Hyundai and Kia have issued a recall for nearly 485,000 SUVs (and a handful of sedans) due to the risk of engine bay fires, warning owners to park the vehicles outside until the repair work has been completed.
The problem affects 126,747 Kias—certain K900 sedans from model years 2016–2018 and all Sportage SUVs from model years 2014–2016.
Hyundai has a bigger task, as it’s recalling 357,830 vehicles split between the Santa Fe (model years 2016–2018, not equipped with smart cruise control), the Santa Fe Sport (model years 2017-2018, not equipped with smart cruise control), the Santa Fe XL (model-year 2019, not equipped with smart cruise control), and the Tucson (model years 2014–2015).
The problem in Hyundai’s case is an antilock brake controller module that can overheat and cause a fire in the engine bay. The first problem was flagged in September 2020 and involved a Canadian Hyundai Tucson with an overheated ABS module, although initial investigations were inconclusive. Then, in July 2021, a US-spec Santa Fe sport showed a similar problem, leading to further study.
In late 2021, Hyundai discovered that the problem is likely due to an internal micro leak in the module “caused by foreign contaminants in the valve body.”
Hyundai and Kia say that owners of affected cars should park them outside until the recall has been conducted. The process will involve replacing an ABS fuse and potentially the ABS module if inspection shows it is damaged.