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hyundai and kia recall
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Safety & security

Drive a Hyundai or Kia? More than half a million models pose a fire risk

Is it just us, or are automotive recalls becoming more common? We recently reported on a pair of dangerous recalls that not only affect 140,000 Dodge SUVs but also nearly 60,000 child safety seats from a major manufacturer. You’ll want to check this out.

If you have a Hyundai or Kia and a garage, you should park it on the street for a while. A new recall involves a fire risk for more than half a million vehicles from these manufacturers.

Keep your Hyundai outside

The NHTSA has issued a recall for 567,912 Hyundai SUVs for tow hitch harnesses that could catch fire. The accessories either came as original equipment or were installed by dealerships.

Essentially, water can reach the circuit board in the tow hitch harness and cause an electrical short, resulting in a fire. This could happen even if the ignition is switched off.

Here are the affected vehicles:

  • 2019-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe.
  • 2021-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe HEV.
  • 2022-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-in HEV.
  • 2022-2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz.

If you own one of these vehicles, you can continue to drive it but don’t park it inside your garage. And if you do park it outside, the NHTSA advises you to keep it “away from structures.” Good luck with that.

Hyundai will notify owners of affected vehicles by mail to bring their cars to verify if they need a fix. Dealerships will remove the fuse and tow hitch module until a fix is available.

When that time comes, a new fuse and wire extension kit will be installed, along with a waterproof connecter. Notifications will go out starting May 16, and all fixes will be done free of charge.

This recall echoes an earlier one issued last August, affecting 2020-2022 Hyundai Palisade SUVs. It’s a similar situation and fix, so if you have one of those vehicles and haven’t gotten it taken care of, you should.

RELATED: Best apps to save you from an expensive home or car emergency

Kia minivans pose a fire risk

Kia is a subsidiary of Hyundai, so it’s no surprise that 3,555 Kia vehicles are being recalled for the same problem. The affected minivans have tow hitch harnesses that were preinstalled or added at the dealerships.

If water gets through the tow hitch harness connector and into the circuit board, there’s a risk of an electric short and fire. This is possible even if the vehicle is parked with the ignition off.

Just one Kia model is affected:

  • 2022-2023 Kia Carnival.

Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by mail starting on May 16. Dealerships will inspect the vehicles, replace the fuse and install a new wire extension kit if needed. This will be done free of charge.

In the meantime, keep your Kia Carnival parked outside.

How to check any car for recalls

Even if your vehicle isn’t part of the above recalls, you can always check if anything needs fixing.

Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) recall lookup page. Enter your 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN) into the provided search field, and the results will show the number and type of safety recalls that apply to your specific car. If you don’t get any results, then your vehicle isn’t part of a current recall.

You can find the VIN on most vehicles by standing outside the front windshield and peering down at the lower driver-side corner of the dashboard. It’s a bit difficult to see, so look carefully. Some cars will also have it printed on an emblem on the driver-side door jamb.

Keep reading

Over 5M cars have been recalled in the last six months — Is yours on the list?

Tesla recalls 362K cars with ‘Full Self-Driving’ software that can cause a crash

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