Owners of more than 567,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles are being told to park their cars outside because of a defect in the towing harness that could result in a fire. The vehicles included in the recall include 2019-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Hybrids, 2022-2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz, and 2022-2023 Kia Carnival models.
In paperwork filed with federal regulators, the automaker said it is aware of one fire related to the defect and five reports of heat-related damage. Hyundai said wiring in the tow harness can become wet, causing a short circuit in the electronics that could create a fire. The move follows a similar recall of more than 245,000 Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, and Kia Sorento SUVs with a similar issue, which was announced last year.
Hyundai and Kia said they would notify owners beginning May 16 when to bring their SUVs, trucks, and vans into a dealer for a free fix. Kia owners will receive new hardware while Hyundai says it will inspect the hitches and wiring and install “interim” parts and pull affected fuses until a permanent fix can be completed. The affected models will have those circuit boards replaced with more water-resistant boards. Vehicles assembled after March 13 are not affected by the recall. The notice applies only to models equipped from the factory with a tow package installed by the manufacturer.
Hyundai said owners can contact the manufacturer to determine if their vehicle is at risk by calling the automaker at 855-371-9460 or by entering their VIN at NHTSA.gov. The recall is the latest for Hyundai, which has had a difficult 2023 so far. The automaker admitted that some children were found working at two of its Alabama suppliers after a report last year that “dozens” of underage workers were found at the facilities last year, and thousands of Hyundai and Kia vehicles were deemed uninsurable due to high theft rates.
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