Hyundai and Kia are recalling 571,000 vehicles in the US and warning owners to park the vehicles outside and away from structures over fire concerns. Owners of affected models will be notified next month.
Safety regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warned that fires could be caused because of a short circuit.
The affiliated Korean car manufacturers will start recalling certain models that are affected from next month.
The Hyundai vehicles being recalled include the 2019 to 2023 Santa Fe, the 2021 to 2023 Santa Fe Hybrid, the 2022 and 2023 Santa Fe Plug-in hybrid and the 2022 and 2023 Santa Cruz.
The only Kia affected is the Carnival minivan from 2022 and 2023, which is popular with families.
Kia America Inc will also recall another 3,555 of its Carnival models manufactured between 2022-2023, over a similar defect.
In a statement, the NHTSA said: “Water accumulation on the tow hitch harness module printed circuit board (PCB) may cause an electrical short, which can result in a fire.”
Hyundai has reports of one fire and five heat damage incidents with no injuries. Kia has no reports of fires or injuries.
Owners will begin being notified from May 16.
Dealers will then remove the fuse and tow hitch computer model until a fix is possible.
The carmakers will then install a new fuse and wire extension with a connector that is waterproof in the hopes of fixing the problem.
Last year Hyundai recalled more than 245,000 2020 through 2022 Palisade SUVs for a similar problem.
A spokesperson for the company confirmed that there had been three fires and 16 melting incidents in the US and Canada between January 2020 and July 2022, but no injuries or crashes were reported.
It comes after two major car insurers earlier this year refused to issue inure certain models of Hyundai and Kia cars over a spate of thefts inspired by a TikTok trend.
In 2021, a group called ‘Kia Boys’ published videos of thieves breaking into plastic parts surrounding the vehicles’ ignition, before using a USB cord to hot-wire the car.
Following the TikTok trend, Jeff Sibel, a Progressive spokesman, said Hyundai and Kia vehicles are “almost 20 times more likely to be stolen than other vehicles”, describing the increase in thefts as “explosive”.
It led to warnings by police, with the LAPD alerting the public to the ‘TikTok Auto Theft Trade’ in a long statement on social media.
*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.