Hyundai, Kia expand fire-risk recall to include 150K Tucson and Sportage models

March 1, 2019

Hyundai and Kia expanded to 150,000 additional crossover SUVs recalls related to leaking oil pans that could lead to a fire risk or engine stall, according to documents filed with the NHTSA earlier this month.

The recall stems from previous troubles surrounding the 2.4-liter inline-4 engine found in 2011-2014 Sonata and 2013-2014 Santa Fe models. The engines feature leaking oil pans that can reduce the engine's oil level to cause the engine to stall, damage the engine, or worst case scenario, cause a fire to break out.

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The recalls were delayed during the partial federal government shutdown that ended on Jan. 28, 2019. In total, about 120,000 2011-2013 Hyundai Tucsons and 2011-2012 32,000 Kia Sportage models may be affected.

2011 Kia Sportage SX

2011 Kia Sportage SX

Hyundai and Kia's investigation is ongoing to understand the root cause of the problem, and the NHTSA had already begun investigating both brands as of May 2017 for the issue. Last December, the agency expressed its concerns after reviewing claim data from owners about the engine issues. The root cause appears to be in a lack of sealant for the oil pans with the 2.4-liter engines. Owners may notice oil leaks on the car's underbody, on the ground where the car is parked, smell smoke while driving, or reduced power and hesitation while driving.

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The check engine light and engine oil pressure warning light may also illuminate.

The remedy for the issue is not complete and Hyundai will notify owners accordingly when it has a solution for the leaking oil pans in the 2.4-liter engines, according to the documents. Letters notifying owners a recall is underway will be sent to Hyundai owners no later than March 29, and for Kia owners by April 10. Once the brands finalize a remedy for the problem, a second notification will be mailed to owners. Hyundai and Kia also said it will reimburse owners who've made repairs to their cars before the recall's announcement.

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