The recalls add significant new problems to both automaker’s already troubled times, which have been plagued with hundreds of customer complaints about vehicle fires from across the U.S. To date, the companies have recalled approximately 2.4 million vehicles for fire and engine failure problems, and are currently the subject of an NHTSA investigation for potentially being slow to react to vehicle defects.
Both Hyundai and Kia are also in the process of conducting a “product improvement campaign” — which covers another 3.7 million vehicles — to install software that will warn drivers of potential engine failures and send the cars into a “limp” mode if problems are detected.
The largest of the 3 new recalls affects nearly 379,000 Kia Soul SUVs from model years 2012-2016 with 1.6-liter engines. High exhaust gas temperatures in affected vehicles can damage the catalytic converters, can cause abnormal combustion and fires, NHTSA said.
Hyundai and Kia are recalling 152,000 Tucson SUVs from model years 2011-2013 and Sportage SUVs from 2011-2012 to fix an engine oil pan leak that also can cause fires.
All Kia Souls with 1.6-liter engines manufactured between July 8, 2011 through August 11, 2016 are also 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.