A series of investigations into engine fires that have afflicted Hyundai and Kia vehicles for more than six years has been stepped up by US auto safety regulators.
A new engineering study probe, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covers more than 3 million automobiles from the 2011 to 2016 model years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 161 reports of engine fires, some of which happened in vehicles that had already been recalled.
Since September 2015, when the business issued an engine failure recall, the Korean automakers’ vehicles have been plagued with engine failures and fires. According to NHTSA papers posted on its website Monday, it has issued at least eight more recalls for a variety of engine faults since then.
The DOT says it’s starting an engineering review to see if prior recalls covered enough vehicles. It will also keep an eye on the effectiveness of prior recalls, as well as the long-term viability of associated programmes and non-safety field operations that Hyundai and Kia are conducting.
Hyundai stated on Monday that it is fully working with the United States. In a prepared statement, Hyundai stated, “Hyundai has taken various proactive efforts to address engine issues, including executing several recalls, deploying a new engine monitoring system, providing extended warranties, and strengthening our customer service response.” “Hyundai promotes a transparent and accountable culture since our customers’ safety is our top priority in all we do.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated in November 2020 that Kia and Hyundai must pay $137 million in fines and make safety upgrades because they took too long to recall more than 1 million vehicles with potentially dangerous engines. The sanctions are the result of a previous investigation into the firms’ actions, which included recalls of various vehicles dating back to the 2011 model year.
Kia was required to pay $27 million and make a $16 million investment in safety measures. According to the NHTSA, another $27 million payment will be withheld as long as Kia maintains safety requirements. Since 2015, the non-profit Centre for Auto Safety has documented 31 fire and engine-related recalls by Hyundai and Kia in the United States. Over 8.4 million vehicles are affected by the recalls, which include more than 20 models from 2006 through 2021.
The majority of the recalls were due to manufacturing flaws that prevented oil from flowing freely through the engine block. Many of them necessitated costly engine replacements.
Hyundai and Kia also launched a “product enhancement effort” in the United States, encompassing 3.7 million vehicles, to install software that warns drivers of potential engine issues.