Hyundai Motor Group is recalling yet more vehicles in the wake of hundreds of fire complaints.
Last January, Hyundai and Kia began recalling just over 4 million vehicles due to an engine fire risk. Roughly 2 million 2011-2018 Sonatas and Santa Fes were recalled, as well as 1.7 million Kia Optimas, Sorentos, and Sportages.
Each vehicle was set to be upgraded with a new engine knock sensor which detects early wear and tear on engine bearings. The reason this became such a wide-ranging issue is that the Center for Auto Safety received hundreds of complaints of Hyundai and Kia vehicles randomly catching fire.
At one point, the advocacy group said they were receiving one new fire complaint per day.
Now, the Hyundai Motor Group is expanding their recall at the request of the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration to include 2012-2016 Kia Souls, 2011-2013 Hyundai Tucsons, and 2011-2012 Kia Sportages for an assortment of different engine faults that could all lead to a fire.
Roughly 379,000 Kia Souls with the 1.6-L gas engine are being recalled due to an issue with the catalytic converter. "High exhaust gas temperatures may damage the catalytic converter,” reads the NHTSA website, “possibly resulting in abnormal engine combustion and damage to one or more of the engine's pistons and possible piston connecting rod failure."
The piston rod could then puncture the engine block, cause an oil leak, and then catch fire if the oil comes into contact with the hot exhaust.
Kia will “upgrade the Catalytic Overheating Protection Engine Control Unit logic to prevent overheating of the catalytic converter” and replace the catalytic converter if it’s already damaged.
For the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage, the recall centers around a faulty oil pan that might leak oil. There’s no listed cause or solution on the NHTSA website, so Hyundai will contact affected owners once they have an idea of how to fix it.
Letters will be sent out late March to vehicle owners. At this point, one wonders if every single Hyundai vehicle made for the past decade might eventually be recalled.