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Thursday May 6th, 2021 12:23PM

Hyundai recalls over 390K vehicles for possible engine fires

By The Associated Press
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DETROIT (AP) — Hyundai is recalling more than 390,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada for two problems that can cause engine fires. In one recall, owners are being told to park their vehicles outdoors until repairs are made.

The largest recall covers more than 203,000 Santa Fe Sport SUVs from 2013 through 2015. Some are being recalled a second time. Brake fluid can leak into the anti-lock brake computer, causing an electrical short that can lead to fires. Owners should park outdoors and away from structures until the problem is fixed, according to documents posted Tuesday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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

The brake computer problem has caused 18 fires in the U.S., but no injuries, according to documents.

Hyundai says the recall “enhances the remedy” from one issued in September of 2020. The company says it kept investigating after the September recall and found that replacing the fuse would reduce the safety risk. "Hyundai is conducting this new recall to ensure the safety of its customers,” the company said in a statement.

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

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

Dealers will inspect and replace the engine if necessary. They'll also install piston noise sensing software. Owners will be notified in late June.

Engine failure and fire problems at Hyundai and affiliated Korean automaker Kia have plagued the companies for more than five years, affecting the owners of more than 8 million vehicles.

Last month Kia recalled over 147,000 2020 and 2021 Soul and Seltos SUVs due to the piston ring problem. The automaker said it had four reports of fires potentially related to the issue.

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