Hyundai and Kia are recalling nearly 3.4 million vehicles in the United States because of the possibility of a fire in the engine compartment, advising car owners to park their vehicles outside.
The concern is that a brake fluid leak could cause an electrical short, which could increase the risk of a fire in the engine compartment when the vehicle was parked or while being driven, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a news release on Wednesday.
Hyundai said on Friday that its vehicles could still be driven.
“Owners can continue driving these vehicles,” it said in a statement. “However, Hyundai recommends parking the vehicles outside and away from structures until the recall remedy is completed.”
Another 600,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles in Canada are being recalled, according to Hyundai and the Canadian government.
The two automakers reported that they did not know of injuries, fatalities or crashes related to the defect, according to documents posted online by N.H.T.S.A.
The notice applies to about 1.64 million select Hyundai and Genesis vehicles and approximately 1.73 million specific Kia models, N.H.T.S.A. said.
The recall affects Hyundai models from 2010 through 2015, including the Accent, Elantra and Tucson. It affects Kia models from 2010 through 2019, including the Cadenza, Optima and Sorento.
Hyundai is the parent company of Kia Motors, but the manufacturers operate independently.
In 2019, Hyundai received a report of an overheated antilock brake system, or ABS, in an Elantra in the United States. The company found 21 vehicle fires and 22 other incidents, including smoke, burning and melting, related to the antilock brake system, in the United States, the N.H.T.S.A. statement said. It said it knew of two smoking, burning or melting cases in Canada.
In July, Hyundai notified Kia that it was investigating concerns about models with hydraulic electronic control units similar to those in vehicles made by Kia, which decided to initiate its own recall.
Kia has learned of one engine compartment fire, three fires in the electronic control unit and six instances of melting components, according to the N.H.T.S.A.
Car owners should be on the lookout for the illumination of the “check engine” or antilock brake system lights, smoke from the engine, or a burning or melting smell, it said.
Hyundai and Kia both plan to notify owners to take their vehicles to a dealership to replace the ABS module fuse. In the meantime, people can search online using a vehicle identification number to determine if their car has been recalled.