Automobile manufacturers Hyundai and Kia will be asking owners of certain 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 and 2022 Kia EV6 vehicles, to return to their dealerships for a problem affecting the parking brake mechanism. A software error in the Shifter Control Unit (SCU) may disengage the parking mechanism and allow the vehicle to roll away.

Hyundai and Kia first became aware of the problem in April/May 2022 after reports about warranty claims involving some Ioniq 5 and EV6 vehicles in Korea. The vehicles allegedly unexpectedly rolled away after being parked on an incline with the ignition off. Further investigation into the incidents found voltage fluctuations in the electrical system that could affect the command signal from the Shifter Control Unit (SCU) to the parking actuator. The result would be a momentary disengagement of the parking pawl.

According to the safety report, the subject vehicles are equipped with a shift-by-wire system with a shifter control unit and parking pawl actuator motor. If a voltage fluctuation occurs when the vehicle is off and in Park, the signal from the SCU to the actuator may be affected. The problem could result in the temporary disengagement of the parking mechanism and a potential vehicle roll away.

Owners will be asked to return to the dealerships to have the Shifter Control Unit software updated. Drivers are recommended to use the Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) when parking their vehicles until the software update has been performed. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 228 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-324. Kia’s number for this recall is SC236 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-332.

If you are experiencing repeated problems with your vehicle, it could be a lemon. If you have any questions about your rights and the California Lemon Law, please call our office at 888-395-3666 and get some great Lemon Law advice!

 Automotive Defect Investigation

In 2017, the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened two Recall Queries (RQ) affecting certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles equipped with “Theta II” engines. The investigation looked at both the timeliness and scope of the recalls as well as the compliance of each company to meet their reporting requirements under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Numerous violations of the requirements were found for both companies, and in November 2020, both companies entered into Consent Orders with NHTSA to resolve NHTSA’s assertions of violations of law.

In 2018, the Center for Automotive Safety (CAS) petitioned the Agency to investigate non-crash fires on various Hyundai and Kia models, alleging vehicle fires at varying points of origin and occurring under various non-crash related circumstances (including key-off fires). The ODI found that many of the fire incidents appeared to start in the engine compartment area and made reference to the two open RQ investigations as likely pertinent. After reviewing responses two Preliminary Evaluations were started to investigate incidents of non-crash fires (regardless of origin or operational status of the vehicle) on various model-year Hyundai (Sonata and Santa Fe) and Kia (Optima, Sorento, and Soul) models.

To date, Hyundai and Kia have issued several recalls addressing vehicle fires, including those due to engine failure involving various engine types (Theta II GDI, Theta II MPI, Theta II MPI HEV, Nu GDI, and Gamma GDI). The repair for the engine failure recalls typically involves engine inspection (to detect existing damage), and if necessary, engine replacement. Additionally, both manufacturers are installing an engine control software modification known as Knock Sensor Detection Software (KSDS) which is intended to detect impending engine failure, alert the driver, and limit engine power (to lessen the likelihood of engine failure). KSDS is being installed under recalls and non-safety field actions, and both companies have extended limited engine warranties. They have even replaced engines if the KSDS software detects an impending engine failure.

The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is opening this Engineering Analysis for two primary purposes. First, the investigation will continue to evaluate the scope of recalls initially begun under prior ODI actions, and will also include other recalls for fires due to engine failure. Second, the investigation will monitor and evaluate the efficacy of the recall remedies for engine fire-related recalls, as well as the long-term viability of related programs and non-safety field actions being conducted by Hyundai and Kia.

The Vehicles Affected Include:
2013 Hyundai Elantra
2012 Hyundai Santa FE
2013-2014 Hyundai Santa FE Sport
2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata
2011-2013, 2016-2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
2017 Hyundai Tucson
2015-2016 Hyundai Veloster
2012-2015 Kia Forte
2012-2015 Kia Forte Koup
2011-2014 Kia Optima
2011-2013, 2017-2018 Kia Optima Hybrid
2017-2018 Kia Optima PHEV
2012-2015 Kia RIO
2011-2014 Kia Sorento
2012-2016 Kia Soul
2011-2013 Kia Sportage

A small number of 2020-2021 Kia Rio vehicles may have been built with brake master cylinders that are not designed to manufacturer specifications. Kia will be contacting the owners of the affected vehicles starting January 11, 2022. The letter will have information describing the problem and how owners can get repairs done.

Kia first became aware of the defect in October 2021 when the supplier of the brake master cylinder notified them of a brake-related complaint in a Hyundai vehicle. Because this vehicle uses the same brake master cylinder as certain Kia Rio vehicles an investigation into the problem was opened for both Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent vehicles.

Based on a review of supplier quality control records and Kia’s vehicle production records, vehicles produced before 7/2/2021 could be equipped with improperly machined brake master cylinder bodies.

According to the defect report, the master cylinder body may have been machined with a sharp edge that could contact and damage the oil seal in the master cylinder. A damaged oil seal can impair vehicle braking functions, such that the driver may experience a hard or spongy brake feel, longer brake pedal travel, and extended stopping distances.

All owners of the affected vehicles will be notified by first class mail with instructions to bring their vehicles to a Kia dealer. Dealers will replace the brake master cylinder with a new one. Kia’s number for this recall SC223 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-936.

This problem also affects certain 2021 Hyundai Accent vehicles. The brake master cylinder may have been manufactured with sharp edges that can damage the inner oil seal and result in reduced braking performance. Hyundai’s recall number is 213 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-937.

Don’t live with a Lemon. If you are having problems with your vehicle and have questions about your rights and the California Lemon Law, please call our office at 888-395-3666.

Hyundai Motor America will be asking owners of certain 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric and 2019-2020 Hyundai Kona Electric vehicles to return to their dealerships because of a problem affecting the lithium-ion battery.

In March 2019 Hyundai received three reports of Kona electric vehicles catching fire while parked. All vehicles involved were reportedly parked with a fully charged battery. Further investigation found several similar incidents which initiated an investigation into the problem. As a result of this investigation, a campaign was launched to upgrade the BMS software for early detection of abnormalities in the battery while the vehicle is parked. The software update was developed as a fail safe countermeasure as they continued their investigation

In February 2021 Hyundai became aware of a Kona EV. with the updated software. that caught fire while at full state of charge. Further investigation into the cause found an internal short within the battery cells caused by a folded Anode tab could result in Lithium plating on the Anode tab to contact and short circuit to the Cathode. Based on this information a safety campaign will be conducted to replace the Battery System Assembly (BSA)

Once parts are available, dealers will replace the Battery System Assembly (BSA). Owners are advised to park their vehicles outside and away from structures until the recall is complete. The recall is expected to begin end of April. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 200 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-127.

Hyundai will be contacting the owners of certain 2018 Genesis G80 sedans regarding a problem affecting the Occupant Classification System (OCS).

According to defect reports filed with the NHTSA, a routine inspection at the vehicle assembly plant found that the OCS re-coding program used in a specific assembly line could incorrectly reset the calibration for heated seats to the calibration for vented seats. As a result, if an infant or child is occupying the front passenger seat, the OCS could fail to deactivate the airbag. If an adult is occupying the front passenger seat the OCS will function properly.

Those receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealership to have the OCS reprogrammed. Owners wanting more information about this defect can contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9460. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 002G and the NHTSA campaign number is 18V-496.

The Hyundai Motor group will be contacting the owners of certain 2017 Hyundai Ioniq and 2017 Kia Niro hybrids regarding a problem affecting the propulsion system.

According to the defect report filed with the NHTSA, the subject vehicles may be equipped with a hydraulic clutch actuator with burrs along the inner housing. Over time, these burrs could cause damage to the inner oil seal and allow oil to accumulate in the phase cap area. This accumulation could result an electrical short and an increased risk of fire. If a short exists, drivers will be alerted through an illuminated HEV warning light.

Dealers will inspect the HCA caps for leaked oil and replace the HCA assembly as needed. For more information: Hyundai owners can call 1-855-371-9460. (Hyundai’s recall number is 176 and the NHTSA campaign number is 18V-260.) Kia owners can call 1-800-333-4542. (Kia’s recall number is SC163 and the NHTSA campaign number is 18V-257.)

Hyundai will be contacting owners of certain 2018 Santa FE midsize SUVs because of a problem affecting the steering system.

According to the defect report filed with the NHTSA, temperature problems during the molding process could result in steering wheel hub assemblies with insufficient breakage strength. The steering wheel could completely separate from the steering column leaving the driver with no way of steering the vehicle.

Hyundai will be notifying owners to return to their dealers to have the production lot number of the steering wheel assembly inspected and replaced as necessary. Owners wanting more information about the problem can contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9460. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 173 and the NHTSA campaign number is 18V-118.

Hyundai will be contacting a small number of 2017 Hyundai Ioniq owners regarding a defect affecting the Electronic Power Control Unit (EPCU) in their car. According to the defect report, the housing for the EPCU may contain small voids that could allow coolant to enter and contact the control unit’s circuit board. If this happens, the board could short and stall the vehicle.

Those receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealership to have the EPCU inspected and replaced as necessary. For more information about the problem, owners may contact Hyundai Customer Service at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 166 and the NHTSA campaign number is 17V-532.