There’s a lot of qualities you might look for in a hybrid engine, such as a nice amount of power, good reliability, and decent fuel economy. One thing you probably won’t want, is a tendency to start on fire.
This is exactly the problem facing some owners of Hyundai’s 2017 Tucson and Sonata hybrids, which have now been recalled due to defects with the hybrid power units.
The four-year-old cars are the latest Hyundai vehicles to be hit with wide-reaching recalls, following similar measures announced for the Elantra and Veloster.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Hyundai Motor America is recalling as many as 95,515 Tucson and Sonata cars.
The root of the problem is the connecting rod bearings inside the engine, which the NHTSA says may wear prematurely and damage the motor. The defect could result in the engine stalling, or in the worst case, starting on fire.
To rectify the issue, dealers across America will inspect the engines in affected cars for any bearing damage. If any is spotted, Hyundai will replace the engine and dealers will install a software update containing a new knock sensor system.
The NHTSA said Hyundai plans to notify owners in the coming months, or drivers can contact Hyundai customer service. Any repairs will be performed free of charge.
Worryingly, this isn’t the first time Hyundai has faced issues with the engines in its Sonata.
Last year, the Korean manufacturer agreed to pay a penalty of $54 million and pledged to invest in its safety operations following recalls of its 2011-2014 Sonata and 2013-2014 Santa Fe Sport vehicles.
Those recalls also addressed manufacturing issues that could lead to bearing wear and engine failure.
Hyundai was also forced to recall its Kona electric vehicle earlier this year due to battery issues. The marque called back 82,000 vehicles, and the move was branded one of the most expensive recalls in history.