KIA Automaker Recalls More Than 400,000 cars due to Engine Fire Issue

Written by Daniel Maloney (News Writer)

The massive automaker KIA is recalling more than 400,000 cars to fix a problem that may cause engine fires. The same cars have been recalled previously back in September 2020, but the company says the new fix will include enhanced safety measures to end the problem for good. The recall is covering certain Optima sedans from the 2013 to 2015 model years, and Sorento SUVs from the 2014 and 2015 model years. KIA is telling owners of these vehicles to park them outside as fires may happen even when the engine is not running. If you think your vehicle may be affected, visit KIA’s recall website.

The Sorentos and Optimas affected by the problem were all made at KIA’s manufacturing plant in Georgia, and are caused by brake fluid that can leak into the hydraulic electronic control unit, HECU, over time leading to short-circuiting, causing engine fires. This is the same problem causing the recall last year, but the automaker has said that no injuries have occurred due to the fires.

This time around, dealers will install a new fuse with a lower amperage, going from 40, down to 30. They will also replace the HECU to “prevent an over-current condition in HECU’s electrical circuit board.” The first recall of the vehicles had a similar fix, is installing a new, lower amperage HECU.

Interestingly, this is one of many engine fire-related problems KIA has had over the past year. In April of this year, the new 2021 KIA Seltos and 2020-2021 KIA Soul crossovers were recalled for engine fires due to issues with the oil rings. And in March of this year, 2017-2021 KIA Sportages and 2017-2019 KIA Cadenzas were recalled. This all is not a good look for the company, which will likely be trying to fix this bad press in the future.

Owners of these vehicles can expect recall notices in the mail as soon as July 2 but should still make sure to leave them outside and away from structures until the problem is resolved.

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