According to Kia's filed documents, the recall covers 379,931 Sportage and Cadenza vehicles from the 2017-2021 model years for the former. The problem affects 2017-2019 Cadenza sedans. Of note, Sportage and Cadenza models without smart cruise control are not included in the recall.
The problem lies in a possibly defective hydraulic electrical control unit. A short circuit may occur and spark a fire in the engine compartment, though Kia said the exact cause of the problem is unknown. The brand said it's not aware of any fires, crashes or injuries related to the problem, but first identified the potential issue in South Korea, prompting the recall in the US. Vehicles will receive new fuses and a new electrical junction box to fix the problem, while vehicles that feature an electronic parking brake will also get a HECU software update. All work will be performed at no cost to owners.
While owners wait for notices to mail out in late April, Kia advises them to park their cars outside and away from structures. Drivers may also see a handful of dashboard lights illuminate as a sign the HECU is short circuiting, including the tire pressure and ABS warning light.