US agency intensifies investigation of Hyundai, Kia vehicles for engine fires
After recalls and multiple scrutinies in Hyundai and Kia's engine fire issues, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an engineering analysis for the two companies that will look into the automakers’ recall efforts related to the engine fire issue in some models, stated a Reuters report. The issue of engine fires has plagued both automakers for over six years.
The NHTSA informed that this analysis will cover about three million vehicles that will evaluate the efficacy of the recalls the companies carried out. The agency also conveyed that it had the information of 161 fire incidents that occurred potentially due to engine failures. The NHTSA had opened an investigation in 2019 that covered the 2011-2014 Kia Optima and Sorento along with 2010-2015 Kia Soul. It also took into account 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe. The investigation examined incidents of non-crash fires.
Both Hyundai and Kia have announced that they will fully cooperate with the agency regarding the non-crash engine fire problem. Last year, both the companies agreed to give about $210 million after regulators stated that the brands failed to recall about 1.6 million cars in time for the engine problem. This happened in the year 2015.
It has been reported that there are conflicting reports regarding injuries and deaths in relation to the engine problem as well. It is not known yet as to when the agency will complete the investigation, though it is being said that it will try to get it done within a year of initiating it. However, it is being expected that it might take time to complete the investigation.