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Half-Million Hyundai, Kia Vehicles Recalled As Fire Risk Grows

2014 Hyundai Tucson
2014 Hyundai Tucson Photo Credit: File

Some Hyundai and Kia vehicles got too hot to handle, prompting a recall of more than a half million vehicles in the U.S. due to problems that can cause engine fires.

On Thursday, Feb. 28, the Korean automakers announced that they were recalling 379,000 Kia Soul SUVs from 2012 through 2016 with 1.6-liter engines. They are also recalling 152,000 Hyundai Tucson SUVs from 2011 to 2013 and Kia Sportage SUVs from 2011 and 2012.

According to officials, the Soul SUVs have high exhaust gas temperatures can damage the catalytic converters. That can cause abnormal combustion and damage pistons and connecting rods. A failed connecting rod can pierce the engine block and cause oil leaks that can cause fires.

The other recalled vehicles feature an oil pan leak that can also cause fires in the vehicles.

Officials said that the investigation into the combustible vehicles has been in the works since May 2016. Recalls for vehicles with engine failures began back in 2015 when complaints first arose. In total, the companies have recalled upwards of 2.5 million vehicles for engine and fire failure problems.

In a letter to legislators released this week, the Center for Auto Safety reportedly asked for congressional action to hold Hyundai and Kia responsible for failing to repair millions of fire-prone vehicles. The center said the government has more than 300 Hyundai-Kia fire complaints, which is high compared with similar vehicles.

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