Hyundai and Kia recall thousands of hybrids due to fire hazard

Published: October 16, 2018

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Car giants Hyundai and Kia have become the latest automakers to recall vehicles in North America. The companies are calling back nearly 2,000 cars in Canada due to a potential fire hazard. Certain vehicles by the two manufacturers have an issue with a connection located under the rear seats that can spark and potentially ignite.

Hyundai says it is recalling 754 Ioniq hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, while Kia is bringing back 1,039 Niro crossovers. All vehicles are 2017 and 2018 models. Interestingly, the recalls were issued separately but the fault has been reported the same across both manufacturers.

Both vehicles are relatively popular amongst Canadians. Hyundai sold 2,729 Ioniqs in September, while Kia sold 2,067 Niro units.

Of course, this suggests a shared faulty component. Transport Canada reports a power relay assembly located under the rear seat could have an “adequate connection”. Electrical resistance could be lowered by this problem and can produce more heat and become a fire risk.

Both Hyundai and Kia caution users to be aware of the HEV warning light as the problem could trigger it when driving. This problem could also lead to the vehicle not starting.

Owners of those vehicles have been told to bring their car into an official dealer for the power relay assembly to be checked. Dealers will look for evidence of thermal damage and will replace the power relay assembly if damage is found. If there is no damage, only the main relay will be replaced.

Major Recalls

Earlier this year, Hyundai’s Ioniq Hybrid was named 2018 Canadian Green Car Award at Toronto’s Green Living Show. It was the second time the model has won the award.

Hyundai and Kia become the latest auto manufacturers to recall vehicles due to fire risk. Last month, Ford recalled 50,000 vehicles in North America, including 1,327 examples from Canada. Ford said a fire hazard in 120-volt cords that it used in certain hybrid and electric vehicles produced between 2012 and 2015. Among them are Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi hybrid vehicles.

Also in September, Nissan recalled 10,819 Murano SUVs dated 2015 to 2017 and Maxima cars dated 2016 to 2017. The company was forced into the action because of a brake fluid leak that could result in the vehicle catching fire.