Car manufacturer Kia just announced a recall for two of its vehicles due to a fire risk from a potential electrical shortage.
A report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated Kia is recalling all 2017-2019 Kia Cadenzas and 2017-2021 Kia Sportage vehicles. Neither class of vehicles included Smart Cruise Control features, according to the report. This recall involves nearly 380,000 cars.
“An engine compartment fire may occur in the area where the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) is located,” according to the recall report. “The electrical circuit within the HECU may experience a short circuit condition that results in excessive current, thereby increasing the risk of an engine compartment fire.”
Based on this risk, both the NTHSA and Kia recommend that anyone who owns a car included in this recall “should park their cars outside and away from homes until their vehicles have been repaired.”
Car owners may notice a variety of warning lights on their instrument panel, including the tire pressure light, the anti-lock brake system warning light, the MIL warning light as an indication of a potential problem with the vehicle. Also, owners may notice a burning or melting smell, or smoke from the engine compartment.
Associated Press reported that neither the NHTSA nor Kia have received any notifications of crashes, fires or injuries due to the defect.
Kia owners will receive a notification via first-class mail if their car is involved in this recall. In this mailing, customers will find out how to return their cars to a Kia dealership for repairs. These fixes include replacing fuses in the HECU circuit board to prevent over-current conditions. Plus, all dealerships will update the HECU software. These repairs will be free for all customers. Kia said it also plans to reimburse owners for any expenses related to the issue.
The NHTSA found the fire risk as part of a larger investigation into Kia and Hyundai regarding engine fires. AP said when the investigation began in 2019, consumers reported more than 3,100 fires, 103 injuries and one death from these incidents.
In October 2019, both car companies agreed to settle the class-action lawsuits by agreeing to pay more than $760 million in cash reimbursements for repairs and related expenses.
If you want to check your Kia vehicle’s status, you can either call Kia customer service at 800-333-4542 and provide the recall number SC206 or visit NHTSA.gov/recalls and enter your car’s 17-digit VIN.