September 3, 2020 — Hyundai and Kia recalled around 600,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada because a brake fluid leak can cause engine fires.
Kia recalled around 440,000 Kia Optima sedans (2013 through 2015) and Kia Sorento SUVs (2014 and 2015). Kia reported 8 engine fires and no injuries.
Hyundai recalled about 203,000 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs (2013 to 2015). Hyundai reported 15 engine fires due to the brake fluid leaks, but no injuries.
The problem is that brake fluid can leak inside a hydraulic control unit for the anti-lock brakes, which may cause an electrical short-circuit that could spark an engine fire.
Both auto-makers have been plagued by engine fire problems affecting millions of vehicles, but they said this recent recall is not related to previous recalls.
In February 2020, Hyundai recalled 430,000 Elantra vehicles (2006 through 2011) and Elantra Touring vehicles (2007 through 2011) because brake fluid leaks could potentially spark an engine fire, even when the vehicles are turned off.
In April 2019, federal safety officials opened investigations into Hyundai and Kia after reports of at least 3,100 fires and 103 injuries. The investigations involve non-crash engine fires in 3 million vehicles, including: Hyundai Sonata (2011-2014), Hyundai Santa Fe (2011-2014), Kia Optima (2011-2014), Kia Sorento (2011-2014), and Kia Soul (2010-2015).
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