Kia is recalling 379,931 vehicles, including the 2017-to-2019 Cadenza and the 2017-to-2021 Sportage, due to a risk of engine fires. The fire can result from an electrical short within the engines of affected vehicles. Kia says that the impacted vehicles should immediately be parked outside. Owners should bring the vehicles to dealerships to have the engine defect repaired as quickly as possible.

Fire Cause Unknown

Kia, as well as parent company Hyundai, has recalled many other vehicles for fire risks. They were recently fined for moving too slowly on recalling certain vehicles. Cadenza and Sportage owners can check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall website to find out if their vehicle is affected. Kia will also contact owners as soon as possible via mail.

The electric short occurs within the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit of engines. However, the exact cause of the short is unknown. Owners could see the pressure warning light, ABS warning light, or MIL warning light illuminate on the dashboard before the fire starts. They may also possibly smell or see smoke.

Replacing Fuses

Kia dealers will remedy the defect by replacing fuses in the electrical junction box. The company says they are unaware of any actual fires resulting from the electrical short in the affected models. However, the potential for fires has become a common reason Kia and Hyundai vehicles have been recalled.

Last fall, Hyundai and Kia recalled 591,000 vehicles for a brake-fluid leak which could result in a fire. Earlier in the 2020, Hyundai recalled 430,000 Elantra sedans for the potential of water entering the ABS module and starting a fire.

Hefty Fines

The Associated Press has estimated that a total of six million vehicles built by Hyundai and Kia have been recalled since 2015. Recalled vehicles include 2010-to-2015 Hyundai and Kia models with 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines. In addition, Hyundai has been fined $210 million for dragging their feet on specific recalls. Kia denied these allegations, but still agreed to pay the fine and avoid a legal fight.


Devon is a writer, editor, and veteran of the online publishing world. He has a particular love for classic muscle cars.