Hyundai Saying All Newly Recalled Vehicles Should Be Parked Outside

Hyundai has changed its mind on the course of action it told owners regarding the recall to fix a defect that could cause engine fires. The automaker is now telling owners of more than 200,000 vehicles to park them outdoors until repairs are made.

Both Hyundai and Kia reported they were recalling over 600,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to fix a brake fluid leak that could cause fires. Initially, Hyundai gave owners the go-ahead to park their vehicles indoors.

The recalls cover 203,000 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs from 2013 to 2015 along with more than 440,000 Kia Optima midsize sedans from 2013 through 2015 and Kia Sorento SUVs from 2014 and 2015.

Hyundai spokesman Michael Stewart said the company’s North America safety decided that the Santa Fes should not be parked in garages. A decision from Kia is still pending on whether its vehicles also be parked outside.

“After further review, it was determined that out of an abundance of caution, customers should park the vehicles outside until the recall is completed,” Stewart said.

The automakers said in paperwork released Thursday by U.S. safety regulators that brake fluid can leak inside a hydraulic control unit for the anti-lock brakes, possibly causing an electrical short that can lead to fires.

Kia’s recall will start Oct. 15, while Hyundai’s will start Oct. 23. Dealers for both companies will inspect the control units for leaks and replace them if needed at no cost to owners.

Hyundai said earlier that if the anti-lock brake warning light comes on, owners should not drive their vehicles and should contact a dealer. If there’s a warning light, owners also should disconnect the 12-volt battery by removing the positive cable.

As of last week, Hyundai had 15 reports of engine fires caused by the fluid leaks, while Kia said it had eight. Neither company is aware of any injuries.

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