Hyundai And Kia Vehicles Investigated For Engine Fires In San Diego

Hyundai And Kia Vehicles Investigated For Engine Fires In San Diego

In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) issued two Recall Queries (R.Q.) for specific Hyundai and Kia vehicles equipped with “Theta II” engines. The examination looked into the recalls’ timing and extent, as well as each company’s compliance with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act’s reporting obligations. Both firms were found to have several infractions of the regulations, and in November 2020, both companies filed Consent Orders with NHTSA to settle NHTSA’s allegations of law violations.

The Center for Automotive Safety (CAS) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2018 to examine non-crash fires on numerous Hyundai and Kia models, alleging vehicle fires at diverse places of origin and occurring under a variety of non-crash related scenarios (including key-off fires). Many of the fire occurrences looked to start in the engine compartment region, according to the ODI, and the two open R.Q. investigations were likely relevant. After examining the comments, two preliminary evaluations were launched to look into incidences of non-crash fires (independent of the vehicle’s origin or operational condition) on various Hyundai (Sonata and Santa Fe) and Kia (Optima, Sorento, and Soul) models from various model years.

Hyundai and Kia have issued a number of recalls in response to car fires, including those caused by engine failure in a variety of engine types (Theta II GDI, Theta II MPI, Theta II MPI HEV, Nu GDI, and Gamma GDI). Engine examination (to detect existing damage) and, if necessary, engine replacement is usual repairs for engine failure recalls. Additionally, both manufacturers are implementing Knock Sensor Detection Software (KSDS), an engine control software patch that is designed to detect impending engine failure, inform the driver, and limit engine power (to lessen the likelihood of engine failure). Both firms have extended limited engine warranties, and KSDS is being fitted under recalls and non-safety field activities. If the KSDS program predicts an impending engine breakdown, they have even replaced engines.

This Engineering Analysis is being opened by the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) for two main reasons. First, the inquiry will continue to assess the scope of recalls initiated as a result of previous ODI actions, as well as subsequent fires caused by engine failure. Second, the inquiry will track and evaluate the effectiveness of Hyundai and Kia engine fire-related recall remedies, as well as the long-term viability of associated programs and non-safety field actions.


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