Hyundai, Kia Calls Back 168,000 Vehicles for Engine Fires

January 16, 2019 at 8:15 PM

Hyundai Motor Co. and its Kia Motors affiliate are recalling 168,000 cars in the U.S. to fix a high-pressure fuel line that could leak and cause a fire.

The fuel lines may have been either improperly installed or damaged during recalls in 2015 and 2017 of 1.7 million of the companies’ 2.0- and 2.4-liter “Theta II” 4-cylinder engines worldwide. The companies said debris inside the engines could clog internal oil passages, allowing bearings to overheat and fail.

The new callback follows investigations last year into engine fires. The new recalls target 2011-2014 model Hyundai Sonata sedans and 2013-2014 model Santa Fe Sport crossovers (pictured), and 68,000 Kia Optima sedans and Sportage and Sorento crossovers. All had undergone engine repairs during the earlier campaigns.

Hyundai and Kia say they also will conduct a “product improvement” campaign to address engine wear issues in 3.7 million vehicles. The repair will install software that detects and alerts drivers about possible engine failures. If so, the software also switches the engine into a low-power “limp-home” mode.