Brand-new Hyundai Kona, Veloster models recalled for fire risk, new engines needed

The Elantra is also part of the same recall, which we already saw plague the new Kia Seltos and Soul. About one in a hundred will need a new engine.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD
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2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD

All these engine fire-related recalls aren't really a good look.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Following a concerning recall for 147,000 new Kia Seltos, Soul and other vehicles, an identical issue is the cause of another engine fire recall for two brand-new vehicles. The automaker filed documents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this week saying it needs to recall 125,840 vehicles for improperly heat-treated piston oil rings. The defect could lead to a fire occurring in the engine compartment.

The recall hits the 2019-2021 Hyundai Kona and Veloster, while the 2019-2020 is also part of the recall. Each of the affected cars features a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-four engine -- the same engine found in the affected Kia models. Without the proper heat treatment, the piston oil rings may be much harder than needed. If the issue surfaces, the ring can scuff the cylinder bore and cause the engine to consume a lot more oil. Eventually, a connecting rod bearing may seize. Meanwhile, increased oil consumption can lead to a leak, and around a source of combustion, cause a fire. Owners should be on the lookout for an engine knock, a burning smell and check engine or oil pressure lights illuminating on the dashboard.

Adding to the fire risk woes at Hyundai, the automaker filed an additional recall for 2013-2015 Santa Fe Sport crossovers. This fire risk comes from brake fluid leaking near the ABS module, which could then short circuit and cause a fire. A total of 151,205 vehicles are part of this separate recall campaign.

For the engine fire/damage recall, Hyundai will need to see each of the affected cars at a dealer so a technician can inspect the problem components. Owners may be in for a totally new engine, if necessary, and the brand will cover all associated costs. Hyundai will also equip each car with software to better monitor the issue going forward. For the recall, owners will also need to bring their cars to a dealer for inspection to replace the ABS multifuse, and inspect and replace the ABS module. Mailed notices will head out to owners in late June.

The Hyundai Kona is a curious one

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