Despite government shutdown Hyundai goes ahead with car recalls

In January 2019, in another of the Hyundai car recalls, the Korean automaker Honda along with its associated company Kia announced that it would go ahead with the recall of 168,000 cars due to the possibility of engine fires caused by fuel pipe problems, despite the government shutdown.

Usually the regulatory body, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) inspectors are monitoring the recalls and, in some cases, administrating them.

Due to the Government shutdown these inspectors will not be able to monitor the recalls and ensure that the problem is resolved satisfactorily.   

Since 2010, Hyundai has faced complaints regarding engine of their car catching fire. Along with Kia, its associate company, Hyundai is under investigation by NHTSA which has been pressurizing the company to carry out the necessary changes to prevent engine fires.

In 2015, a total of 1.7 million Hyundai and Kia cars were recalled since the manufacturing debris was affecting the oil flow to the connected bearings. This increased the wear and tear on the bearings in the two- and 2.4-liter capacity four-cylinder engines and the bearings would fail.

This problem also resulted in engine fires. Repair involved replacing the engine blocks.  However, it was noticed that the repairs which were carried out by the Hyundai dealers during the 2015 recall were not carried out properly, resulting in damage to or misalignment of the fuel pipes.

This resulted in the leakage of fuel which would spill on the hot engine parts causing fire. While Kia has reported six fires, Hyundai has not reported any fire till date.

Yet both Hyundai and Kia announced recalls of their vehicles including the Hyundai Sonata manufactured between 2011 and 2014, and the Santa Fe sports SUVs 2013, 2014 models, Kia Optima, Sorrento and Sportage SUVs affected.    

Hyundai has said that only vehicles whose engines were replaced in 2015 recall are included in this recall. This would affect approximately 100,000 of the one million vehicles which were modified in the previous recall.

A letter will be sent to all the customers of the cars affected by the recall to notify them about the change. The car owners will have to take their car to the car dealer who will inspect the car fuel pipe and check if there is any leakage or other problem. Owners are advised to avoid non dealership repairs, such as use of a Hyundai workshop manual.

Due to the government shutdown, the NHTSA inspectors are not coming to work, and despite this Hyundai has decided to go ahead, since they wish to fix the problem at the earliest to prevent any fires.

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