Kia Recall on Over 300,000 Vehicles Due to Fire Risk

kia recall

Many people purchase Kia vehicles believing that they will be safe and reliable. Unfortunately, like any other cars, these vehicles may also have their share of defects and problems. In fact, Kia recently announced a recall for 379,931 vehicles due to a fire risk related to an electric short circuit in the engine compartment. Critically, this isn’t the first time the automaker has issued a recall. The March 2021 announcement is just another in a list of Kia recalls that seemingly continues to grow.

What is the Issue Causing Fire Risk?

The recent round of Kia recalls addresses an issue found in the hydraulic electronic control unit (HECU) in certain Sportage and Cadenza models. While the cause of the defect is unknown, Kia has determined that a fire can result if the HECU in these vehicles short circuits. Although no fires have been documented by the automaker in connection with this recall, it is estimated that six million Hyundai and Kia vehicles have been recalled due to fire or engine failure risks since 2015.

Before the short circuit occurs, there are several warning signs — a driver may observe warning lights, tire pressure lights, or anti-lock brake lights appear on their dashboard. They might also notice a melting or burning smell, and see smoke coming from the engine compartment. If you experience this issue, you should pull the car over immediately, turn off the engine, and exit the vehicle.

Due to the risk of fire, Kia advises that any vehicles that have been recalled should be parked outside until the defect has been repaired.

Which Models Are Affects by the Kia Recall?

The vehicles affected by the latest recall include 2017-2021 Kia Sportage models manufactured between December 10, 2015 through October 23, 2020 and 2017-2019 Kia Cadenza models manufactured between June 2, 2016 through June 14, 2019. Specifically, the recalled vehicle models include those that are not equipped with Smart Cruise Control.

Those who own a Kia vehicle subject to the recent recall will receive a notice in the mail. Owners should bring their vehicles to an authorized Kia dealer for repairs immediately. For Sportage models, the manufacturer will replace certain fuses as well as update HECU software in vehicles that are equipped with electronic parking brakes. In Cadenza vehicles, a new fuse kit will be installed.

If you’re uncertain whether your Kia has been affected by the fire risk recall, you can check on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website by entering the VIN. The website search function doesn’t only reveal current recalls, but it also discloses unrepaired vehicles that have been subject to a safety recall within the past 15 years.

What Other Defects Are Found in Kia Vehicles?

Consumers have complained of numerous issues in Kia vehicles over the last decade. These defects have not only caused owners to be inconvenienced by having to bring their car to the repair shop, but they can also pose a risk of serious injury to drivers, passengers, and others on the road.

Some of the common problems drivers have experienced in Kia vehicles include:

  • Engine failure
  • Engine stalling
  • Battery failure
  • Alternator issues
  • Backfiring
  • Faulty airbags
  • Transmission problems
  • Overheating
  • Leaks

If you have experienced recurring problems with your Kia, it might be a lemon. Whether your Kia vehicle was subject to a recall or not, it’s crucial to bring it to the authorized dealership at the first sign of an issue. If the defect is not repairable, you may be entitled to a remedy under California’s lemon law.

Does the Kia Fire Risk Recall Make My Kia a Lemon?

When a recall is issued, it means that the manufacturer or the NHTSA has determined that some component of the vehicle presents a safety risk. However, if you own a Kia that has been recalled, it doesn’t always mean your car is a lemon — in many cases the manufacturer will repair a recall issue successfully on the first attempt.

In order for a vehicle to qualify as a lemon in California, it must have a defect that substantially impairs its value or safety which cannot be repaired after several reasonable attempts were made. Generally, four repair attempts are sufficient — or only two attempts if the problem presents a serious safety risk. A car may also be a lemon if it was in the repair shop for 30 days or more.

A recall affecting your vehicle can be issued at any time during your ownership, and the manufacturer will make the necessary repairs at no cost to you. But to be eligible for a refund or replacement under the California Lemon Law, the problem must have arisen while the vehicle was still under the manufacturer’s warranty. Importantly, you have four years to bring a lemon law claim beginning on the date you discovered the nonconformity.

Contact an Experienced Southern California Lemon Law Attorney

If you purchased a Kia that turned out to be a lemon, you might be able to file a claim under the lemon law. A knowledgeable California Lemon Law attorney can discuss the facts of your case and advise you of your legal rights and remedies. The lemon law attorneys at the Ledbetter Law Firm are dedicated to securing the best possible results in your case — and obtaining the compensation to which you’re entitled.

The Ledbetter Law Firm assists consumers in Southern California who have purchased lemon vehicles in obtaining the refund or the replacement that they deserve from the manufacturer. With offices conveniently located in Torrance and San Diego, California, telephone and video conferencing options are also available. Call (310) 507-7022 to schedule a consultation with a California Lemon Law attorney today.