Automobile manufacturer Kia announced a recall of nearly 400,000 of its Sportage compact SUVs and the Cadenza sedans this month to address the risk of engine fire.
The National Highway Safety Administration urged owners of the 2017-2021 vehicles to not operate them until the necessary repairs are made. Given the nature of the threat, the advisory from the federal agency recommends that vehicles be parked outside of garages and away from structures until the issue is resolved.
Kia said the vehicles’ electronic components could short circuit and cause a fire within the engine compartments.
Kia owners may see smoke emitting from the engine or smell burned plastic odors as a result of the malfunction. It can also lead to the activation of warning lights, according to a safety recall report. Before the recall was issued, the traffic administration conducted an investigation into engine fires involving Kia vehicles.
Owners of the Sportage and Cadenza vehicles can resolve the faulty electronic component with a fuse replacement in the electrical junction box and updated software, which will be offered at Kia dealerships. The Sportage starts at about $24,000 and is a smaller type of SUV. The Cadenza, a full-size sedan, starts at about $40,000.
The recall comes at a difficult time for the auto industry, which faces a global shortage of semiconductors, reduced production, and a market hungrier for electrical vehicles and driverless technologies.