Hyundai, Kia recall 570,000 vehicles for fire risk, tell owners to park outside

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Hyundai and Kia are recalling over 570,000 vehicles due to a fire risk and advising owners to park them outside until repairs are completed. The recall is similar to one already performed on other Kia vehicles last year and relates to the OEM tow hitch harness. The vehicles included in the recall are the 2019-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2021-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid, 2022-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV and 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. The only Kia affected is the Carnival minivan from 2022 and 2023, AP reports.

As for the problem itself, the circuit board in the tow hitch harness equipped to certain vehicles has been found to be susceptible to water intrusion via the 4-pin tow hitch harness connector. This could in turn cause a short, which increases the risk of fire. Hyundai says the chance of fire is present whether you’re driving the vehicle or it’s parked with the ignition off.

The fix involves a new wire extension kit that is “improved” and “manufactured with waterproof material to prevent water ingress.” Additionally, the dealer will install a new 15-amp fuse. As owners await the remedy, Hyundai says they can bring their vehicles into the dealership to have the fuse to the tow hitch module removed to address the immediate fire risk. All of the affected vehicles are still safe to drive, per Hyundai, but the recommendation to park outside and away from structures remains in place until the recall work is completed.

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