Hyundai recalls nearly 100,000 more Tucsons, Sonata Hybrids over fire concerns

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Hyundai is recalling nearly 100,000 Sonata and Tucsons for potentially catastrophic engine defects, this time singling out 2017 Sonata Hybrid and Tucson (non-hybrid) models for rod bearing failures that have resulted in failed engines and even fires.

Engine failure and fire problems at Hyundai and affiliated Korean automaker Kia have plagued the companies for more than five years, affecting the owners of more than 8 million vehicles.

This latest recall targets a defective rod bearing design used in Hyundai's 2.0-liter "Nu" engine, with which 95,515 models were sold for the 2017 model year. This is unrelated to previous recalls for the 2016-2018, 2020 and 2021 Tucson, which were related to faulty ABS systems that could also result in fires.

The investigation first began in 2019 after customer complaints regarding the powertrain in the 2011-2014 Sonata and 2011-2014 Santa Fe began to mount. Later that year, NHTSA also asked Hyundai to investigate models equipped with its Theta II, Lambda II and Gamma engine families. These four- and six-cylinder engines represent the vast majority of powertrain options in Hyundai's portfolio, as NHTSA increased pressure on the automaker to address fire concerns, with at least 45 incidents being blamed on the issue.

Those investigations eventually led to recalls for the 2013–2016 Hyundai Veloster, 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2011–2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid with 2.0-liter engines.

Customers will receive notices from Hyundai to have their vehicles inspected by a dealer. Those with defective internal components will have their engines replaced free of charge.

Contains material from AP.

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