Two of the most popular Korean vehicles in North America now find themselves part of a massive recall due to a fire hazard.
Some 203,000 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUVs from 2013-2015 are affected in Canada and the U.S. The platform-sharing Kia Sorento from 2014-2015 is in the same situation along with the Optima sedan from 2013-2015. The Kia duo has over 440,000 units being recalled across the continent.
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The exact number of vehicles recalled on this side of the border has yet to be specified. However, we know there are 23,153 Sorentos and 52,304 Santa Fe Sports.
So, what’s the problem? On certain vehicles, brake fluid can enter the brake Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) and cause a short circuit. This may also cause the ABS warning light to turn on, but it’s that short circuit that could lead to a fire.
Twenty-three cases have been reported so far in the U.S. including 15 by Hyundai and eight by Kia. No related injuries have been reported, fortunately.
Owners will be notified by mail in the next few weeks and instructed to take their vehicle to a dealer for an inspection. If there is a brake fluid leak in the HECU, it will be replaced.
Kia recommends parking the vehicle outdoors and away from other vehicles or structures until the repairs have been completed. Hyundai claims such a precaution is not needed, but if the ABS warning light comes on, owners should not drive their vehicles and ideally disconnect the 12-volt battery by removing the positive cable.