For the second time this month, Hyundai is asking some SUV owners to park outside because electrical shorts on computers can cause vehicles to catch fire.
The Korean automaker is recalling approximately 180,000 Tucson SUVs for the model years from 2021 to 2021 in the United States to address this issue. Corrosion can cause a short-circuit in defective anti-lock brake circuit boards, which can lead to a fire even when the engines are off, the company said.
Hyundai said on Friday that a dozen engine fires were known to cause the problem, but there were no injuries.
The company said that if the anti-lock brake warning light comes on, SUVs should not be driven and owners should disconnect the positive cable on the battery. They should contact the dealer who provides the lender vehicle if necessary.
Separately, Kia, affiliated with Hyundai, is recalling over 9,000 Stringer sports cars with 3.3-liter turbocharged engines for a similar problem. Documents posted by U.S. safety regulators say fires could occur in the area of the anti-lock brake control computer.
Kia did not have six fire reports in a statement Friday. The company has no reports of fires after the engines have been shut down, but recommends keeping them outdoors until repairs are made, “very carefully,” the statement said. The cause of the fire is not yet known.
The recalls are the latest in a series of engine fire issues that have plagued two automakers and are being investigated by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Hyundai recalls owners from October 30 by mail. At this point, owners can key in their 17-digit vehicle identification number. Hyundai website To see if their Tucson was affected.
The automaker said it was investigating whether a similar problem could occur in other countries.
Second recall this month
On September 3, U.S. safety regulators announced that Hyundai and Kia would recall 600,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to fix a brake fluid leak that could cause engine fires.
Those recalls are not related to the Tucson recall. These will cover 440,000 Kia Optima mid-size sedans from 2013 to 2015 and Kia Sorrento SUVs from 2014 and 2015. There were also 203,000 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs from 2013 to 2015.
A day later, Hyundai recommends that vehicles be parked outside until the problem is repaired. Kia said Friday that it also wants to park the Sorrentos outdoors.
Hyundai recalled nearly 430,000 small cars in February for a similar issue. The company said that water could enter the anti-lock brake computer, causing electrical shorts and engine fires. That recall covered some 2006 to 2011 Elantra and 2007 to 2011 Elantra touring vehicles.
The company said electrical shorts can cause fires even when cars are turned off.
In April 2019, NHTSA launched two new investigations into fires involving Hyundai and Kia vehicles after receiving more than 3,100 fires and 103 injury complaints.
Investigations, one by Hyundai and the other by Kia, cover non-crash fires on nearly three million vehicles from automakers.
The agency granted the petition seeking an investigation by the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, a consumer advocacy team.
Center executive director Jason Levine said Friday that the recall shows that consumer complaints need to be monitored by the NHTSA and vehicle manufacturers.
“This recall of brand new models has finally pushed back the story that the Hyundai fire epidemic was only happening in their older vehicles and that they solved the problem,” Levine said.
Engine failure and fire problems with Hyundai and Kiaz were the most affected Six million vehicles since 2015, According to NHTSA documents.
Hyundai said in a statement that it recalled the vehicles when a security flaw was detected.
“We are constantly evaluating data from a variety of sources and will not hesitate to handle or extend a recall when we decide we need one to protect the security of our owners,” the company said.