Kia Motors has issued a precautionary recall on 228,829 units of 2006-10 Sedona minivans and 2007-09 Sorentos due to a rare possibility of a short circuit that could cause a fire in the engine compartment. Kia expects about 1% of the cited vehicles could have moisture in the anti-lock braking system (ABS) module.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) campaign No. 20V088000 says that some 2006-2010 Sedonas and 2007-2009 Sorentos have a Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) within the ABS module that could be susceptible to moisture damage. Should moisture enter the HECU, it could cause an electrical short circuit, which could then spark a fire. Because the HECU is energized when the car is turned off, this issue could arise even while the vehicle is parked.
Kia has yet to determine exactly how and why moisture is getting into the HECU, and it's not the first time this type of problem has caused a recall. Hyundai Motors recalled 429,686 Hyundai Elantra and Elantra Touring models for the same issue.
Because there isn't a certain root defect to fix, Kia has devised a plan to reduce the risk of fire. Kia will install a relay in the vehicle's main junction box, free of charge. This will prevent power from going to the HECU while the ignition is off. Kia will alert owners of affected vehicles starting April 10, 2020.
Kia and Hyundai have also been involved in completely separate engine-fire-related recalls in the recent past. Throughout the previous few years, Kia and Hyundai have recalled millions of cars, crossovers, and SUVs with faulty oil pans and high exhaust temperatures that damage catalytic converters. As a result, the NHTSA opened an investigative probe into Kia's and Hyundai's handling of the recalls and resolutions.