NHTSA Responds to Senator's Inquiry on Kia and Hyundai Non-collision Fires

June 27, 2018

UPDATE: In a letter sent last night to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed that it is currently reviewing non-collision fires in all Kia and Hyundai vehicles as part of two on-going investigations related to engine failures.  The agency also informed Nelson that it has received 402 complaints of both collision and non-collision fires involving the vehicles.

“I’m glad they’re looking into these fires but they need to pick up the pace,” Nelson said in response to the letter. “Consumers need to know as soon as possible if these vehicles are safe to drive.”

Nelson, who serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate, Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee, plans to ask NHTSA to brief the committee on the timeline for the current investigations and whether they expect to take further action. 

Click here to read NHTSA’s letter to Nelson.



Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Senator presses federal regulator on spontaneous Kia and Hyundai fires

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A key U.S. senator wants to know what’s behind a series of spontaneous non-collision-related fires affecting Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

In a letter sent today to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) called on the agency to detail what steps it’s taking to address the fires, including whether a safety defect investigation is being conducted.

A review undertaken by the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) recently found that there were more than 120 complaints filed with NHTSA involving non-collision-related fires in Kia and Hyundai vehicles. 

“Spontaneous fires are serious safety hazards and should not be taken lightly,” wrote Nelson, who serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee that oversees the automotive industry.  “We have to find out what is causing these fires and what can be done to prevent them.  Owners need to know if their vehicles are safe.” 

According to news reports and NHTSA complaint filings, there have been at least 23 incidents of spontaneous fires in Florida involving Kia and Hyundai vehicles since 2014.  

Just last month, an Ocala woman was forced to pull over and flee her 2012 Kia Sorento after it caught fire while she was driving on I-4.  That incident came on the heels of two separate fires involving parked and unoccupied Kia vehicles in the Tampa area this spring.   

Click here to read Nelson’s letter.