The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just released a news bulletin with a “park outdoors” order for certain Hyundai and Kia models at risk of catching on fire. This applies to approximately 485,000 vehicles, including the 2014-2015 Hyundai Tucson, 2016-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2017-2018 Santa Fe Sport, 2019 Santa Fe XL, 2014-2016 Kia Sportage and 2016-2018 Kia K900.

Today's recalls come after U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stepped up a series of investigations into engine compartment fires that have plagued the Korean automakers.

Owners of the vehicles listed above vehicles should park outside, away from other vehicles and structures, for the time being. It does not matter if the car is on or off, as Hyundai and Kia believe there is a risk of fire either way. Hyundai says it's aware of fires related to this issue, but says there are no reported injuries or deaths as a result of them.

At this point, Hyundai and Kia have not confirmed the fire cause. However, the manufacturers believe it is due to an electrical component in the anti-lock brake system that “may experience an internal electrical short circuit that could increase the risk of fire both while the vehicle is being driven or parked.”

If this occurs, the end result could be an engine compartment fire. All of the vehicles that are part of this group are being recalled, and dealers will install a new fuse for the hydraulic electronic control unit circuit board that is designed to mitigate the fire risk.

Owners of recalled vehicles should expect notification letters to be mailed out by March 31. Until the recall work can be completed, the recommendation is to park these affected vehicles outside. Hyundai says that warning signs for owners include the illumination of a dash warning light for the ABS system, a burning odor and smoke from the engine compartment.

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