595,575 Hyundai SUVs, Kia Optimas, SUVs to be recalled

Almost 600,000 Hyundai and Kia automobiles will be recalled for a brake-fluid problem that can lead to an engine fire, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The recall of 440,370 2013-2015 Kia Optima sedans and 2014-2015 Kia Sorento SUVs will be issued Oct. 15. Eight days later, 151,205 2013-2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUVs will get recalled.

Until then, Hyundai recommends owners take an extra precautionary step.

“Out of an abundance of caution, owners of these vehicles should park them outside until the recall repair is completed,” Hyundai spokesman Michael Stewart said. “If the (Anti-lock Brake System) warning light is illuminated, the vehicle should not be driven and a local Hyundai dealer should be contacted.

“Customers should also disconnect the vehicle’s 12-volt battery and leave it disconnected while the vehicle is parked waiting for service. If needed, the customer will be provided a rental vehicle.”

Kia Optima.JPG
2014 Kia Optima National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

2014 Kia Sorento.JPG
2014 Kia Sorento National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The problem concerns a part made by Mando America in Opelika, Alabama, for the Hyundais and in Hogansville, Georgia, for the Kia products.

As described in the NHTSA documents, brake fluid can leak inside the ABS on Hyundais and the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) on the Kias. If either part short circuits, the risk of engine fire increases.

Hyundai owners with questions can call customer service at 855-371-9460. Kia owners can call Kia customer service at 800-333-4542.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

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