Is Your Car at Risk of Catching Fire? Kia Tells 380,000 Car Owners to Park Outside Due to Engine Fire Risk

Logo of Kia Motors
Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

Korean car company Kia told 380,000 of its customers to park their vehicles outside due to out of risk of engine fires.

Korean car manufacturer Kia announced to owners of nearly 380,000 cars in the U.S. that they should park their vehicles outside due to the risk of engine fires, according to reports.

The company issued a recall Tuesday for certain 2017 through 2021 Sportage SUVs and certain 2017 through 2019 Cadenza sedans due to a short circuit issue that can increase the risk of a fire, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a report. The company says the recalled vehicles are not equipped with Kia's Smart Cruise Control system.

“Until these recalled vehicles have been repaired, the safest place to park them is outside and away from homes and other structures,” according to the advisory.

Owners are urged to monitor tire pressure, anti-lock brakes and other warning lights on the dashboard. They might also smell the odor of burning or melting in the moments before a fire.

Vehicle owners will be notified on April 30. Kia says in documents posted Tuesday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it has no reports of crashes, fires or injuries due to the problem.

In 2019, both Kia and Hyundai were investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after reported engine fires, CBS News reported. Hyundai and Kia in 2020 agreed to pay a $210 million civil penalty after regulators said they failed to timely recall 1.6 million vehicles for engine issues, Reuters reported.  

The automakers' agreement to pay the record amount came after they allegedly inaccurately reported some information to the NHTSA regarding the recalls, the agency said. 

Hyundai agreed to a total civil penalty of $140 million. It agreed to make spending $40 million on safety performance measures an obligation, and also agreed to spend an additional $46 million in a deferred penalty if it did not meet requirements. 

Kia agreed to pay $70 million and spend $16 million on safety measures, as well as $27 million in deferred penalty if it did not meet requirements. Kia denied the U.S. allegations but said it wanted to avoid a protracted legal fight.