Kia and Hyundai Non-Crash Fires

The Issue

On October 12, 2018, the Center for Auto Safety called for an immediate recall—based on the more than 230 consumer complaints of Kia and Hyundai vehicles bursting into flames—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. The Center has also petitioned NHTSA to open an investigation into these non-collision fires and the hundreds of additional complaints of melted wires in the engine bay, smoke, and burning odors emanating from these vehicles.


View the complaints here.

Latest News

Our Actions

“Before there’s another tragedy, Kia and Hyundai must recall these vehicles, determine why they are catching on fire, and remedy the situation.”

Read our latest press statement.

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.

It is only a matter of time before one of these clearly defective vehicles claims the life of one or more of its occupants or someone who shares the road with them.

Read the addendum to our original petition. 


Read our letter to Kia.

Read our letter to Hyundai. 

Read Sen. Nelson’s letter to NHTSA on the issue. 

Read NHTSA’s response to Sen. Nelson. 

Read NHTSA’s response to the Center for Auto Safety’s petition. 

Read Sen. Nelson’s call for a hearing on Kia and Hyundai fires. 

Read our statement on Kia and Hyundai’s apparent unwillingness to testify at the hearing. 

All News

Whistleblower says Kia is downplaying risk that its cars can randomly catch fire. Consumer Affairs. January 25, 2019. 

Auto safety group not pleased with Kia, Hyundai’s recall of 168K vehicles. M Live. January 24, 2019. 

Insurance Companies Warn Of Hyundai And Kia Fires. Car Buzz. January 24, 2019. 

5 Hyundai, Kia models have high fire insurance claim rates. Associated Press. January 22, 2019. 

Kia, Hyundai to recall vehicles to fix problem that can cause fires. WESH 2. January 17, 2019. 

Hyundai, Kia Recall Sedans, SUVs for Fire Risk. Consumer Reports. January 16, 2019. 

Kia, Hyundai announce recall on more than 100,000 vehicles following ABC Action News investigation. ABC Action News. January 15, 2019.

Questions after fires in Kia & Hyundai vehicles: Sorentos, Optimas, Santa Fes and Sonatas. ABC Denver. November 15, 2018.

New info uncovered as Kia, Hyundai CEOs refuse to testify before Senate committee. WESH 2. November 14, 2018. 

CEOs of Hyundai, Kia Decide Not to Attend Hearing on Burning Cars. NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. November 14, 2018.

Car engines going up in flames across the country. NBC Milwaukee. November 13, 2018. 

KIA, Hyundai CEOs refuse to attend Senate hearing to explain cause of car fires. ABC Action News. November 8, 2018. 

Combustible Kias? Owners report vehicles going up in flames. Click Orlando. November 1, 2018. 

No recall issued after hundreds of Kia and Hyundai vehicles catch fire. News 4 San Antonio. October 26, 2018.

Action 9: Some claim Hyundais and Kias catch fire without being in crash. WSOC-TV. October 25, 2018.

Councilman’s car catches fire while driving. News Channel 5. October 25, 2018.

For Hyundai and Kia, risk goes beyond fire. Automotive News. October 20, 2018. 

US Senate committee invites Hyundai, Kia to talk about engine fire reports. CNET. October 18, 2018. 

Senate panel wants Hyundai, Kia to testify on engine fire reports. Automotive News. October 17, 2018. 

Kia, Hyundai automakers to testify before Congress on car fires after I-Team investigation. ABC Action News. October 17, 2018. 

Hyundai, Kia CEOs asked to appear before Congress regarding vehicle fires. October 17, 2018. 

Safety group ‘demands’ Kia, Hyundai recall 2.9M cars due to spike in fire reports. October 15, 2018. 

Car safety group says 3 million Kia and Hyundai cars need to be replaced. WSBTV-2. October 15, 2018. 

Safety group wants Hyundai and Kia to recall 2.9M vehicles. ABC 13 – Houston. October 14, 2018. 

Auto safety group calls for recall of 2.9M Hyundai, Kia vehicles. United Press International. October 14, 2018. 

Auto Safety Group Demands Mass Kia And Hyundai Recall Over Vehicle Fires. Fortune. October 14, 2018. 

Risk of fire? Recall demanded of nearly 3 million vehicles. Good Morning America. October 13, 2018.

Safety group wants Hyundai and Kia to recall 2.9M vehicles. The Washington Post. October 12, 2018.

Hyundai and Kia fires: Safety group wants 2.9M vehicles recalled amid complaints they can ignite. ABC 7 – Los Angeles. October 12, 2018.

Hyundai, Kia Called On to Recall 3 Million Cars After Rampant Reports of Random Fires. Jalopnik. October 12, 2018. 

Sudden Fires: Center seeks recall of 2.9 million Kia, Hyundai vehicles. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. October 12, 2018. 

Auto safety group pushes Hyundai, Kia for massive recall of 2.9 million vehicles. Dallas News. Obctober 12, 2018. 

Couple’s Hyundai Catches Fire on Maryland Road Amid Call for Investigation Into SUVs. NBC Washington. October 5, 2018.

Mother watches son burn to death in Kia fire, calls for answers from car maker. ABC Action News. September 25, 2018.

Man Says His Hyundai Caught Fire With Daughters Inside. NBC 5 – Dallas/Fort Worth. September 12, 2018.

Growing concern over fire risk involving Kia vehicles. NBC News. July 15, 2018. 

NHTSA: More than 400 Kia, Hyundai vehicle fires. WESH 2. July 11, 2018.

Number of Kia fires labeled as alarming by auto safety watch dog.  ABC Tampa Bay. June 11, 2018.

Some Hyundia, Kia vehicles should be probed for non-crash fires, safety advocate says. Automotive News. June 5, 2018. 

Woman escapes from Kia SUV engulfed in flames. NBC Nightly News. May 29, 2018. 

Another Tampa Bay driver reports their KIA went up in flames while parked. ABC Action News. April 25, 2018.