Nearly half a million Hyundai Elantra vehicles may have a defect that could allow moisture to enter the electronic braking system, increasing the risk of a short circuit and fire hazard.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a Hyundai Elantra recall on February 6, after the manufacturer received reports of several engine component fires due to a short circuiting event in the electronic braking module.
According to the manufacturer, recalled Hyundai Elantra vehicles came equipped with an Anti-Lock Brake (ABS) Module that remains energized even when the vehicle is turned off. The manufacturer has identified the potential for moisture to enter into the electrical circuit of the ABS Module, which could cause a short circuiting event to occur, causing overheating and fires.
Hyundai received the first engine fire complaint in October 2017, from a customer who claimed the key was not in the ignition and the vehicle was turned off when the fire occurred. Hyundai’s investigation identified source of the ignition could not be determined due to the extent of the damage, however, various fuses related to the ABS module were found open, indicating the possibility of an internal short.
By December 2019, Hyundai had received at least four additional warranty claims from customers reporting engine component fires. Further investigation found that a short circuit was responsible for the fires.
The recall impacts approximately 429,686 model year 2006 through 2011 Elantra vehicles manufactured between August 26, 2005 and November 23, 2010 and 2007 through 2011 Elantra Touring vehicles manufactured from June 21, 2007 through December 6, 2010.
The vehicles were manufactured by Hyundai Motors America of Fountain Valley, California where they were distributed for sale throughout the United States to licensed dealers.
Customers are being asked to stay alert for any burning smells within the cab of the vehicle, especially if they are emanating from the engine compartment. Customers should be cautious of parking the vehicle inside of garages or close to structures to prevent the further spread of damage or injury in the event the vehicles catches on fire.
Hyundai has announced they will begin notifying customers of the defect and will provide instructions on how to schedule a free repair appointment at their local dealer, where dealers will be instructed to install a relay in the vehicle’s main junction box to prevent the risk of an ABS short circuit while the car is turned off.
The recall is expected to begin on April 3, 2020. Customers with additional questions or concerns may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9460, and reference the recall campaign number 188.