Hyundai and Kia warned hundreds of thousands of car owners to park their rides outside and away from structures over fears the vehicles could catch fire.
The recall of 571,000 SUVs and minivans across the United States comes after the Korean carmakers issued similar recalls just a year ago.
The potentially flammable cars include the 2019-2023 Santa Fe, the 2021-2023 Sante Fe Hybrid, the 2022 and 2023 Santa Fe Plug-in hybrid and the 2022 and 2023 Santa Cruz.
The only Kia model facing a recall is the Carnival minivan from 2022 and 2023.
The tow hitch harness on the recalled cars can catch fire while the car is parked – and even when the car is turned off — or driven.
There was one car fire and five vehicles damaged by heat tied to Hyundai while Kia reported no fires. No injuries were reported.
The automakers told US safety regulators water can get into the circuit board on the hitches and cause a short circuit.
Last year, Hyundai and Kia also told owners more than once to park their cars outdoors because they had the chance of catching fire. The carmakers have been dogged by fire and engine problems for several years now.
Owners of the latest recalled rides will be notified starting May 16 to take their car to a dealer for a free repair. The dealers will take out the fuse and tow hitch computer module before putting in a new fuse and wire extension with an improved connector that’s waterproof.
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