U.S. regulators step up investigation into Hyundai, Kia engine fires

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December 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. Auto Safety Agency has stepped up its investigation into the engine fires that have affected certain Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and Kia Motors Corp (000270.KS) vehicles for more than six years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it has opened a “technical analysis” covering about 3 million vehicles to assess, among other things, the effectiveness of recalls initiated by the two automakers. The agency added that it was aware of 161 fires potentially due to engine failures.

A technical analysis is the next step in a process that could lead to a recall, although sometimes NHTSA closes these probes without requiring any action.

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The agency opened an investigation in 2019 covering the 2011-2014 Kia ​​Optima and Sorento and the 2010-2015 Kia Soul, as well as the 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe to investigate cases of non-collision fires.

Hyundai and Kia said on Monday that they continue to cooperate fully with NHTSA over collisionless engine fires.

The two South Korean companies had agreed to a record civil fine of $ 210 million last year after regulators said they failed to recall 1.6 million vehicles for engine problems in a timely manner.

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Report by Kannaki Deka in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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