Safety group wants Hyundai, Kia to recall 2.9m vehicles

In the last 8 years more than 220 consumer complaints have been filed

Photo: EPA

A nonprofit auto safety group is currently demanding that Hyundai and Kia recall 2.9m cars and SUVs in the US due to potential fire risk. According to The Center For Auto Safety more than 220 complaints have been addressed to the US government since 2010 about fires and another 200 complaints about melted wires as well as smoke and burning odors.

The complaints involve the 2011 through 2014 Kia Sorento and Optima and the Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe. Also included in the list is the 2010 through 2015 Kia Soul.

"The volume of fires here make it appear that Hyundai and Kia are content to sit back and allow consumers and insurers to bear the brunt of poorly designed, manufactured and repaired vehicles," Jason Levine, the center's executive director, said.

"We have a robust system in place for monitoring and investigating reported vehicle fires that includes investigation and reporting to NHTSA as required," a company statement said in response.

Kia, for its part, claimed it is using company and third-party fire investigators to determine what caused the fires so it can address them.

"A vehicle fire may be the result of any number of complex factors, such as a manufacturing issue, inadequate maintenance, the installation of aftermarket parts, an improper repair, arson, or some other non-vehicle source, and must be carefully evaluated by a qualified and trained investigator," the company said in a statement.

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