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Hyundai recalls nearly 430,000 Elantras over potential fire risk

Hyundai has recalled nearly 430,000 Elantras over a potential electrical short that could cause an engine fire. File Photo by Earl S. Cryer/UPI
Hyundai has recalled nearly 430,000 Elantras over a potential electrical short that could cause an engine fire. File Photo by Earl S. Cryer/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Hyundai has recalled nearly 430,000 Elantras over possibility of moisture entering the anti-lock brake system module, shorting it and sparking an engine fire.

The recall has been issued for 429,686 of its Elantra 2006-2011 sedans and 2007-2011 Touring hatchback wagons, a Safety Recall Report said, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published.

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The electrical short circuit could develop if moisture enters the ABS module, which may cause an engine compartment fire and increase risk of an injury, the report said.

The engine could ignite when the car is on or off since the ABS module remains energized, but to date, there have been only a few reports of such fires and no reports to Hyundai of injuries, a timeline report shows.

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Hyundai Motor America discovered the problem after an October 2017 claim alleging an engine compartment fire in a 2007 Hyundai Elantra.

"The source of the ignition could not be determined due to the extent of the damage; however, various fuses related to the ABS module were found open indicating the possibility of an internal short," the report said.

Hyundai's fix is a new relay that will power down the ABS module when the vehicle's ignition switch is turned off. After years of inspection and analysis, Hyundai has been unable to find a "discernible trend relating to a design or manufacturing defect," that would cause moisture to enter the ABS, leaving the vehicle at risk for fire while it is on.

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"While the vehicle is on, short circuits are preceded by other noticeable symptoms such as noise [or] ABS warning lights," a Hyundai spokesperson told Car and Driver. "So with the vehicle on, the driver is present and will detect preceding symptoms if a short circuit were to occur. In this situation, the foundation brakes continue to be operational."

Dealers and owners will be notified of the recall in April.

Owners can check the NHTSA recall site, to see if their vehicle is included in the recall.

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