South Korean car manufacturers Hyundai and Kia announced they are recalling more than 91,773 vehicles in the US on Thursday (August 3), over concerns that damaged components in electric oil pump controllers could overheat and catch on fire. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed the recall.
The recall covers roughly 52,000 Hyundai cars and 40,000 Kia cars, and was spurred by less than a dozen reports of cars catching fire. Both companies instructed customers to park their vehicles outside and away from any structure and reported that heat damage could potentially short-circuit onboard features.
The Hyundai Palisade, Tuscon, Sonata, Elantra, and Kona vehicles were affected, as well as the Kia Soul and Sportage models. All of the cars being recalled are 2023 or 2023-2024 models.
The issue stems from the Idle Stop & Go oil pump, which is a Hyundai invention meant to improve fuel economy. It automatically shuts down the engine whenever a vehicle comes to a stop but remains on, like at a stoplight or during a traffic jam.
Both car companies have had to issue a series of recent recalls. In March, Kia and Hyundai recalled more than 570,000 cars over a possible threat of fire related to a faulty tow hitch harness, although no injuries were reported. Then, in April, the US government sued the two companies for manufacturing more than 9 million cars that were “easy to steal,” a lawsuit Kia and Hyundai settled for more than $200 million in May.
Additionally, the NHTSA issued a recall request for 4 million Kia vehicles in May, after finding that the company’s airbag technology could explode when deployed, causing shrapnel to fly through the car. Kia reported no known injuries from a faulty airbag. The NHTSA is also currently probing reports that Hyundai’s flagship electric vehicle is randomly stopping mid-drive due to a faulty transistor.
Shares of Hyundai—which owns a 33% stake in Kia—were down 1.6% at markets close in New York, while Kia rose nearly 1%. Representatives for Hyundai and Kia were not immediately available for comment.