Tips, Tricks & Trends

Lawsuit: Hyundai and Kia ABS Recalls For Fires Didn’t Fix Problem

A recall was enforced earlier this year over certain Hyundai and Kia models with an ABS module that would catch on fire. It was caused by water corroding the modules. There have been three recalls for this issue so far. The first was in 2016, then 2018, and the last one earlier in 2020 as mentioned. Now, a lawsuit alleges Hyundai and Kia ABS recalls didn’t fix the problem, owners had their cars tied up at dealerships, and that values have decreased.

Hundreds of thousands of vehicles were involved in the recalls. Those involved include 2007-2010 Hyundai Elantra, 2009-2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring, 2007-2008 Hyundai Entourage, 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2006-2011 Hyundai Azera, 2006 Hyundai Sonata, 2006-2010 Kia Sedona, 2007-2009 Kia Sorento, 2008-2009 Kia Sportage. 

The lawsuit focuses on antilock braking systems and hydraulic electronic control units

A Kia logo, taken on the second press day.
The Kia logo | Getty

The defects focus on antilock braking systems and hydraulic electronic control units that allow moisture to enter causing corrosion. Once corrosion occurs it can result in a short-circuit even if the vehicle is turned off. That’s because they stay electrically powered whether the vehicle is turned on or off. A short-circuit can start a fire. 

Kia recalled 2008-2009 Sportage SUVs in 2016 because water was getting into the hydraulic electronic control units potentially causing engine compartment fires. For this recall dealerships replaced connector covers plus the units were replaced if there was corrosion. Then in 2018, Hyundai announced an ABS module recall for Azera and Sonata vehicles. 

Hyundai admitted the modules were powered all of the time. Dealers installed relays in the fuse box to stop the current from running through the modules when the vehicle was turned off. Earlier this year another recall was issued for over 430,000 Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

The lawsuit alleges the recalls did not remedy or address the real problem

Hyundai
Hyundai | Getty

RELATED: Your 2011 Hyundai Sonata Might Be Prone to Catching Fire

The lawsuit alleges the recalls did not remedy or address the real problem of moisture entering the modules. The lawsuit also alleges that there should have been hundreds of thousands of vehicles recalled. And even with these remedies, the lawsuit claims the ABS modules and hydraulic units are still allowing moisture to get inside. 

Because of all of the back and forth the lawsuit says that Hyundai and Kia customers lost money from repair costs. It claims owners had their vehicles tied up at dealerships leaving them without the use of their cars. And, it says the vehicles have lost value due to the publicity around the recalls.

The Hyundai ABS module lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Zakikhani, et al., v. Hyundai Motor Company, et al.