Hyundai recalls more than 390,000 vehicles over possible engine fires

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DETROIT: Hyundai is recalling more than 390,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada for two issues that can lead to engine fires. In a reminder, owners are told to park their vehicles outside until repairs are done.

The largest recall covers more than 203,000 Santa Fe Sport SUVs from 2013 to 2015. Some are recalled a second time. Brake fluid can seep into the anti-lock braking computer, causing an electrical short circuit that can lead to fires.

Owners should park outside and away from structures until the issue is resolved, according to documents released Tuesday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Dealers will replace a fuse and replace the computer if necessary. Owners will be notified in June.

The problem with the brake computer has caused 18 fires in the United States, but no injuries, according to documents.

Hyundai says the recall “improves the cure” over the one released in September 2020. The company says it continued to investigate after the September recall and found that replacing the fuse would reduce the safety risk. “Hyundai is proceeding with this new recall to ensure the safety of its customers,” the company said in a statement.

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The other recall covers nearly 187,000 Elantras 2019 and 2020, and from 2019 to 2021 Konas and Velosters. All have 2 liter engines.

Piston rings may not have been properly heat treated, which can cause engine damage, oil leaks, and possible fires. Hyundai says the rings may be too hard and can be chipped, scuffing the engine cylinder. The piston problem caused five fires but no injuries, according to documents.

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Dealers will inspect and replace the motor if necessary. They will also install piston noise detection software. The owners will be notified at the end of June.

Engine failures and fire problems at Hyundai and Korean affiliate automaker Kia plagued businesses for more than five years, affecting owners of more than 8 million vehicles.

Last month, Kia recalled more than 147,000 2020 and 2021 Soul and Seltos SUVs due to a piston ring problem. The automaker said it had received four reports of fires potentially linked to the problem.

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