By on March 6, 2020

Hyundai is reportedly recalling around 207,000 Sonata models in the U.S. over a fuel hose issue that could create a fire hazard. Kia issued a recall on 142,000 Optima sedans and 51,000 Sedonas minivans for the same issue. While there doesn’t appear to be any injuries stemming from the problem, Hyundai Motor Group has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the vehicles could incur a fuel leak that runs the risk of starting fires within the engine compartment.

The source of the issue has not been discovered; the NHTSA recall report stipulates that the manufacturer “believes the material used to produce the fuel feed line might be more susceptible to heat under certain vehicle operating conditions.” Be on the lookout for a less responsive motor, engine warning lights and the faint aroma of gasoline. 

Problems are reportedly isolated to the fuel feed line connecting the low pressure fuel pump to the direct injection fuel pump in the subject vehicles. Hyundai said it could could develop a small crack over time due to ambient heat in the engine compartment. A spokesperson informed us that no actual fires have been reported and that the cars should be safe to drive while the automaker works out a solution.

The Center for Auto Safety released a letter last month (when the Kia models were called back) suggesting the recall was long overdue and referenced its own petition as evidence. “Today, 364 days since we called on Congress to investigate Kia and Hyundai for failure to recall these defective cars, these manufacturers continue to string out consumers when it comes to the possibility of their engine failing and their car exploding,” said Jason Levine, executive director of the group. “It is long past due for these almost 200,000 vehicles to have been recalled, and in fact, it is almost 2 years since the Center for Auto Safety originally petitioned for exactly such action.”

From the Center for Auto Safety:

Beginning in June 2018, the Center petitioned NHTSA to open a defect investigation into all 2011-2014 Kia Optima, Sorento and Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe vehicles based on 120 owners reporting non-crash fires involving their vehicles. In July 2018, the Center added the 2010-2015 Kia Soul to our petition. In April 2019, NHTSA finally opened an investigation. In the interim, there have been a series of related recalls for some, but not all, of the vehicles originally identified by the Center. An additional 3.7 million vehicles covering even more model years have been subjected to a “product improvement campaign,” by Hyundai and Kia which includes a software update and installation of a knock sensor to detect the type of engine failure that leads to dangerous conditions, including risk of fire.

While the Center for Auto Safety definitely thinks this is a bigger issue, vehicles affected by the official recall campaigns include Kia Optimas from the 2013-14 model year, Sedonas from 2011-12 and Hyundai Sonatas from 2013-14. The supplier of the offending Sonata part is said to be Hanil Tube USA, while the Sedona recall documents name Delphi Powertrain Systems Korea as its supplier.

Dealers and owners will start seeings notifications in their mailbox this April.

[Image: Hyundai]

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17 Comments on “Hyundai/Kia Issue Recalls Over Fuel Line Leak, Fire Risk...”

  • avatar

    No comments? Poor Hyundai and Kia no one cares about you. But if it was Tesla…

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Yeah…Ford or GM would be into triple digit territory. I am happy about this one though…a Hyundai recall that doesn’t effect the one on my wife’s side of the garage for a change…yay!

  • avatar

    They’re all in the Telluride post drooling all over themselves. Heck one even called out the Explorer whilst totally ignoring this thread. Best and brightest y’all!

  • avatar

    What is an engine compartment, and why are flammable liquids being carried aboard a passenger vehicle?

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Maybe I’m running shine in a Leaf

      • 0 avatar

        a) If your moonshine is made from corn, and your supplier is still alive with good vision, it is because he/she is throwing out the first cut (foreshots).

        b) The first cut is discarded because it contains methanol.

        c) A vehicle optimized to run on methanol can run very well indeed on methanol.

        So rather than running shine in a Leaf, it might make a lot of sense to use the otherwise-discarded methanol to power your liquor car.

        (Junior Johnson used to carry ~120 gallons per run. At 7-8 pounds per gallon, you’re going to chew into the payload of a Leaf pretty quickly, and the springs aren’t going to be optimized for back roads. Plus, range.)

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Lol. Valid points. Yes loading up a Leaf like that would likely limit your shine runs to down the street.

          Still, the thought of a leaf painted up like the General Lee is almost worth it.

  • avatar

    I am renting a 2020 Kia Forte for 2 weeks.
    The steering is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE!

    When making small turns or sweeping long turns not to far off center, the steering wheel suddenly has high resistance then switches to highly power-assisted steering. It makes it feel like the steering is locking up then instantly unlocks causing over compensation. It is bad even during straight line driving at highway speeds when road crowns or wind pushes you a bit to one side and you are performing normal corrections. ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE!
    It makes you drive like you have an old school worn gearbox over compensating back and forth.

    I did a quick Google search of the forums and that seems to be a characteristic of the car for people that understand how steering should feel.
    This does not reflect well on Kia engineering.

  • avatar

    I am hesitant to say that I am still hesitant to buy a Hyundai because I don’t feel ai can reliably trust that any vehicle I buy will be safe and reliable. I like what they are building and I keep wanting to think that they are a Japanese-car equivalent, but every time I have just about convinced myself of that… something like this pops up.

    Or this one:

    Hyundai Motor America is recalling certain 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport vehicles. The steering wheel assembly may break, possibly resulting in the steering wheel separating from the steering column while driving.

    Or this one:

    Due to an electronic stability control (ESC) sensor malfunction, the brakes for one or more wheels may be applied unexpectedly and the engine power may be reduced. These symptoms will be accompanied by illumination of the ESC indicator lamp in the instrument cluster.If the one or more of the brakes are inappropriately applied, control of the vehicle may be lost, increasing the risk of a crash.

    I know that everybody has recalls and that I am just being silly but…I can’t quite pull the trigger on one.

    • 0 avatar

      “The steering wheel assembly may break, possibly resulting in the steering wheel separating from the steering column while driving”

      I had similar recall with my previous Ford Fusion. I was dumbfounded how it is possible. Attaching steering wheel to column is not exactly new tech. In this kind of recalls I worry that dealer may do something wrong while trying to (not) follow instructions to the letter and actually make problem worse.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’ve had very good luck with H/K vehicles (now on our 6th in the family). The turd cars I’ve owned over 40 years were made by Ford, Honda, and Volkswagen. YMMV

      My most recent purchase saw me choose a Hyundai Ioniq EV over a Tesla Model 3. Sure, Tesla isn’t known for their quality (and that’s a big reason why I passed), but the Ioniq has been excellent.

      As for recalls, my son’s 11 Sonata has had approximately *16* of them, and this one may also apply. But the only actual problem he has experienced was a bad starter around 80k, which never should have happened. Still, it would be better to not have the inconvenience of dealing with recalls.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        16?! That is unsat.

        I suppose it has a lot to do with the severity though. Door latches might not shut in freezing weather on my truck? Meh, I can check and in my neck of the woods not a huge deal anyway. Also easy to correct

        Hey our bad we may have left metal shavings in your crankcase so come on back so we can configure your knock sensor to maybe give you some warning before your motor munches it’s bearings (Hyundai 2.4), eh, I’m probably going to think twice about reupping with the brand.

      • 0 avatar

        no, technically he’s had 17 problems. The recalls were just fixing the problems before they failed.

  • avatar

    “Kia engineering”… is that an oxymoron?

    I’m exaggerating, of course, but fuel lines (and brake lines) are not the place to use barely-enough specification product, then bid it out to the lowest-cost Chinese supplier.

    Unfortunately, consumers have very short memories, and if the monthly payment is low enough, and the paint shiny enough, the problem of burning Kias won’t amount to a hill of beans.

    • 0 avatar

      From the article: “The supplier of the offending Sonata part is said to be Hanil Tube USA, while the Sedona recall documents name Delphi Powertrain Systems Korea as its supplier.”

      Chinese, you say?

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