Hyundai Motor Company is recalling a large number of cars, once again. Hyundai will recall more than 390,000 cars in the U.S. and Canada, because these cars are subject to engine fires, as reported by the Associated Press.
This may feel a little like deja vu. We recently reported on a large recall of just over 147,000 Kias, which is owned by Hyundai Motor Company. That recall is related to this new one, as it involves the same engines as those in the Kia Seltos and Soul.
This time, however, it’s affecting three of Hyundai’s models: the Elantra, Kona and Veloster.
The defect that prompts a part of this recall is the same as that in the Kias. Inconsistent heat-treatment at the time of the piston oil ring production yielded harder material, which could damage the engine cylinder bores and wear them down. This could lead to the engine stalling or possibly result in an engine fire.
The model years affected reflect those of the Kias, which is to say they are late model and current generation cars. The Hyundai recall is actually bigger, since it applies to three models. All told, Hyundai is recalling “nearly 187,000 2019 and 2020 Elantras, and 2019 through 2021 Konas and Velosters,” for the fire issue, per the AP.
Drivers of these cars will have to bring their Hyundais to their dealer, who will then inspect and replace the whole engine if it’s deemed necessary. Further precautionary measures involve fitting sensors that will scan for cylinder bore damage using piston noise.
The thing is, those 187,000 Hyundais only partially account for the cars in this new recall. Hyundai will also recall 203,000 2013-15 Santa Fe Sport crossovers. The Santa Fe Sports in question are facing their second recall for the same defect at this point, having been recalled in September of 2020.
This recall is also due to a fire risk since “[brake] fluid can leak into the anti-lock brake computer, causing an electrical short that can lead to fires,” from the AP. Hyundai has warned drivers to avoid parking indoors or near structures until the recall is addressed at the dealer, who will exchange a fuse and replace the affected electronics if it’s deemed necessary.
At least 18 fires have already been linked to the defect, though, there have been no injuries so far. It’s also good that the carmaker is extending the Santa Fe recall to make sure that drivers get the issue sorted but it still bodes badly for the carmaker, as the AP outlines:
Engine failure and fire problems at Hyundai and affiliated Korean automaker Kia have plagued the companies for more than five years, affecting the owners of more than 8 million vehicles.
Hyundai will send recall notices to owners of all the cars outlined here in June, but, as always, you don’t have to wait. You can either use the NHTSA app to keep track of the recall or use the VIN tool on the NHTSA site.