Hyundai And Kia Recall More Than Half A Million Cars Due To Risk Of Spontaneous Combustion

Hyundai and Kia have issued a recall for numerous models due to the risk of spontaneous combustion, the affected models include the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Carnival minivan.

By Brian Scheid | Published

hyundai and kia recall hyundai

The Korean automaker of Hyundais and Kias released documents on Thursday detailing a massive recall of over half a million of its vehicles that were sold over the last four years. The reason the manufacturers of Hyundai and Kia model vehicles are requesting owners to bring in their vehicles is that they are susceptible to catching fire whether the ignition of the car is on or not. They are urging customers of the affected models to avoid parking their vehicles inside any indoor structures like a garage or near any standing structures because they fear the vehicles could spontaneously combust and the fire could spread to people’s homes or businesses, causing damage, or worse, loss of life. 

According to NPR, “Affected Hyundai vehicles include the 2019 to 2023 Santa Fe, the 2021 to 2023 Santa Fe Hybrid, the 2022 and 2023 Santa Fe Plug-in hybrid, and the 2022 and 2023 Santa Cruz. The only Kia affected is the Carnival minivan from 2022 and 2023.” The affected Hyundai and Kia owners will receive notification from the car manufacturer beginning on May 16th if the vehicle they purchased is part of the recall.  In the meantime, owners of the aforementioned make and model vehicles are being urged to follow the parking instructions while the vehicles are off and to be hyper-vigilant and aware that while driving them, as the car may spontaneously catch on fire.

Hyundai and Kia have identified the root cause of the spontaneous fires stems from the vehicle’s tow hitch that is attached to the rear bumper.  These tow hitches were standard equipment on the vehicles when sold from dealerships or may have been installed by dealers at the dealership’s service center.  The tow hitch contains an electronic circuit board that is not protected from outside elements. 

The vehicle is at risk of water penetrating the circuit board and causing an electrical short circuit which has the potential to spark that could initiate a fire. This can occur whether the vehicle’s ignition is engaged or not, which is why Hyundai and Kia are asking owners to avoid parking indoors so that if a fire occurs, it is contained to the vehicle and does not spread to the structure in which the dormant car is parked.  If you own one of the generally affected vehicles, it is urgent that you comply with the manufacturer’s request or if you know of a family member or friend that owns one of these vehicles, please spread the information to them so that they are aware of this pending recall.

Hyundai has confirmed that they have been made aware of one fire and five heat damage incidents attributed to the tow hitch short-circuiting because of water soaking into the circuit board. The manufacturer’s planned a fix for the issue includes removing the fuse and tow hitch computer module from the vehicle entirely until they have a permanent solution to protect those components.  Then the plan is later on they will reinstall a new fuse and wire extensions with an improved connector that is waterproof to protect the circuitry inside the module.