TAMPA, Fla. — Christine McGuire-Wolfe’s expertise echoes that of dozens of drivers who instructed the I-Workforce they narrowly escaped burning Kias and Hyundais. As they rolled down the street, their vehicles and SUVs burst into flames.
“I do know if my youngsters had been within the again seat, I would not have been capable of get them out in time,” McGuire-Wolfe mentioned.
Mathias Donaldson, 17, jumped out of his 2011 Kia Optima when it caught hearth as he headed into the Tampa space. Donaldson instructed the I-Workforce, “Seconds later, the automobile goes up in flames.
The I-Workforce first broke the story of Kias and Hyundais catching hearth whereas parked or driving in 2018. Our ongoing investigation has uncovered gas leaks and defective recall repairs that triggered a few of the greater than 5,000 fires reported by automakers to federal regulators.
Kia and Hyundai have issued greater than 5.8 million remembers since our investigation started. automobiles as a consequence of engine defects associated to fires. However vehicles and SUVs proceed to catch hearth whereas parked in driveways and garages, or caught behind the wheel by unsuspecting drivers. In some instances, drivers instructed us they did not get discover of the cancellation till it was too late.
Michael Brooks, who heads the Middle for Auto Security in Washington, D.C., suspects that the true variety of Kia and Hyundai fires is twice as excessive as the federal government estimates. “Not everybody whose automobile catches hearth calls the producer to complain,” he mentioned. “Most individuals report it to their insurance coverage they usually’re performed.”
Our experiences and ongoing shopper complaints to the Middle for Auto Security have prompted the trade watchdog to challenge a uncommon “don’t purchase” warning for 5 used automobile and SUV fashions made in a given 12 months by Kia and Hyundai. Brooks instructed the I-Workforce that the group is “seeing fixed outages, fixed complications for shoppers.”
The patron alert covers a couple of million Kia and Hyundai automobiles manufactured between 2011 and 2014. All of them have two Theta engines, which have been linked to various fire-related remembers.
- 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata
- 2013-2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
- 2011-2014 Kia Optima
- 2012-2014 Kia Sorento
- 2011-2013 Kia Sportage
Brooks instructed the I-Workforce that the Auto Security Authority has not issued a “don’t purchase” warning for any automobile group within the final 20 years. “I’ve by no means seen the dimensions that we have seen from these automobiles.
McGuire Wolfe’s 2012 Sorento is on the checklist. She hopes used automobile patrons will heed the warning. “I did not know, and I am extremely fortunate now that neither myself nor my youngsters had been severely injured,” she mentioned.
Hyundai responded to the warning in a press release, telling the I-Workforce: “Hyundai has taken many proactive steps to deal with the engine points, together with a number of remembers, the discharge of a brand new engine. Monitoring and diagnostic know-how… The protection of our clients is a prime precedence in the whole lot we do.”
And a Kia spokesperson wrote: “We regularly consider our automobiles as a part of our ongoing monitoring actions…all Kia automobiles bought in america meet or exceed all federal authorities automobile security requirements.
In the meantime, the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration’s expanded investigation into the scope and effectiveness of the remembers which were issued continues.
It doesn’t matter what you drive, enter your automobile’s VIN on the federal government web site to see if there are any open remembers to your journey.