March 23, 2023 | 7:57 PM
Hyundai and Kia warned hundreds of thousands of car owners to park their rides outside and away from structures for fear the vehicles could catch fire.
The recall of 571,000 SUVs and minivans in the United States comes after Korean automakers issued similar recalls a year ago.
Potentially flammable cars include the 2019-2023 Santa Fe, the 2021-2023 Sante Fe Hybrid, the 2022 and 2023 Santa Fe plug-in hybrid, and the 2022 and 2023 Santa Cruz.
The only Kia model being recalled is the 2022 and 2023 Carnival minivan.
The towbar wiring harness of the recalled cars could catch fire while the car is parked — and even when the car is turned off — or being driven.
There was one car fire and five vehicles were damaged by heat trapped on Hyundai, while Kia reported no fires. No injuries were reported.
The automakers told U.S. safety regulators that water could get into the tow hitch circuit board and cause a short circuit.
Last year, Hyundai and Kia also told owners more than once to park their cars outside because of the risk of fire. The car manufacturers have been dogged by fire and engine problems for several years.
Owners of the latest recalled rides will be notified starting May 16 to take their car to a dealer for a free repair. The dealers will remove the fuse and computer module from the hitch before installing a new fuse and cable extension with an improved connector that is waterproof.
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