Kia, Hyundai recall cars due to possibility of catching on fire
The new year is beginning with a new round of recalls for Kia and Hyundai owners, as cars can potentially catch on fire.
News 12 first showed a video more than two years ago of a Kia Sorrento on fire, with the driver seemingly unaware.
It wasn't an isolated incident: There have been more than 3,000 reports of unexplained car fires from Kia and Hyundai owners.
In the past three years, the automakers have recalled 3.5 million vehicles from 2006 to 2021 because of a variety of defects that could cause cars to catch fire.
Jason Levine, the director of the Center for Auto Safety, says the agency first brought the issue to the government's attention.
"They seem to be separate concerns. But they all lead to a problem that no consumer wants, which is their car catching on fire," he says.
The most recent recall will affect 400,000 vehicles. Drivers will be notified around the third week of January.
In addition to the recalls, Kia and Hyundai are committing a total of $70 million to improve safety measures - so will this solve the fire issue once and for all?
"One of the questions will be, as consumers bring these vehicles in, are they receiving engine replacements? Or are they just receiving sort of an inspection?" Levine says.
Hyundai says it is, "actively monitors and evaluates potential safety concerns, including non-collision engine fires… and acts swiftly to recall any vehicles with safety-related defects".
Kia says, "If a fire is determined to be the result of a Kia manufacturing issue, KMA will work with the customer to reach a satisfactory resolution."
Both companies say customers who have concerns should call their dealer.
For more information on the recalls, click here.