The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it has initiated two new investigations into vehicle fires involving five different Hyundai and Kia models. This investigation comes after thousands of reports have been made regarding fires involving these specific models. These fires have resulted in more than 100 injures and one reported fatality.
A petition submitted by the Center for Auto Safety is what sparked the recent investigation into more than three million vehicles. Kia and Hyundai have been the subject of countless safety recalls involving fire hazards for several years now. The specific models affected include:
- Hyundai’s 2001-2014 Sonata and Santa Fe;
- Kia’s 2010-2015 Soul, and
- Kia’s 2011-2014 Optima and Sorento.
The Center for Auto Safety has received 3,125 reports of vehicle fires. The fires reported were not related to any collision or impact, which leads investigators to believe that an automobile defect is causing the fires.
Safety officials say the investigation should have started a long time ago given the fact that so many injuries and even one death have resulted from the fires. In fact, the NHTSA was originally asked to investigate the issue back in June 2018. The center also asked Congress to initiate a formal investigation with no success.
Both car manufacturers have issued recalls for these models dating back to 2015. The exact cause of these fires is unknown, but findings have indicated that they could be related to the 2-liter and 2.4 liter “Theta II” engines that are found in the Kia and Hyundai models. The most recent recalls occurred in February and involved more than 500,000 vehicles. The total number of cars that have been recalled is now over 2.3 million.
Car manufacturers must properly test all components of a vehicle before putting it on the market. Many states require dealerships to notify vehicle owners of any recall, while other states do not. It is important you bring your car in for a replacement or repair as soon as you receive notice of a recall.
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Defective motor vehicles threaten the lives of drivers, passengers and others on the road. If you or a loved one have suffered injury or death as the result of a defective motor vehicle or manufacturing error, it is important that you contact an experienced Orlando automobile defect attorney immediately. Our experienced team of product liability and accident attorneys can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. Feel free to fill out our quick contact form on our website to discuss your legal options in greater detail.