‘Could’ve been worse’: Kia bursts into flames moments after driver gets out, days after recall

CHARLOTTE — A local mother is breathing a sigh of relief that her daughter is safe after her Kia burst into flames in the parking lot of their south Charlotte apartment complex.

This incident comes just days after more than 90,000 Kia and Hyundai cars and SUVs were recalled due to fire risks.

Sabrina Morrison then sent pictures of the scorched car to Channel 9. The heat was so intense that the tires melted and glued the 2013 Optima to the parking lot.

“Our neighbors came through every apartment banging on the door, saying someone’s car is on fire,” Morrison told Channel 9′s Glenn Counts.

Last week, the car manufacturer issued the recalls because of a defect in a transmission oil pump for certain 2022 and 2023 models, consumer reports say. This recall impacted multiple popular models like the Hyundai Palisade, Tucson, Sonata, Elantra, Kona, Kia Soul, Sportage, and Seltos.

Due to the fire risk, the automaker is pushing for owners to park outside and away from buildings until the problem is fixed. Morrison and her daughter are following that advice and encouraging anyone looking to buy a car to do their research.

“I strongly suggest that wherever you get your car from, whether it be a dealership or a local private business, do your homework,” Morrison said.

The 2013 Kia Optima is not covered by the new recall, but there are several other recalls dating back to 2018 concerning fuel line issues. Morrison bought the car last year and told Counts she’s not sure if the proper recall work was done.

“It’s the driver’s side; my daughter got out of this car minutes before it caught fire,” she said.

Morrison said she believes destiny protected her daughter because the car gave no warning signs of fire, not even smoke.

“It could have been worse, thank goodness,” Morrison explained, “but it wasn’t in that she came back home in time and something just ordered her steps to be home instead of going to find something else to eat, and I could have gotten a worse phone call.”

To figure out if there is a recall on your car, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website. You can also enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see if recall work was completed on your vehicle.

(WATCH BELOW: More Hyundai and Kia cars recalled due to fire risk)

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