Leaking Oil, Hot Gas Leads to Dual Hyundai/Kia Recalls

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
leaking oil hot gas leads to dual hyundai kia recalls

After roaring out of the recession with revamped offerings and soaring sales, Hyundai and its Kia sister brand now face a seemingly endless slew of recalls. The latest involve a trio of popular crossovers, with the automaker warning of potential engine damage if the matter goes unaddressed.

The two recalls cover 534,000 U.S. vehicles. Affected models are the 2012-2016 Kia Soul, 2011-2013 Hyundai Tucson, and 2011-2012 Kia Sportage, which brings the number of vehicles recalled for engine fire risk since 2015 above 2.3 million, Reuters reports. It’s easy to lose count.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recalled Souls all carry a 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder. “High exhaust gas temperatures may damage the catalytic converter, possibly resulting in abnormal engine combustion and damage to one or more of the engine’s pistons and possible piston connecting rod failure,” the recall states.

At a minimum, dealers will will upgrade the vehicle’s Catalytic Overheating Protection Engine Control Unit logic, though replacement of the catalytic convertor might be needed. If technicians find engine damage, Kia will swap in a new motor free of charge.

As for the Tucson and Sportage, their issue involves oil, which ideally should remain close enough to the engine’s internals to lubricate moving parts. A porous oil pan seal is to blame for some vehicles losing this vital fluid. As anyone knows, engines aren’t happy when they run dry.

The NHTSA describes the issue as an “engine oil leak from the seal between the oil

pan and engine block which, if left unrepaired and operated over time, could

eventually lead to engine damage.”

After numerous earlier recalls, prodding from the federal agency saw Hyundai return “parts analysis and other data sources to identify a trend in high-speed stalls and non-collision fires claims in certain 2011 – 2013 Hyundai Tucson vehicles,” the recall report states. “Hyundai also identified a trend related to engine oil pan leaks from the same population of vehicles. Hyundai did not identify any accidents or injuries related to these claims.”

Currently, the automaker is “evaluating a remedy” for the oil leak. Whatever the cure, work will be performed free of charge.

Investigations remain ongoing on both sides of the Pacific, with both the U.S. and South Korean governments hoping to establish a timeline for the company’s Theta II engine problems.

Join the conversation
3 of 15 comments
  • Raevoxx Raevoxx on Mar 01, 2019

    "According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recalled Souls all carry a 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder." So, the non-turbo Gamma GDi that's standard on all but the turbo trim of the Soul (and in a few others like the Rio and Accent). But I'm curious to know if the turbo Gamma T-GDi is affected as well.

  • Lon888 Lon888 on Mar 01, 2019

    I gotta give these guys credit for their good judgment in setting up a recall. VW was involved in a huge class-action lawsuit over the timing chain tensioners in vehicles such as the GTI, CC and Tiguan. Did VW have a recall campaign? Hell no! They took the opportunity to hide behind the "not safety related" clause of recall terms. Honda had a similar issue in their 2.2 liter motors and they did do a recall. Asians, it appears, care more about their customers than the Europeans.

    • HotPotato HotPotato on Mar 07, 2019

      Try on that theory with someone who has tried to get a Hyundai/Kia warranty claim honored, even for a well-known and well-documented defective engine workmanship issue.

  • Brett Woods 2023 Corvette base model.
  • Paul Taka Hi, where can I find 1982 Honda prelude junkyards in 50 states
  • Poltergeist Make sure you order the optional Dungdai fire suppression system.
  • Prabirmehta I charge my EV at home 100% of the time. The EV is used for in-town driving and the gas guzzling SUV is used for out of town trips. This results in a huge cost saving and rare trips to the gas station.
  • Conundrum Three cylinder Ford Escapes, Chevy whatever it is that competes, and now the Rogue. Great, ain't it? Toyota'll be next with a de-tuned GR Corolla/Yaris powerplant. It's your life getting better and better, yes indeed. A piston costs money, you know.The Rogue and Altima used to have the zero graviy foam front seats. Comfy, but the new Rogue dumps that advance. Costs money. And that color-co-ordinated gray interior, my, ain't it luvverly? Ten years after they perfected it in the first Versa to appeal to the terminally depressed, it graduates to the Rogue.There's nothing decent to buy on the market for normal money. Not a damn thing interests me at all.