Kia Motors America has issued a recall for more than 200,000 of its U.S.-based vehicles because of a problem with a vehicle’s brake computer which might take on water and cause an electrical short. In some cases, this could lead to the vehicle catching fire.
To make matters even more concerning, the problem can occur even if the engine is completely turned off. To date, Kia says it has reports of seven fires, but no injuries.
Models affected, important cautions, and how the problem will be fixed
The Kia recall is slated to start April 10 and covers the following:
Sedona minivans, model years 2006-2010
Sorento SUVs, model years 2007-2009
If you want to be absolutely sure whether or not your Kia vehicle is one of the recalled models, both Hyundai and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provide search tools to make things easy.
If you own one of the affected models, Kia says owners should not hesitate to park their vehicles outside, away from buildings (yes, including the garage) and other vehicles until the problem can be fixed on your vehicle.
To take care of the problem, Kia dealers will install a relay in the main electrical junction box which is designed to stop power from going to the brake computer when the engine is off.
Another year, another snafu
Hyundai/Kia is no stranger to recalls. In late 2019, the company recalled 2020 model Elantras. In 2018, Hyundai recalled Santa Fe and Sante Fe Sport vehicles.
It’s also no stranger to its cars suspiciously catching fire, much like the new problem. Just a year ago, the company recalled a half-million vehicles that were found to be prone to exploding without warning. The problem became so bad that the Center for Auto Safety wrote to Congress to ask lawmakers to investigate the issue.
“Instead of presenting the public a solution for these fires, or a satisfactory explanation, or simply taking responsibility for continuing to sell what appear to be defective engines, both manufacturers have recalled fewer than 10% of the potential fire prone vehicles and hoped no one would ask about the rest,” the organization said at the time.