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Kia Recalls Almost 295,000 Models for Fire Threat

That burning smell coming from under your hood just might be an engine fire in your used Kia. A major recall has been announced.


The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has issued a recall notice for almost 295,000 used Kias. The issue is potential engine fires.

Kia said in documents filed with NHTSA that fuel and/or engine leaks may be the culprits behind the engine fires. It says no manufacturing defect has been found.

According to a Bloomberg article, the Kia engine fire recall comes after the NHTSA opened an investigation into Kia and Hyundai engine fires in 2019. The move came after the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety sought the investigation. When the inquiry began, the agency said it had owner complaints of more than 3,100 fires, 103 injuries and one death.

Hyundai Kia Theta II engine GDI recallKia Recalled Vehicles
The following vehicles are subject to this recall:

  • 2012-2015 Kia Forte
  • 2012-2015 Kia Forte Koup
  • 2011-2013 Kia/Optima Hybrid
  • 2012-2013 Kia/Sorento
  • 2014-2015 Kia/Soul
  • 2012 Kia Sportage

Kia will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the engine compartment for fuel and/or engine oil leaks, perform an engine test and make any repairs, including engine replacement, as necessary, free of charge. In addition, Kia is currently developing a Knock Sensor Detection System (KSDS) software update, which when available, will be performed by dealers free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin January 27, 2021. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC200.

Hyundai Theta II turbo engine recallKia Recall Woes
This continues the recall woes for Kia. Last week, its parent company Hyundai announced a settlement with NHTSA for $210 million over recalls for vehicles equipped with Theta II engines in certain Hyundai and Kia models.

According to the consent order, Kia will pay a $70 million civil penalty. Of that amount, $27 million is an immediate cash penalty with another $27 million set in abeyance for future claims. Kia is responsible for another $16 million to be invested in advanced data analytics capabilities to enhance its ability to detect and study emerging safety-related defect trends on its vehicles, according to the consent order.

Keith Griffin covers Hyundai and Kia at Torque News. He has been writing continuously about cars since 2002. Keith used to be a researcher/writer for US News & World Report, as well as numerous car sites, including Carfax and Car Gurus, and a contributor to The Boston Globe. Most recently, Keith was the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter, on @LinkedIn and on his Indepth Auto Facebook page.


Shelby irwin (not verified)    January 6, 2022 - 4:37PM

My engine just caught on fire while idling im pregnant and have my two year old with me 2003 kia optima its very cold out so idk what to do for sure we are stranded