Engine Defects May be Causing Fires in Kia and Hyundai Vehicles
Kia and Hyundai are not exactly the first auto makers who come to mind when people talk about “hot” cars. That could change after new concerns that an engine problem is causing thousands of the Kian and Hyundai models to unexpectedly catch fire.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in April opened a new investigation, sparked by complaints about some 3,000 Kia and Hyundai cars catching fire without being involved in accident. In some cases, the engines were even off. The fires are blamed for more than 100 injuries and at least one death, according to NPR.
“A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency, and potential safety-related consequences of alleged defects relating to non-collision vehicle fires,” NHTSA said in a notice announcing the investigation.
Nearly 3 million cars are covered by the probe, according to NHTSA. That includes the 2010–2015 Kia Soul, the 2011–2014 Hyundai Sonata, Sonata hybrid, and Santa Fe, as well as the Kia Optima, Optima hybrid, and Sorento, and the 2013–2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.
Kia and Hyundai last year recalled some 1.5 million cars in the U.S. and Korea in response to engine defects the companies said could cause cars to stall in traffic. They said they would inspect the affected vehicles and replace faulty engines. But some of the recalled cars began spontaneously combusting on the road after getting being inspected and repaired.
The Center for Auto Safety, a consumer advocacy group, petitioned NHTSA to launch the new probe. Executive Director Jason Levine called the move “six months post-due” and just a start.
“Hopefully, this step will quickly lead to a recall being issued as soon as possible,” Levine said in a statement. “The reality is that extended investigations do not protect Kia and Hyundai owners – that requires recalls which result in effective repairs.”
How the California Lemon Law Can Help You
The Kia and Hyundai investigation is just the latest example of the serious safety concerns raised when a car manufacturer allows vehicles to hit the road with serious defects.
The good news is that the California Lemon Law offers some protections to car buyers and lessors in the Golden State. That includes requiring manufacturers to repair cars while they’re under warranty and to replace or take back vehicles that can’t be fixed.
The California Lemon Law lawyers at the Bickel Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state. Our attorneys work aggressively to resolve these cases for the people that we represent.
Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.