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09 Mar 2021 | 14:23

Kia recalls 380,000 US vehicles over fire risks

(Sharecast News) - Kia Motors is set to recall nearly 380,000 vehicles of the Sportage and Cadenza models due to faults in their electric system that risk causing a fire in the engine compartment. The recall covers vehicles built from the 2017-2021 model years and the company will notify the owners starting 30 April.

Dealers will have to replace some fuses in the electric system.

Kia warned that a short circuit in the hydraulic electronic brake control unit can cause excessive current, increasing the risk of a fire.

It added that the recalled cars are not equipped with the company's Smart Cruise Control system.

Kia is advising owners to park outside and away from structures until the recall is complete.

No fires, crashes or injuries have been reported related to the issue yet, the Korean automaker said.

The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating Kia and Hyundai engine fires in 2019. The agency opened the probe after the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety filed a petition seeking the investigation.

When the inquiry began, the agency said it had owner complaints of more than 3,100 fires, 103 injuries and one death.

Last November, the NHTSA announced that Kia and Hyundai must pay $137m in fines and for safety improvements because they moved too slowly to recall over 1.0m vehicles with engines that can fail.

Kia was to pay $27m and invest $16m in safety performance measures. Another $27m payment will be deferred as long as Kia meets safety conditions, NHTSA said.
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