Kia and Hyundai Non-Crash Fires

The Issue
In October 2019, Kia and Hyundai reached a $760 million settlement with customers affected by non-crash engine fires after NHTSA investigated this defect. On April 1, 2019, NHTSA granted our petition—based on the more than 300 consumer complaints of Kia and Hyundai vehicles bursting into flames—calling for an investigation into the non-collision fires and the hundreds of additional complaints of melted wires in the engine bay, smoke, and burning odors emanating from these vehicles. The Center has also called for a full recall of all 2011-2014 Kia Optima, Kia Sorento, Kia Soul, Hyundai Sonata, and Hyundai Santa Fe, and all 2010-2015 Kia Souls (a total of almost 3 million vehicles) and petitioned NHTSA to open an investigation into the issue.

View the complaints here.

Latest News

Hyundai warns owners to park outside, recalls 180,000 SUVs. The Detroit News. September 11, 2020. 

Hyundai, Kia recall vehicles for leaks that can cause fires. ABC News. September 3, 2020. 

If you own one of these cars, vans or SUVs, don’t park them in a garage, automaker says. WKMG Orlando 6. March 2, 2020.


Our Actions

It is long past time for the full power of the federal government to be brought to bear to answer why so many thousands of Kia and Hyundai vehicles have been involved in non-crash fires. While it may be six months post-due, we are gratified to see NHTSA’s Office of Defect Investigations open formal investigations based on our petition.

Read our latest press statement on NHTSA’s decision to grant our petition for a defect investigation.

The Center for Auto Safety urges Congress to investigate why Kia and Hyundai have refused to fully address this dangerous defect and why the political leadership of the agency responsible for overseeing highway and traffic safety has allowed such continued malfeasance.

Read our press statement on our petition for a defect investigation. 

For the reasons discussed above, the Center urges NHTSA to grant this Petition for a Defect Investigation into 2011-14 Kia Optima and Sorento, and Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe vehicles.

Read our petition for a defect investigation.

Read our statement on NHTSA’s decision to grant our defect investigation petition—April 1, 2019
Read NHTSA’s opening memos for their Kia and Hyundai defect investigations—March 29, 2019
Read our letter to Congress calling for action on Kia and Hyundai fires—February 27, 2019

All News
Hyundai, Kia reach $758 million settlement in vehicle fires class-action lawsuit. News 6 Orlando. October 11, 2019.
Kia, Hyundai agree to settle class action lawsuits over engine fires. Wesh 2. October 11, 2019.
Family files lawsuit against Kia, rental car company after vehicle catches fire during vacation in Hawaii. ABC Action News. October 1, 2019.
8/10/19 RECALL: Hyundai vs. the Center for Auto Safety. Drivers Talk. August 10, 2019.

Read past news and updates on the Kia and Hyundai Non-crash fires.