Detroit – In spite of a government stop, Hyundai and Kia are moving ahead with a recall of approximately 168,000 vehicles to repair a fuel pipe problem that can cause engine fires. The problem comes from inappropriate repairs during previous engine failures.
Korean affiliated vehicles have been disturbed by fire complaints and engine failure across the country. Both have been investigated by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which tried to find out whether the initial withdrawals covered enough vehicles. But the agency is largely closed due to stopping.
In addition to recall, each automaker said it would make a "product improvement campaign" covering a total of 3.7 million vehicles to install the software that will alert drivers to possible engine failures and will send the machines in a way "the problems are detected.
NHTSA personnel conducting safety investigations and withdrawal notifications are not at work. Under normal circumstances, the agency will review withdrawals to make sure they are appropriate and to post details on the agency's website. It would also monitor ads to customers and ensure that they can check if their vehicles are included.
Kia spokesman James Bell said the company is continuing with the withdrawal and campaign, regardless of government delays.
"Making our customers comfortable is far more important than making sure we follow additional governmental processes right now," he said. Kia sent letters to dealers around Jan. 10, notifying him about recall, he said.
But a US automotive safety attorney. has called inappropriate recall and said that product improvement campaigns should instead be remembered as being supervised by NHTSA.
A spokesman for the NHTSA spokesman said he can not comment because of stopping.
Hyundai and Kia began to recall 1.7 million vehicles in 2015 – of which around 618 000 are Kias – because production debris can limit the flow of oil to the connecting bearings. This can cause the bearing and failure of the bearings in the four-cylinder and 2.4-liter engines. Also, the problem may cause fire. Repair is an expensive replacement of the engine.
Fuel can leak, causing fires
Now, companies admit that engine replacements may not have been done properly in all cases by dealers. According to a Kia statement, high-pressure fuel pipes may have been damaged, misaligned or tightened inappropriately while the engines were replaced during the recall. This may allow the fuel to drain and strike the hot parts of the engine, causing fires.
Kia handles only 68,000 of the 618,000 vehicles recalled for engine problems, while Hyundai recalls only 100,000 more than 1 million.
Fuel Injection Pipes Returns to a series of Kia Optima cars from 2011, 2014 to 2014 and Sorrento SUVs 2014 and 2013 until 2013, Sportage SUVs, all with four and four-cylinder engines. Also covered are many 2011 and 2014 Hyundai Sonata cars and Santa Fe Sport 2013 and 2014 SUVs.
The companies said the owners of these vehicles would be announced by letter.
More questions than answers
Jason Levine, Executive Director of the Nonprofit Safety Center, said Kia limited the latest retreat to a relatively small number of vehicles without an adequate explanation, generating more questions than answers. He said some consumers complained about fires in vehicles that were not included in the engine's recall recalls.
He also voiced concerns about the impact of government closure on NHTSA, which he said should be open to dealing with critical safety reviews.
"This is the exact scenario where you should have safe and law enforcement people who come and work," he said.
The last recall posted on the NHTSA website was dated December 19, three days before the closure began. The agency said in a statement that "it could recall its employees if NHTSA becomes aware of information on suspended functions involving imminent threats to human security or property protection."