Before there were over-the-air updates for everything, you’d just park the car further away from the house if it had the risk of spontaneously combusting. That’s exactly that’s going on over at Kia, where the automaker is telling owners to park nearly 380,000 vehicles outdoors due to the risk of an engine compartment fire.
The “recall”, if you want to call it that, affects certain 2017 through 2021 Sportage SUVs and 2017 through 2019 Cadenza sedans. Kia is telling owners that a short circuit in the hydraulic electronic brake control unit can cause excessive current, increasing fire risk, according to ABC.
In addition to parking the cars outside, Kia is also suggesting that owners “should also park them away from structures until repairs are made.”
We swear we are not making this up – guidance from the company says that: “Owners could see tire pressure, anti-lock brake or other warning lights on their dashboard before the problem happens. They also might smell a burning or melting odor.”
Yes, and normally when you can see the flames, that means the fire has already started.
Kia says that so far there have been no crashes, fires or injuries as a result of the issue. The recall comes after the NHTSA began investigating Kia and Honda due to engine fires back in 2019. The nonprofit Center for Auto Safety had said there were complaints of more than 3,100 fires, 103 injuries and 1 death.
Back in November, the NHTSA fined Kia $137 million for safety improvements after moving too slow to recall more than 1 million cars with engines that could fail. “Engine failure and fire problems with Hyundais and Kias have affected more than 6 million vehicles since 2015,” the report notes.
To fix the problem, dealers will replace fuses. Owners will be notified starting April 30th. Until then, we guess the guidance is just “be really, really careful”.