The United States auto safety regulator made it known on Monday, 1st April, 2019 that an investigation will be opened into an alarming three millions products of Hyundai and Kia Motor companies after a report that identified three thousand car fire incidences that got more than 100 people seriously injured.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the investigation is a proactive response to the established petition requesting for a probe, which was filed in June by the center for Auto Safety in the United States. This agency has been critically investigating many of the Hyundai and Kia vehicles for risk of fire since 2007. It is of note to mention that these South Korean automakers have taken steps in recalling over 2.4 million units of vehicle since the year 2015. This was a move in finding solutions to the fire incidences from their vehicles’ engines.
These fire incidence with Hyundai and Kia cars has led to over 100 people getting injured in US
This latest probe by the US will cover the Kia Sorento, Kia Optima (2011-2014), Kia Soul (2010-2014), Hyundai Santa Fe and Hyundai Sonata (2011-2014).
The automaker, Hyundai made it known recently in an official statement that the company is ready to work with the NHTSA and such would be materialized in a consistent, transparent and open dialogue especially on matters pertaining to non-collision fire from the engine compartment.
Kia also corroborated their support to the move by the US auto safety agency by assuring the public that they will continue to cooperate with NHTSA and also share data and information openly with the agency on matters that relate to safety of those vehicles.
Growing Concern Over Fire Risk Involving Kia Vehicles | NBC Nightly News
The decision according to NHTSA to imitate such probe was borne out of informative analysis gotten from various automakers, complaints from consumers and several other sources. In a further report from them, the agency acknowledged the earlier probe that led to the recall of vehicles by Kia and Hyundai, which were primarily related to fires from the engine of those vehicles is somehow different from the new probe. The latest probe goes beyond the engine compartment, but other components or additional vehicle systems.
Jason Levine, who happens to be the executive director of center for Auto Safety, made it known that there is no turning back in checking with the US government on why it fails to make use of its power in questioning the thousands of Hyundai and Kia vehicles that have been reported duly for their involvement in non-collision fire.
He however hoped that this latest probe will hastily result to a new set of recall of those vehicles off the roads. To him, there is clarity in evidence that the automakers, Kia and Hyundai ought to have recalled these vehicles long way back.
Just last month, William Tong, the Connecticut Attorney General, said a particular group comprising states in the United States, is looking into Kia and Hyundai for potential deceptive and unfair acts in relation to the hundreds of their products’ fire incidences.
Report states that this non collided fire is from the engine compartment of Kia and Hyundai specific models
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It was reported by Reuters that the prosecutors at the federal levels ad already begun a crime related investigation into these automakers to examine thoroughly if truly they properly fixed those defects found in recalled vehicles. This led to the automakers agreeing to offer an upgrade in the software present in about 3.7 million vehicles, which were not recalled.
In a report by the South Korea Whistleblower in the year 2016, a report was sent to NHTSA on the concerns over these vehicles. This led to the probe of the timeliness of the three recalls by the US. This also questioned whether they have effectively examined sufficient vehicles.
Hyundai reportedly recalled 470000 units of Sonata Sedan in the United States. It was believed that the failure in the engine would lead to vehicle stall. This consequentially increases the danger of a possible clash. It was noted that despite Hyundai recalling its vehicles that share similar Theta II engine with Kia, the company (Kia) didn’t recall any of its vehicles.
However in March 2017, Hyundai automaker increased its earlier recall to 527,000 in the US. Santa Fe and Sonata Sort vehicles were affected because of the issues with Theta II engine. Kia also yielded and recalled 618,000 Sportage, Optima and Sorento models using similar engines.
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