It’s been a bad few months for Hyundai. Earlier this month, Hyundai and Kia were fined a combined $210 million over vehicle recalls having to do with potential engine fires, among other reasons. This week Hyundai announced that it planned to recall about 130,000 vehicles in the United States due to a risk of engine failure.
The recall covers certain 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs, 2015 and 2016 Veloster cars, and Sonata Hybrid vehicles from 2011 through 2013 and 2016 year models. These three vehicle models were fitted with 2.4-liter, 2.0-liter, or 1.6-liter engines. The recalls are due to a manufacturing issue that can cause worn connecting rod bearings leading to failed engines.
If the connecting rod bearing fails, the connecting rod and piston could puncture the block in the engine dumping hot oil onto hot components leading to a risk of fire. The potentially failed connecting rod bearings were caused by machining debris that could restrict oil flow.
Hyundai has told owners of impacted vehicles that they should hear abnormal knocking sounds from the engine before any potential fire and see warning lights on the dash. The recall is the result of a discussion with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2019. The NHTSA open investigation into engine failures and fires, prompting the fines mentioned before and the new recall.
There were over 3100 on her complaints of fires in these vehicles with 103 injuries and one death. Hyundai intends to notify owners of the recall around January 22. Dealers will inspect the engines and replace them if bearings are damaged. All vehicles will have a knock sensor system installed to monitor symptoms that surface before engine failure.