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Kia Recalls 380,000 Vehicles for Engine Fire Risk, Warns Owners to Park Outside

This latest Kia recall has a lot of owners concerned, and it is easy to understand why. Although there is no need to panic, there are some need-to-know facts about Kia’s recall of nearly 380,000 vehicles. All Kia owners need to be aware that this recall of certain Kia Sportage and Kia Cadenza models is due to a risk of fire. Most importantly, Kia is asking owners of all recalled vehicles to park outside and away from structures until it resolves the problem. 

What Kia vehicles have been recalled?

The recall is for the following Kia vehicles:

  • 2017 – 2021 Kia Sportage SUVs
  • 2017 – 2019 Kia Cadenza Sedans

Overall, the Kia recall will affect 372,251 vehicles. To find out if your Sportage or Cadenza is on the list, you can check the NHTSA. Plug your vehicle’s 17-digit VIN into the NHTSA website and it will immediately tell you if there is an open recall. The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 21V137, and the recall number is SC206.

What is the problem with these Kia vehicles?

The issue is an electrical short that could possibly lead to a fire. Although the cause is unknown, an electrical short circuit in the HECU (hydraulic electronic control unit), which is part of the braking system, could lead to a fire within the engine compartment.

If the issue occurs while the vehicle is driving, there will be signs of trouble for the driver. Warning signs could include a burning smell, melting smell, smoke coming from the engine compartment, illuminated warning lights including the TPMS and ABS warning lights, or the check engine light. 

RELATED: The 2020 Kia Cadenza Looks Different but Drives the Same

According to Consumer Reports, so far there have been no reports from Kia that any vehicles have actually caught fire, or that there have been any crashes or injuries caused by the issue with the electrical short-circuiting. The automaker is recalling the vehicles because it’s discovered there might be a risk of fire.

In case of emergency, here’s what to do

Although it is unlikely, if your Kia vehicle catches fire while driving, this is what to do in an emergency situation. 

  • Pull over as soon as it is safe to do so and turn off the engine.
  • Get yourself and all the passengers out of the vehicle and 100 to 200 feet away as quickly as possible. 
  • Do not go back to the vehicle for personal belongings or for any reason. 
  • Call 911 or have another motorist call 911 and wait at the scene for emergency personnel to arrive.
  • Do not attempt to put out the fire unless you have clear access to a Class B or Class C fire extinguisher and proper fire training. 
  • Do not approach the vehicle to try to open the hood, trunk, or doors.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings and do not stand in the middle of the road and do not take rides from strangers. 

What actions does Kia recommend?

If you own a 2017 to 2021 Kia Sportage or a 2017 to 2019 Kia Cadenza, Kia has immediate recommendations until you can get your vehicle fixed. The automaker recommends that you park your vehicle outdoors and away from any flammable structures. This means, do not park your car or SUV in the garage or carport, and also keep it away from fences, sheds, wood piles, and other vehicles. It is better to err on the side of caution until you can get your Kia fixed. 

Beginning in late April, Kia will begin contacting owners of the affected vehicles. If you don’t want to wait until then, 2017 to 2021 Sportage and 2017 to 2019 Cadenza owners can check the NHTSA recall website. Owners can also call the manufacturer at 800-333-4542 to get updates or find out the status of the recall.