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Major automakers issue recalls due to fire risk

Kia and Hyundai have announced that they are recalling 534,000 automobiles because of an engine issue that could lead to fires. The recall is effective in New Jersey and across the country and includes 379,000 Kia Souls manufactured between 2012 and 2016, along with Hyundai Tucsons from 2011 to 2013, Kia Sedonas from 2015 to 2018 and Kia Sportages from 2011 to 2012. Beginning in 2016, there began to arise reports from people who were driving normally under normal conditions when their vehicles suddenly caught fire.

Some of the drivers said they had to jump out of their vehicles before they exploded. At least one death has been attributed to a Kia that caught fire with the driver trapped inside. According to the Center for Auto Safety, 2.9 million vehicles from Kia and Hyundai will have to be recalled before the fire issue is fully addressed. The CAS has fielded more than 300 consumer complaints about non-collision fires in Kias and Hyundais since 2016.

The manufacturers claim that the risk of fire has been overblown by the CAS. The recall, though, was announced just after the CAS urged Congress to investigate Kia and Hyundai. The CAS said in a statement that the car makers issued a recall for less than 10 percent of the at-risk vehicles in the hope that they would not have to do anything about the rest of them.

People who have been harmed by auto defects might be entitled to compensation for their losses. An attorney might be able to help in such cases by identifying parties who may be liable or by gathering evidence and conducting depositions in anticipation of a trial if a settlement can't be reached.

Source: Consumer Affairs, "Hyundai and Kia recall 500,000 cars that could randomly catch fire", Amy Martyn, March 4, 2019

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