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Kia, Hyundai Engine Failure Problems Result in Recall for 1.2M Vehicles

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.

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14 comments

  1. Charissa Reply

    2011 Kia optima engine failure, 10 grand to fix, and 10 grand in debt.

  2. Robert Reply

    Just bought my wife 2012 Kia Sorento 4 days later brakes down on I-495 10pm of course I came to her rescue still have 3 years to pay for it put over $2800 down we had the same 2003 Ford Taurus still runs never had my family stranded on highway though

  3. Tony Reply

    We bought 2013 Santa Fe with the 2.4L engine with 11,000 miles on it. We had the engine maintained and serviced every 3-4,000 miles. At around 76,000 miles the engine seized up at highway speed. No warning lights, no nothing. Dealer said engine needed replaced for $4,500. Since we still owed money on the car, we asked for a replacement engine. Dealer said, can’t get one…they are not being released. Ended up trading for Toyota.

  4. Troy Reply

    My wife were coming home from a funeral and on the highway doing about 60mph I started hearing a clicking noise next thing I lost all power and let out some terrible noises and then blew smoke and engine parts everywhere, this is a 2012 Tucson with only 105,00 miles just changed the oil 2000 miles ago and check my oil the morning of our trip all was good, anybody have or heard anything of this happening to anybody else this was very upsetting.

  5. Matt Reply

    I have a 2003 kia sorento 3rd owner engine was replaced with first owner an I bought it with 2500 on motor an 134.xxx on tranny an body, since the day I bought it while driving the kia will shut off sometimes it fires right back up without me doing anything other times it shuts off an I have to put it in netural an drift off the road to get in a safe spot an start it back up, sometimes takes a few mins sometimes it will start soon as I turn the kia this is very scary when on highway Ive almost cause many wrecks, I am so terrified to even drive anymore I drive for work so this is a huge issue for me, was told it was camshaft sensor so I replaced it now gonna try a crankshaft sensor ive replace the TCM already thinking that’s what it was an still nothing I’m at my ends with it an will never buy a kia again in my life has anyone else had this issue an if so how did you fix yours I’m ready to just sale it cheap an call it day. Please help!!!!!

  6. Sue Reply

    As recall states, my 2011 optima ex stopped no notice on 3 lane highway. Engine seized. In kia dealership now to decide what to do. 92,000 miles, oil changed 2 days prior, terrible clanking noise, oil light flickered then stopped.

  7. Allison Reply

    My engine on my 2011 Kia just died yesterday for no reason. I brought it to the KIA dealership and found out they will be replacing the motor, but, all the available motors are on the west coast, I am in North Carolina. I have no clue how long the repair will take, and in the meantime I am making payments on a car that I can’t use and the Kia dealership won’t give me a loaner car because I purchased the Kia from a non-Kia dealership. I feel as though I need some kind of help from Kia since it is their product, I am out a car that I am still paying for and I have to either rent a car and pay for it out of pocket for an undetermined amount of time. First and Last Kia I will own.

  8. Tantrelle Reply

    The enjoy failure on the 2013 Kia Optima has been a stressful one. I lost my job, lost my home, now about to loose my car. This has been the worse pain and suffering ever.

  9. Talitha Reply

    Our engine seized October 2016 in our 2011 Kia Optima. Kia was less than helpful with assisting us. It took nearly 45 days for them to finally agree to replace our engine. We were told that we would have to 3,000- 5,000 in labor cost initially and then told we would only receive a limited warranty of 1 year, 10,000 miles on a refurbished engine. We ended up having to trade that Kia for another one because our busted engine was only worth $500. We were upside down on our loan. We desperately needed another vehicle and had no other options but to take the loss.

  10. Amanda Reply

    I financed a 2012 Kia optima ex gdi April 2016 took it to dealership for all maintenance oil changes ext. June 2 2017 driving home my engine failed which I am under what they call a full wrap around warranty but had to pay out of pocket 600.00 for a rental and out pocket to have it towed to the dealership when I was told I had roadside assistance. When I called the dealership which is gateway Kia of Warrington pa I was told I needed to call my insurance company for the tow and to see about a rental which rental is only covered if there was an accident. I almost lost my job and I had to see my therapist due to the high level of stress and anxiety. Once I went to the dealership they continued to give me the around and one of their sale reps who had originally sold me the car named Rob became very nasty making statements about my husband that were very offensive. They finally admitted that there was a recall on the engine but never made me aware of this recall when buying the car inn fact I asked for a car fax never got one and also asked if there were any recalls and the response was No please help me with this matter. Amanda

  11. jack Reply

    2011 kia sonrento with 2.4 liter motor is knocking.bad rod bearing failer

  12. Doug Reply

    I have a 2012 Optima EX Hybrid. I bought it new and currently have 152000 miles on it. I change my own oil and use ONLY synthetic oil. I also get the car inspected annually by the local Kia Dealer. At the end of February I had the MOST recent inspection, it passed with flying colors and needed nothing. Two weeks ago, while driving home on the highway, the engine began making terrible noises. It appears that the main bearings have gone out. The Hybrid isnt part of the recall, however and the dealer has given an estimate of between $6K and $7K. Im going to try to fight it.

  13. Brant Reply

    I Think that this problem go’s farther than what is currently , I have a 08 Kia Optima LX 2.4 L Motor has a rod right threw the side of the block no notice one min it running fine & the next min not running at all ! I think Kia Should be required to fix any and all of their own products , what a scam !

  14. Patricia Reply

    Well listen to this, I own a 2011 Kia Soul 2.0 engine. I take the BEST care of my little car. Has 165000, miles on it. Never a problem. Oil changes, tire rotations? Changed timing belt 2x, etc, etc. I drove on the hwy to the dr. Going to turn my car off in parking lot and the light showing the little oil can with drip was on. I checked my oil right then and it was good. When I was ready to leave light was still on, I drove about 1/4 mile and my car just shut down. Waited for AAA towing 2 hrs later and car started fine to put onto towing truck and took to Family Kia in St.Augustine, Fl. Kia calls me and says your engine is no good it seized up. WHAT-WHAT??? I called Kia Headquarters, they said they documented my situation and if there is a recall in the future they will let me know. I HAVE NO CAR…..

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