The latest recall from Korean auto manufacturer Kia covers nearly 380,000 vehicles that have a heightened risk for fires. The company has urged the owners of these vehicles to exclusively park them outdoors due to the increased risk for engine fires. Read on for more information regarding the company’s most recent recall.
The recall affects some 2017 through 2021 Kia Sportage SUVs, as well as a number of 2017 through 2021 Kia Cadenza sedans. Kia says that the issue with the vehicles is related to the hydraulic brakes control unit. A short circuit in the control unit can lead to an uptick in the amount of electricity flowing to the unit, which can cause the component to overheat and even catch fire.
As such, it’s difficult to predict when an affected vehicle could manifest the issues. Moreover, owners are advised to park the vehicles away from structures until repairs are made. This also means it would be ideal to not store any valuables within the vehicle, as they could be destroyed if the vehicle caught fire. Likewise, don’t leave any children or pets in the vehicle, even if you’re leaving the windows down: if the vehicle caught fire while you were not nearby, the children or pets within could be injured or killed.
Kia clarified that the affected vehicles do not have the company’s Smart Cruise Control option.
It is possible that owners of affected vehicles could see some indications that a fire is about to occur. Kia has stated that some signals could be tire-pressure or anti-lock brake warning lights flashing on even when neither of those components is having issues. Owners could also detect the smell of burning components or melting plastic before the engine catches fire.
The company has clarified that they do not have any record of crashes or deaths related to the engine fire hazard. Moreover, the company has also not received any reports from customers of the vehicles catching fire, indicating that the company detected the hardware malfunction before it could affect drivers.
Owners of the recalled vehicles will be alerted by Kia starting on April 30. After the recall notice is sent, owners of the recalled vehicles will be directed to visit their Kia dealership, where technicians will replace the fuses in the brake system free of charge. These new fuses would correct the short circuit issue, thus resolving the heightened engine fire risk.