Hyundai is recalling 26,169 Hyundai Velosters due to an electrical issue that can cause a fire. Only cars from the 2012 and 2013 model years equipped with the Reverse Aid Parking Sensor (RPAS), or more simply known as parking assist, are affected. Owners of the affected cars are expected to be notified in April 2023.
According to a report from Consumer Reports, documentation filed by Hyundai to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirms that there have been five reports of fires stemming from the issue but no confirmed injuries or crashes. The issue stems from a short due to insufficient waterproofing of the RPAS, causing water to enter the module and short the circuit board within.
This short can lead to a fire, but has some symptoms that come from the initial water incursion. Owners of cars with compromised RPAS modules may lose the rear parking assist feature and may find that the transmission is stuck in park, at least for owners with automatic transmissions. It’s unclear why the fault causes the transmission to be stuck in park.
This isn’t the first fire risk-related recall that Hyundai has faced recently, with CR noting that 7 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles have been recalled for fire risks in various subsystems of its cars. Causes have ranged from the engines themselves, to faulty wiring harnesses, and battery problems. It also recently earmarked $2 billion to fix recurring issues with its Theta GDI engines, which ate heavily into profits. There was also the recent recall for exploding seatbelt pre-tensioners in Elantras and Accents. Kia has also come under fire recently for the infamous USB hack that allows thieves to easily steal Kia cars equipped with a physical key.
Both Hyundai and Kia are under investigation by the NHTSA, and face class-action lawsuits for issues with its vehicles.
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