Automakers Hyundai and Kia are recalling about 168,000 vehicles due to a risk of engine fires caused by a fuel pipe problem, according to the Associated Press. The fuel pipe problem was installed during a previous recall, when repairs to fix engine failures were done improperly.
The ongoing government shutdown is making it more difficult—and in some cases, seemingly impossible—to proceed with consumer safety recalls monitored or in some cases administered by federal regulators. Affiliated Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia are under investigation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to assess whether this and other vehicle recalls conducted by the companies are broad enough to include all potentially impacted vehicles and consumers. But while the government is closed, NHTSA inspectors that would normally oversee and notify the public about such a recall are not at work.
This latest recall includes some Kia Optima cars (model years 2011 to 2014), Kia Sorrento SUVs (model years 2012 to 2014), and Kia Sportage SUVs (model years 2011 to 2013), which all have 2-liter and 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines. Other vehicles included are some Hyundai Sonata cars (model years 2011 to 2014) and 2013 and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUVs (model year 2014).
The safety and recall issues plaguing both car companies have been ongoing for years, and this latest Hyundai and Kia vehicle recall is part of the ongoing callback that began in 2015. Reports began to surface as early as 2010 that the vehicle engines were catching fire.