affected vehicles involve 2013 through 2015 model years, which include 283,803 Kia Optimas from 2013 to 2015 and 156,567 Kia Sorentos from 2014 and 2015.

The current recall also involves 151,000 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs from the 2013 to 2015 model years.

According to the jointly owned companies, the problem is caused when brake fluid leaks inside a hydraulic control unit for the anti-lock brakes.

When that happens, it can cause an electrical short which can spark a fire, they said.

It’s not exactly a new issue because the automakers have been investigating it since 2018, says report.

Hyundai was said to have informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it had received 15 reports of engine fires caused by the leak, while Kia has reported eight such incidents.

Fortunately, neither brand has reported any injuries in the fire incidents.

It was further learnt that in regard to previous a recall, earlier this year Hyundai recalled 429,686 model year 2006 through 2011 Elantras and model year 2007 through 2011 Elantra Touring vehicles for a similar fire-related issue.

The company said moisture could enter the anti-lock brake (ABS) module and result in an electrical short.

The auto manufacturing company cautioned that an electrical short within the ABS module may cause an engine compartment fire, even when the car is turned off, increasing the risk of an injury.

In the most recent recall, Hyundai-Kia said it would notify owners of affected vehicles and recommend that they take the cars to a dealer for inspection and repair, report stated.

Meanwhile, owners who want to find out if their car is part of the recall can go to the NHTSA Web site and enter their vehicle’s VIN.

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