- three new nhtsa recalls issued this week affect 95,000 hyundai genesis and genesis g70 and g80 gasoline-powered cars, as well as 5000 electric hyundai kona (pictured above) and hyundai ioniq models. the problems stem from the anti-lock-brake systems in the genesis vehicles and a lithium-ion battery short circuit in the evs, nhtsa said.
- repairs will be made free of charge at local dealers starting in may, but until the fixes can be made, the recommendation is not to park in or near buildings.
- with these new recalls, hyundai and kia have now recalled around 1.5 million vehicles for various fire risks over the past few years.
hyundai's streak of fire risk recalls continues. this week, the national highway traffic safety administration (nhtsa) announced three new recalls involving just under 100,000 hyundai and genesis vehicles. all of the recalls involve the risk that the vehicles will catch fire while parked, but it's important to note that there have not been any confirmed cases in the u.s. yet.
the first and second recalls both involve the same component in a number of different vehicles. the affected models include the 2015–2016 hyundai genesis and the 2017–2020 genesis g80, a total of 94,646 vehicles, as well as 552 of the 2019–2021 genesis g70. the problem with these vehicles is that their anti-lock-brake system (abs) modules could "malfunction internally," nhtsa said, and the malfunction could cause an electrical short, which over time could cause an engine compartment fire. this can happen while the vehicle is in motion or parked, which is why hyundai and nhtsa are telling owners that the "safest place to park them is outside and away from homes and other structures." the good news is that only three vehicle fires resulting in this abs malfunction have been confirmed, hyundai said, none of them in the u.s.
repairs will be conducted at hyundai dealerships at no cost to owners in the near future. the fix is simple: replace the abs module fuse. since the replacement fuse is rated at a lower amperage, it will "effectively limit the operating current of the abs module," nhtsa said, and should prevent more fires. dealers will be notified of the exact steps to deal with this recall starting in early may.
the third recall involves 4694 2019–2020 hyundai kona electric vehicles and two—yes, just two—2020 hyundai ioniq electric vehicles. while the potential end result here is the same— an "increase[d] risk of a fire while parked, charging and/or driving"—the cause is different. the problem with these all-electric vehicles is the risk of an electrical short within the lithium-ion battery cells. the cells come from lg energy solutions and it turns out the anode tabin the battery cell could be folded. if there is a fold, the lithium plating on the tab might be able to touch the cathode, which would result in a short and, again, a potential fire.
the temporary solution is for kona electric and hyundai ioniq drivers to bring their evs to the dealer in order to get the battery's state of charge limit lowered as a way to mitigate risk. nhtsa said owners will also be able to get instructions to lower the limit themselves using the infotainment system. the long-term solution will be to install a "remedy battery," according to nhtsa, which will have insulation coating on the cathode. as with the other vehicles, the recall suggests not parking near or in buildings. dealers and owners of affected vehicles will be notified about the recall at the end of april.
earlier this month, nhtsa and kia issued a recall for 379,931 cadenzas and sportages. this recall also involved a fire risk, but there the potential electric short was inside the hydraulic electronic control unit (ecu). that followed a big recall of 591,000 vehicles last fall for a potential brake-fluid leak that could result in a fire. earlier in 2020, hyundai recalled 430,000 elantra sedans because water could enter the abs module and could, perhaps unsurprisingly at this point, start a fire.
owners of potentially affected vehicles can check the nhtsa recalls site for more details.