Federal highway safety officials have announced a recall for roughly 1.2 million Hyundai and Kia SUVs and cars, due to a risk that certain components in the engine may prematurely wear, posing a stall or engine failure hazard, which may increase the risk of an accident.
The two engine failure recalls were announced together by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on April 6, 2017, following reports of excess manufacturing debris entering and clogging certain components of the engine, which may restrict proper oil flow to the main bearings, causing premature wearing.
The affected vehicles are equipped with either 2.0 liter and 2.4-liter Gasoline Direct injection engines that may not have been properly cleaned of metal debris following the manufacturing process, allowing metal fragments to potentially block proper oil flow.
Without the proper lubrication of the engine, the bearings are subject to premature wear from the friction of the metals, posing an overheating and failure hazard.
In the event the bearings prematurely wear in the engines, the engine may overheat and seize while in motion, increasing the risk of a crash. To date, no injuries or crashes have been reported.
The Hyundai recall includes an estimated 572,000 model year 2013 through 2015 Santa Fe and Sonata vehicles equipped with 2.0 liter and 2.4L engine. The vehicles were manufactured from March 21, 2012 through May 29, 2014 and distributed for sale throughout the United States.
The Kia recall includes an estimated 618,160 model year 2011 through 2014 Kia Optima vehicles, 2012 through 2014 Kia Sorento vehicles and 2011 through 2013 Kia Sportage models. The recalled vehicles are equipped with 2.0 liter or 2.4-liter gasoline engines that were sold anywhere beginning on August 2010 through May 2014.
Although the two series of recalls involve different automobile manufacturers, the 2.0 and 2.4L engines that were supplied to each automaker were manufactured by Hyundai Motors America at the plant in Alabama.
Hyundai and Kia both announced they will be notifying owners of the potential seizing issue and providing customers with instructions on how to schedule an inspection and repair appointment at their local dealer.
Hyundai owners will be instructed to schedule an appointment with dealers to inspect the engine and replace the engine short block if necessary free of charge. Kia owners will be instructed to schedule an inspection appointment and receive a similar engine replacement remedies free of charge if necessary. Hyundai owners may contact the manufacturer’s customers service team at 1-855-671-3059, and Kia owners may contact 1-800-333-4542 for additional recall information.