Two Korean car manufacturers have just issued a massive recall alert, while simultaneously urging the owners of over half a million vehicles to park their cars and minivans outside, well away from any buildings.
The reason for the recall is a fear that the vehicles could catch fire, even when switched off.
Which vehicles does the recall affect?
The recall covers the following Hyundai vehicles:
- 2019 to 2023 Santa Fe
- 2021 to 2023 Santa Fe Hybrid
- 2022 and 2023 Santa Fe Plug-in hybrid
- 2022 and 2023 Santa Cruz
It also covers all 2022 and 2023 Kia Carnival minivans.
What’s the problem leading to the recall?
This issue is associated with the tow-hitch harnesses. The manufacturers say that if water gets into the hitch’s circuit board, that could cause it to short-circuit and start a fire. That could be dangerous enough if the car is parked somewhere in an open lot or on the street, let alone while driving. It could also be a disaster if the fire starts while in an underground parking deck or someone’s garage.
Have there actually been any fires, or is it just a precaution?
To date, there have been five such fires in Hyundai vehicles, but none yet in Kias.
The manufacturers should send the owner a letter sometime in May asking owners to bring the car in to remove the fuse. That’s a temporary workaround to avoid keeping the vehicle parked outside. Later, they plan on installing a wire extension kit and new fuse.
It’s good to see that manufacturers have spotted the fault and are taking positive action. Yet that doesn’t always happen, or happens after owners have experienced the fault. Sometimes you’ll need legal help to get the treatment you deserve if you’ve been sold a car with issues.