Kia, Hyundai recalling more than 500K vehicles due to engine fires

DETROIT — More than half a million vehicles are being recalled by Hyundai and Kia due to engine fires.

The car manufacturers, which are both part of Hyundai Motor Group, are adding three recalls, according to The Associated Press.

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In January, Kia Motors issued a recall plan, which called for inspection of properly installed, high-pressure fuel pumps during engine recall replacements. At the time, it was estimated that more than 50,000 Kia Optimas, more than 17,000 Kia Sorentos and about 1,000 Kia Sportages would be impacted by the recall.

According to a recall posted Thursday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, about 379,000 Kia Soul small SUVs from 2012 through 2016 with 1.6-liter engines are being recalled. In those vehicles, high exhaust gas temperatures can damage the catalytic converters, leading to abnormal combustion and damage to pistons and connecting rods. That damage can pierce the engine block, leading to oil leaks that can cause engine fires.

Hyundai and Kia are also recalling 150,000 Tuscon SUVs from 2011 to 2013 and Sportage SUVs from 2011 and 2012 due to an engine oil pan leak, which can cause fires. A fix is still being developed for the leak.

Kia Soul owners will be mailed letters about the recall and fix starting April 12. If the catalytic converter and the engine are damaged, dealers will replace them. The computer that prevents the catalytic converter from overheating will also be replaced.

Hyundai Tuscon owners will be notified with letters starting March 29. Kia Sportage owners will be notified via letters starting April 10.