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Recall: Your Hyundai or Kia May Spontaneously Combust, So Park It Outside

485,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles are posing a serious fire risk for their owners

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Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

That’s right, folks. Park your car outside — that is, if your car is one of the nearly 485,000 Hyundai and Kia are saying can catch fire at any moment, even if they’re turned off.

This is the latest recall from the twin Korean companies that have had a long list of fire and engine failure problems over the past six year.


According to the Associated Press, this time the issue lies with the antilock brake module. Contamination within the unit can cause an electrical short, which in turn significantly increases the risk of fire while the car is being driven or parked.

Here’s a list of the impacted cars:

  • 2014-2016 Kia Sportage
  • 2016-2018 Kia K900
  • 2016-2019 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • 2017-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
  • 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL
  • 2014-2015 Hyundai Tucson

The automaker says that there have been 11 reported fires in the U.S., but luckily there haven’t been any injuries.


U.S. safety regulators posted a document saying owners should park their vehicles outside and away from structures until repairs can be made.

To remedy the issue, dealers will replace a fuse as well as inspect the control modules and replace them if needed. Hyundai will mail notification letters starting April 5th. Kia is a bit ahead of the ball. They’ll be mailing letters March 31. I don’t know about you, but if my vehicles were catching fire, I’d maybe hurry those letters up a bit.

The NHTSA says owners can go to their website and enter their vehicle’s VIN to see if it’s impacted by the recall.

There are apparently warning signs something is amiss. Kia said owners could see the anti-lock brake warning light come on as well as a burning or melting smell. You may even see smoke coming from the engine compartment, which is generally a sure sign that something is wrong.


This recall comes after the NHTSA stepped up a series of investigations into engine compartment fires that have been a real issue for the twin automakers.

Last December, the agency consolidated two investigations from 2018 into a new engineering analysis covering more than three million vehicles from the 2011 through 2016 model years. At the same time, they received over 161 engine fire complaints.


The first recall for engine fire issues happened in September 2015. Since then, there have been at least 8 more recalls for a whole slew of other engine issues, according to the NHTSA.

In November 2020, the agency announced the two automakers must pay $137 million in fines and for safety improvements because they were too slow to recall more than 1 million vehicles with engines that could fail.


They also recently had a much more low stakes recall, when digital gauge clusters would flip upside down.

So, if you’ve got one of those impacted cars, it’s probably best you park it as far away from anything you like as possible.