The Korean automakers discovered the possibility of a brake fluid leak in the hydraulic control unit of the anti-lock brakes that could cause the fire even if the car is not turned on.
The problem has been under investigation ever since it was first reported in 2018 and now the companies have identified the affected models.
Out of the total number of affected vehicles, 440,370 units are from the Kia stable. This includes 283,803 units of the Optima sedan from 2013 to 2015 and 156,567 Sorento SUVs from 2014 to 2015. Hyundai, on the other hand, has in question 151,000 units of the Santa Fe SUVs from the 2013 to 2015 model years included.
So far, there have been a total of 15 reports of engine fires involving Hyundai vehicles and eight incidents involving Kia vehicles. The two companies however clarified that no accidents and injuries related to the problem have been reported.
Owners of the affected models are advised to bring their vehicles to a local dealer where technicians will replace hydraulic electronic units deemed faulty. The replacement will be at no additional cost to customers.
Hyundai previously announced a recall earlier this year involving Elantra vehicles from 2006 to 2011 and Elantra Touring models from 2007 to 2011. The Elantras part of the recall were said to have water leaking into the ABS computer unit, which could cause an electrical short-circuit and may lead to an engine fire.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been looking into Hyundai and Kia since April 2019, following reports of over 3,000 engine fires and 103 injuries that were not related to vehicle crashes.