US regulators step up investigation into Hyundai and Kia engine fires | Automobile industry

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration analyzes 3 million vehicles to assess the effectiveness of recalls.

The United States Auto Safety Agency has stepped up its investigation into the engine fires that have affected certain Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp vehicles for more than six years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it has opened a “technical analysis” covering about 3 million vehicles to assess, among other things, the effectiveness of recalls initiated by the two automakers. The agency added that it was aware of 161 fires, potentially due to engine failures.

A technical analysis is the next step in a process that could lead to a recall, although sometimes NHTSA closes such probes without requiring any action.

The agency opened an investigation in 2019 covering the 2011-2014 Kia ​​Optima and Sorento, and the 2010-2015 Kia Soul, as well as the 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe, to investigate cases of non-collision fires.

Register the civil sanction

Hyundai and Kia said on Monday they would continue to cooperate fully with NHTSA over collisionless engine fires.

The two South Korean companies agreed to a record civil fine of $ 210 million last year, after regulators said they failed to recall 1.6 million vehicles for engine problems in a timely manner .

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