Hyundai and Kia: Engine replacement due to fire risk

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The Hyundai Group will start two major recalls in the United States at the end of January.

The Koreans bring almost 129,000 models of the Veloster, Santa Fe and Sonata Hybrid from different model years between 2011 and 2016 to the dealership. There are also 295,000 Kia models, including the Sorento (model year 2012-2015), Optima Hybrid (2011-2013), Soul (2014 and 2015) and Sportage (2012).

Due to premature wear of the connecting rod bearings inside various petrol engines, there is a risk of engine damage in the vehicles, reports the US Road Safety Authority (NHTSA). In the worst case, there is also a risk of vehicle fires if a damaged connecting rod punctures the engine block, causing engine oil to leak onto hot surfaces.

Hyundai and Kia dealerships will check the engine for fuel and/or oil leaks, according to the announcement. The engine will be replaced with a new one if bearing damage is found by the service technician. The engine control software will also be enhanced with a Knock Sensor Detection System (KSDS). According to the manufacturer’s announcement, the KSDS continuously monitors engine vibrations for unusual patterns that may indicate a damaged connecting rod bearing.

The recall was preceded by a long-term investigation by NHTSA, which began as early as June 2018, when several non-accident-related vehicle fires were recorded. The Office of Defects Investigation asked for more information to find out what was causing the problem. Although NHTSA presented its findings to the Hyundai Motor Group in July 2020, it took the carmaker to agree to these findings until the end of November.

And what about Europe?

Regarding the situation in Europe, spokesmen for the German Hyundai and Kia press offices said that there was currently no information that equivalent models sold in Europe would be affected by the recall. No comparable recall campaign has been listed at the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) either.

The last reason for the large recall of both Korean manufacturers was the possible penetration of moisture into the ABS/ESP module in July this year, which we wrote about in the article: Hyundai and Kia recall 835 thousand older cars due to the risk of fire.



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