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. On May 10, 2021, a federal judge granted final approval for a settlement of $1.3 billion. 

Click here for our list of all Hyundai Kia Fire and Engine Recalls since 2010

Latest News

Recall issued for hundreds of thousands of Kias, Hyundais over fire risk. WESH 2 News, Orlando. February 8, 2022.

Park outside: Hyundai, Kia recall vehicles due to fire risk. Associated Press. February 8, 2022. Hyundai and Kia Engine Fire Investigation Updated. December 28, 2021.

Our Actions

Read our recent warning to consumers about Kia and Hyundai Theta II engines.

“Today’s announcement validates the concerns of millions of consumers about a persistent safety hazard and should remind manufacturers there are costs beyond recalls for failing to report dangerous defects, as required by law,” said Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety.

Read our latest press statement on NHTSA’s civil penalty against Hyundai and Kia for failure to recall.

Starting in April 2020, some Optima and Sedona owners will finally have access to a recall repair, but this does nothing for the millions of other Kia and Hyundai owners for whom nothing but a sensor and prayer are being offered. Additionally, the idea this problem was discovered in November strains credulity. We fully expect more shoes to drop, and therefore we are renewing our call to Congress to determine exactly what is happening here.

Read our latest press statement on Kia’s non-crash fire recall.

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.

Read our statement on NHTSA’s decision to grant our defect investigation petition
Read NHTSA’s opening memos for their Kia and Hyundai defect investigations—March 29, 2019
Read our press statement on our letter to Congress calling for action on Kia and Hyundai fires—February 27, 2019
Read our letter to Congress calling for action on Kia and Hyundai fires—February 27, 2019
Read our petition for a defect investigation—June 11, 2018

All News

Kia Connecting Rod Bearing Failure Prompts Optima Hybrid, Optima Phev Recall. Autoevolution. November 8, 2021.
Hyundai Engine Recall Follows 45 Engine Fires. September 24, 2021. 
Millions of vehicles are at risk of catching fire. Is yours one of them?
KPRC Houston. June 21, 2021
Kia, Hyundai recall cars due to possibility of catching on fire. News12 The Bronx. January 2, 2021.
After being fined by US, Hyundai recalls more vehicles.
Associated Press. December 4, 2020.
Hyundai, Kia fined for delaying US engine failure recalls.
Associated PressNovember 27, 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.
Kia to recall 193,000 vehicles for potential fuel leak, fire risk. Automotive News. February 28, 2020.
Kia Optima Fuel Hose Recall Issued to Prevent Fires. February 28, 2020.
What Kia, Hyundai settlement means for car owners. WSOC-TV. October 16, 2019.
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.