Detroit (AP) – Hyundai and Kia have added more than a half-million vehicles of U.S. recalls for engine failures and fires.
The companies have now recalled nearly 2.4 million vehicles for fire and engine failure problems since September of 2015, and they are under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for potentially being slow to fix faulty vehicles.
In addition, the companies are doing a “product improvement campaign” covering another 3.7 million vehicles to install software that will alert drivers of possible engine failures and send the cars into a reduced-speed “limp” mode if problems are detected.
The largest of three recalls posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website Thursday covers nearly 379,000 Kia Soul small SUVs from 2012 through 2016 with 1.6-liter engines. Documents show that high exhaust gas temperatures can damage the catalytic converters, which control pollution. 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.
In addition, Hyundai and Kia are recalling 152,000 Tuscon SUVs from 2011 to 2013 and Sportage SUVs from 2011 and 2012 to fix an engine oil pan leak that also can cause fires.
All Souls with 1.6-liter engines made from July 8, 2011 through August 11, 2016 are being recalled. Dealers will replace a computer that prevents the catalytic converter from overheating. They’ll also replace the catalytic converter and the engine if they have been damaged. Letters will be mailed to owners starting April 12.
Documents in the latest round of recalls don’t mention whether there have been any fires or injuries. In January, Kia said it had six reports of fires among vehicles being recalled for possible fuel leaks, while Hyundai said it had no fire reports. Neither company had any reports of injuries.