Sometimes, manufacturers initiate voluntary recalls. Other times, government agencies or consumer advocacy groups force recalls. Neither of these scenarios have taken place with Kia and Hyundai just yet, although the Center for Auto Safety would like to see a recall happen.
It was in October of 2018 when the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) suggested Kia and Hyundai recall almost three million vehicles. Some of these vehicles were manufactured in Georgia. The push came after over 300 vehicles had caught fire when drivers were on highways and roadways.
The models affected are the 2011 – 2014 Kia Sorento, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Santa Fe and the 2010 – 2015 Kia Soul. Kia and Hyundai, which are affiliated companies, released a recall earlier in 2018 due to engine debris. Some of the models now causing concern were included in that recall, but not all.
What is even more troubling about the number of vehicles catching fire is that the manufacturers do not want to issue a recall. A spokesperson from Kia Motors America stated that while the car manufacturers always put consumer safety first, the company has concerns about the method in which CAS collected its data.
The same spokesperson also stated the fires could have erupted due to many reasons. Yet within the same statement, manufacturing was identified as a possible cause. Should anyone become seriously injured after a vehicle fire, and manufacturing is found to be the problem, Kia and Hyundai could be responsible for providing compensation to accident victims.
“It is unheard of that both companies would hear about the vast problem and do nothing about it,” says Alan Hamilton of Shiver Hamilton. “Vehicle fires can destroy an entire car in just a few minutes. If there are people in the car or other vehicles on the road near the car, vehicle fires can have catastrophic results.”
CAS has gone on record stating that Hyundai and Kia are not the only automakers that have experienced a problem with vehicle fires. However, the consumer watchdog also indicated they were concerned with the number of incidents, and that number continues to grow. They also said it was clear that neither car company was willing to step up and take responsibility to help ensure no one else is hurt.