The nonprofit Center for Auto Safety called on Hyundai and Kia on Friday to recall 2.9 million cars and SUVs in the U.S. for fire risk due to reported consumer concerns. The group noted there have been more than 220 complains to the NHTSA about fires since 2010 and another 200 about melted wires, smoke, and burning smells.
The proposed recall would involve 2010-2015 Kia Soul, and 2011-2014 Kia Sorento, Optima, Hyundai Santa Fe and Sonata.
While the NHTSA has been investigating these fires since 2017, CAS is imploring Hyundai and Kia to act before a recall is forced.
“Since our call for an investigation into these Kia and Hyundai non-collision fires, we have seen reports of almost one fire every single day across these five models,” said CAS executive director Jason Levine.
Between June and October of this year, 103 additional fire reports were brought to CAS’s attention, an increase of 85 percent. The nonprofit also reported at least a dozen instances in which a vehicle was brought in to have an engine recall service performed but a fire was reported at a later date.
“Based on the data collected to date, and these manufacturers’ inability, or unwillingness, to determine the cause of these fires on behalf of the hundreds of Kia and Hyundai customers who own cars which have burst into flames, the Center believes the additional remedy which is warranted is a full recall,” Levine continued. “It is long past time for Kia and Hyundai to act.”