Kia recalls 0ver 295,000 cars due to fire risk, Ford recalls 17 2.3L engine explorers

*The Kia recall covers a consistent problem that the automaker has faced in recent years

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

Kia is recalling over 295,000 of its vehicles due to the risk of engine-compartment fires.

Earlier, it was learnt that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the engines in a small number of the models set to be recalled in January had caught fire.

However, the issue has not been linked to any specific design or manufacturing flaw.

The automaker said it’s recalling the vehicles “as a preventative measure to mitigate any unreasonable fire risk due to potential fuel leaking, oil leaking and/or engine damage.”

Kia Sorento catches fire on Central Florida Road, United States   Photo: ClickOrlando.Com

Hitherto, Kia would start notifying owners and dealers will start offering free repairs and vehicle inspections, reports ConsumerAffairs.

In the meantime, the NHTSA stated that owners of potentially affected Kia models should be alert for “engine noise, illumination of check-engine light (or) low-oil light, fuel smell, burning smell, oil leaking, smoke”.

Kia said it’s developing a Knock Sensor Detection System software update to boost safety.

The automaker will also provide 15-year/150,000-mile warranty coverage for engine repairs needed “due to connecting-rod bearing damage,” according to the NHTSA.

The company said owners will be reimbursed for any money they have already spent on repairs related to the problem.

The recall is expected to go into effect on January 27, 2021.

Report indicates this isn’t the first time Kia has recalled vehicles due to fire risk.

In February 2020, the automaker issued a recall for more than 200,000 vehicles because of a problem with the brake computers in two models.

At the time, Kia said the brake computer issue could lead to the vehicle catching fire.

In September, the company also issued another recall of a similar nature.

Kia said nearly 600,000 additional vehicles were at risk of catching fire due to a defect involving brake fluid leakage.

Kia owners started reporting sudden vehicle fires around four years ago. Some drivers said they had to jump out quickly before their vehicle exploded. In another instance, a Kia owner died after being trapped inside a vehicle that exploded.

In 2019, the Center for Auto Safety called on Congress to investigate the issue. In a letter to lawmakers, the group criticised the company’s handling of the issue.

The organisation, at the time said: “Instead of presenting the public a solution for these fires, or a satisfactory explanation, or simply taking responsibility for continuing to sell what appear to be defective engines, both manufacturers have recalled fewer than 10% of the potential fire prone vehicles and hoped no one would ask about the rest.”

Last year, a total of 2.9 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles needed to be recalled in order to sufficiently address the problem, it stated.

Likewise, the Ford Motor Company is recalling 17 model year 2020 Explorer vehicles with 2.3L engines and 19 gallon fuel tanks.

According to the company, the fuel tank inlet check valve may not be fully welded to the fuel tank shell.

An incomplete weld securing the inlet check valve to the fuel tank shell could result in a substantial fuel leak during a crash, posing the risk of fire.

As regards what to do in correcting the fault, Ford will notify owners, and dealers would replace the fuel tank shell free of charge.

Report says the current recall began December 7, 2020.

Affected owners may contact Ford Customer Service on (866) 436-7332, and Ford’s number for this recall is 20S68.

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