Hyundai Motor is recalling cars for fire danger

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Hyundai Motor is recalling cars for fire danger

Hyundai Motor is recalling nearly 430,000 small cars because water can get into the antilock brake computer, cause an electrical short and possibly cause an engine fire.

The recall is another in a series of problems that the Korean automaker and Kia Motors have had with engine fires during the past few years. Past problems triggered an investigation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The latest recall covers certain 2006 through 2011 Elantra and 2007 through 2011 Elantra Touring vehicles.

The company says the electrical short can cause a fire even when the cars are turned off. But Hyundai Motor said Friday that the rate of fires is so low that it’s not necessary to park the cars outside.

Hyundai Motor said in documents filed with the U.S. government that it has three reports of fires.

Dealers will install a relay in electrical junction boxes to prevent short circuits while the car is turned off. The recall is to start on April 3.

Last April, the NHTSA opened two new investigations into fires involving Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors’ vehicles after getting complaints of more than 3,100 fires and 103 injuries.

The agency granted a petition seeking the investigations by the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, a consumer advocacy group.

The investigations, one for Hyundai Motor and the other for Kia Motors, cover non-crash fires in almost 3 million vehicles . The probes cover the 2011 through 2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe, the 2011 through 2014 Kia Optima and Sorento, and the 2010 through 2015 Kia Soul. The complaints came from consumers and from data provided by both automakers.

The NHTSA said it would incorporate the noncrash fires into a 2017 investigation that examined recalls of Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors’ vehicles for engine failures. It opened the new probes “based on the agency’s analysis of information received from multiple manufacturers, consumer complaints and other sources.”

Engine failure and fire problems with Hyundai and Kia vehicles have affected more than 6 million vehicles since 2015, according to NHTSA documents. So far, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors have recalled about 2.4 million vehicles to fix problems that can cause fires and engine failures.

The automakers are also doing a “product improvement campaign” covering another 3.7 million vehicles to install software that will alert drivers of possible engine failures and send the cars into a reduced-speed “limp” mode.

The latest recall “is not related to the previous Hyundai recalls for engine issues,” Hyundai spokesman Michael Stewart said in an email Friday.

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