Uh Oh, Hyundai Just Recalled Over 390K Vehicles for Possible Engine Fires

No one wants their car recalled. But these days? It’s not all that unusual for such a thing to happen. This time around, it’s Hyundai that’s recalling more than 390,000 vehicles. The Hyundai recall includes models such as the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Kona, and the Hyundai Veloster.

What does an open recall mean on a car?

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According to Kelley Blue Book, the word “recall” often sparks feelings of fear and anxiety in car owners. But should it? Not necessarily. In fact, Kelley Blue Book explains that an open recall means that the automaker has identified a problem in the manufacturing process. Additionally, most automakers have engineered a fix designed to remedy the recall. 

And that fix? It typically comes at no cost to you. So, rather than stress over open recalls, you can rest assured knowing that automakers are committed to ensuring the safety of their vehicles.

Hyundai just recalled more than 390K cars for engine problems

Pictured is the Hyundai logo on a red car, Hyundai recently recalled more than 390,000 cars.
Hyundai logo. | Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto

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In this case, Hyundai is recalling more than 390,000 vehicles. According to Consumer Reports, one recall boils down to an issue with certain 2019 to 2021 Hyundai vehicles that are equipped with engines that were, unfortunately, assembled with inconsistent heat-treated piston oil rings. 

Consumer Reports further explains that the problem could result in increased oil consumption. This increased oil consumption has the potential to progress to a knocking sound. And that knocking sound? It could end in the vehicle’s engine seizing and stalling.

The second recall includes the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. AP News reports the recall concerns brake fluid, which could leak into the SUV’s anti-lock brake computer. According to AP News, this could cause an electrical short that can lead to fires.

Hyundai Elantra, Kona, and Veloster recall details

A lineup of Hyundai Kona models, the Kona is included in the latest Hyundai recall.
Hyundai Kona | SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

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You may be asking yourself, which models are included in the Hyundai recall? Per the NHTSA’s Safety Recall Report, the Hyundai recall includes 2019-2020 Hyundai Elantra models, along with 2019-2021 Hyundai Kona and Veloster models. All models included in the recall come with a 2.0-liter engine under the hood.

According to the NHTSA, engines in these recalled models may have been assembled using piston oil rings that were not properly heat treated, resulting in excessive oil ring hardness. The NHTSA added that this excessive hardness could chip the piston oil ring’s outer periphery and damage the cylinder bore. As you can imagine, this type of damage could cause some rather inconvenient problems. A fire risk being one of them.

“Continual operation of the vehicle in this condition could result in a seized connecting rod bearing, which could cause damage to the engine block and eventually stall the vehicle. In limited instances, a connecting rod could puncture the engine block and cause engine oil to leak, which, in the presence of hot surfaces, could increase the risk of a fire.”

NHTSA

Hyundai Santa Fe Sport recall details

Per NHTSA documents, 2013-2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport vehicles produced between June 17, 2013, and May 13, 2015, are included in the Hyundai recall. The SUVs, according to the NHTSA, are equipped with anti-lock brake system modules that could leak brake fluid and cause an electrical short.

“An electrical short in the ABS module could increase the risk of an engine compartment fire while parked or driving,” the NHTSA added in its Safety Recall Report. Because of this fire risk, both the NHTSA and Hyundai have directed owners of these recalled SUVs to park outside.

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport in action
2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport | Hyundai

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What next steps for Hyundai owners will look like

Fortunately, there is a fix in place for both recalls. Hyundai plans to notify owners of the recalled Hyundai Elantra, Veloster, and Kona models in late June 2021. At that point, they’ll be directed to take their vehicle to a Hyundai dealership for an inspection and software update. If any damage is found during the inspection, the dealership will replace the engine with a new one.

As for Santa Fe Sport owners? Hyundai will notify owners and ask them to bring their vehicles to the nearest Hyundai dealership for an inspection. If necessary, the SUV’s ABS module will be replaced. The ABS multi-fuse will also be replaced to prevent the risk of a fire caused by an electrical short.

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How to find out if there’s an open recall on your car

Say you don’t own a Hyundai but want to find out if there’s an open recall on your vehicle. Fortunately, finding that information out is relatively straightforward. Visit the NHTSA recall website, enter your car’s VIN, and the NHTSA will pull any recall information related to your vehicle.