Hyundai and Kia are telling owners of 571,000 SUVs and minivans in the U.S. on Friday to park them outdoors because traction devices can catch fire when parked or driven. (David Zalubowski, Associated Press)
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DETROIT – Hyundai and Kia are telling owners of more than 571,000 SUVs and minivans in the U.S. to park them outdoors because traction harnesses can catch fire when parked or driven.
Affiliated Korean automakers Vehicles are being repossessed and warns people to stay off the buildings until repairs are made.
Affected Hyundai vehicles include the 2019 to 2023 Santa Fe, the 2021 to 2023 Santa Fe Hybrid, the 2022 and 2023 Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid, and the 2022 and 2023 Santa Cruz. Only Kia’s 2022 and 2023 Carnival minivans are affected. All have Hyundai or Kia tow hitch harnesses that come as original equipment or are dealer-installed.
Korean automakers say in documents released Thursday by U.S. safety regulators that water can enter a circuit board and cause a short circuit, even if the ignitions are turned off.
The Hyundai has had one fire and five heat damage incidents with no injuries. Kia had no reports of fires or injuries.
Dealers will first remove the fuse and the tow hitch computer module until it can be repaired. Then they will install a new fuse and wire extension, an upgraded connector that is waterproof. Owners will be notified from May 16.
Last year, Hyundai recalled 245,000 2020 to 2022 Palisade SUVs for a similar problem.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday that the latest recall is a direct result of the agency’s monitoring of the Palisade recall last year.
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