Owners Warned to Park Vehicles Outside After Hyundai, Kia Recalls Over Oil Pump Fires

Hyundai and Kia fire risks have resulted in a number of recalls in recent years, but latest warning impacts new vehicles from the 2023 and 2024 model years

Federal highway safety officials have announced a recall of nearly 92,000 newer model Hyundai and Kia vehicles, which may be equipped with defective oil pumps that can cause a vehicle fire.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Hyundai recall and Kia recall on August 2, urging owners of certain vehicles from 2023 and 2024 model years to keep their cars parked outside and away from buildings, due to an increased risk of the vehicles’ Idle Stop & Go electrical oil pump overheating.

While neither automaker has received any reports of accidents or injuries in relation to the recalls, Hyundai has become aware of at least four thermal incidents, and Kia has confirmed at least six melting events involving electrical damage caused by the electric oil pump assembly.

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Although Kia and Hyundai are separate automaker brands, they share the same parent company, and use similar suppliers and parts, including the affected Idle Stop & Go electrical oil pump.

According the recall notices, the impacted vehicles were manufactured incorrectly by the parts supplier, which resulted in damage to the Idle Stop & Go electrical oil pump’s circuit board and capacitors. Due to the capacitor damage, the electrical components of the oil pump’s assembly can overheat and result in a fire. In addition, the damaged components can also cause a short-circuit event and disrupt the vehicle’s onboard communication controls.

Hyundai Elantra, Kona, Tucson, and Sonata Recall

The Hyundai recall affects approximately 52,008 model year 2023 Elantra, Kona, Tucson, and Sonata vehicles, and model year 2023 through 2024 Palisade vehicles. The automakers confirmed the defective parts were discontinued from vehicle production after March 24, 2023.

Hyundai owners may continue driving their vehicles, however, they are urged to park their vehicles outside until they have been repaired. Hyundai expects to begin notifying them of the recall beginning on September 25, with instructions on how to schedule an appointment to receive free repair of their vehicle. They will also reimburse owners who have already repaired their vehicles at their own expense.

For more information on the recall, owners may contact Hyundai’s customer service by phone at 1-855-371-9460, and reference recall number 246. They can also contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or visit their website at www.nhtsa.gov.

Kia Sportage, Soul and Seltos Recall

The Kia recall impacts approximately 39,765 model year 2023 Sportage and Soul vehicles, and model year 2023 through 2024 Seltos vehicles.

According to the Kia recall, the affected vehicles face the same Idle Stop & Go electrical oil pump defect as the recalled Hyundai vehicles. The automaker confirmed the defective parts were removed from vehicle productions after March 17, 2023.

Kia owners are also instructed to keep their vehicles parked outside and away from all structures until they have been repaired.  Owners should receive a letter notifying them of the recall beginning on September 28, with instructions on how to schedule an appointment to receive free vehicle repair. Kia will also reimburse owners who have already had their vehicles repaired.

For more information on the recall, owners may contact Kia’s customer service by phone at 1-800-333-4542 and reference recall number SC275. They can also contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or visit their website at www.nhtsa.gov.

Hyundai and Kia Vehicle Fire Problems

Both Hyundai and Kia have been subject to multiple recalls since 2019, following more than 3,000 consumer complaints involving electrical wires melting or smoldering, Hyundai and Kia engine fires, and other reports involving vehicle fires affecting more than one million vehicles.

The recalls involved multiple problems with vehicle parts, including the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) modules, oil pans, catalytic converters, fuel leaks and oil leaks, among others that increased the risk of vehicle fires.

The reports prompted the NHTSA to launch an investigation into the defects, which ultimately revealed that both Hyundai and Kia Motors reported false information and delayed reporting known safety defects in approximately 1.6 million vehicles equipped with faulty Theta II engines.

As a result of the reporting violations found, NHTSA obtained a consent order which forced the automakers to pay $210 million in fines. Kia also had to pay a civil penalty of $70 million, which included an upfront payment of $27 million and an obligation to expend an additional $16 million on specified safety performance measures.

The investigation also resulted in a Hyundai and Kia Motors recall of 1.6 million Sorento, Optima and Sante Fe vehicles to fix the potential leaking of brake fluid within the antilock brake system (ABS) module, which could lead to a short circuit and cause a fire within the vehicle’s engine compartment, either while driving or parked.

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