Highlights

  • Owners asked to park outside as car may catch fire even when it is not running
  • Nearly 500,000 vehicles recalled for fixing by dealers

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Hyundai and Kia ask 500,000 vehicle owners to park outside due to fire risk

n November, NHTSA issued first-ever reward to a whistleblower, handing out more than $24 million to a former Hyundai employee who highlighted the flaw

Automakers Hyundai and Kia are telling owners of nearly 500,000 cars in the United States to park outside and away from buildings due to a possible defect that can cause the vehicles to catch fire even when not running.

Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Corp announced separate U.S. recalls because a Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) module could malfunction and cause an electrical short, which could result in an engine compartment fire.

In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), Kia said it is aware of three vehicles that have caught fire. The companies also said owners could safely continue driving the vehicles, but they should be parked away from any buildings or structures

In November, NHTSA issued first-ever reward to a whistleblower, handing out more than $24 million to a former Hyundai employee who reported to NHTSA in 2016 that Hyundai was failing to address a design flaw linked to its Theta II engines, which were prone to seizing up and catching fire.

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