Fire Fears Behind Hyundai, Kia Recall of 600,000 Vehicles
Hyundai and Kia owners should check to see if their cars have been recalled before getting behind the wheel.
Korean auto manufacturer Hyundai recently announced that it is calling back nearly 600,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles over fears that they could catch fire. The company is also warning car owners to park outside and away from structures until the vehicles are inspected and repaired.
Hyundai in March told federal regulators that a tow hitch harness defect is to blame for the fire risk, which can be present even when cars’ engines are off.
“The printed circuit board (“PCB”) in the tow hitch harness module could be susceptible to water ingress through the 4-pin tow hitch harness connector, which could cause an electrical short,” Hyundai said in a defect notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“An electrical short could increase the risk of a trailer tow hitch harness module fire while driving or while the vehicle is parked with the ignition off,” Hyundai added in the notice.
The recall covers certain 2019-2023 Santa Fe, 2021-2023 Sante Fe Hybrid, 2022 and 2023 Santa Fe Plug-in hybrid and 2022 and 2023 Santa Cruz vehicles. It also extends to 2022-2023 Kia Carnival minivans.
Hyundai said it plans to notify owners of recalled cars by May 16. It will ask them to bring their vehicles in for inspection and repair.
“Owners can continue driving these vehicles; however, Hyundai recommends parking their vehicles outside and away from structures until the recall remedy is completed,” the company said in the defect notice.
California Hyundai, Kia Owners’ Rights
Recalls over serious safety issues are all too common for Hyundai and Kia.
The latest recall comes after Hyundai called back some 44,000 Santa Fe sport utility vehicles last year and warned owners to park outside over similar fire concerns.
The companies were forced to pay a combined $210 million, for example, after NHTSA found that they slow-played the recall of 1.6 million vehicles for engine problems. More recently, Hyundai announced it was recalling some 26,000 vehicles whose windshields could detach in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injuries.
Fortunately, car owners in California do not have to wait around for a vehicle to get defective vehicles fixed. You have some valuable rights under the California lemon law.
The law forces automakers to perform a full range of repairs on cars while they are under warranty. It also requires the companies to buy back (or replace, in some cases) vehicles that they are unable to or simply decline to fix.
Our Lemon Law Lawyers Can Help
At Bickel Sannipoli, our California lemon law attorneys have assisted hundreds of clients across the state stuck with defective or malfunctioning vehicles.
We are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law attorney today.