A front view of the 2018 Genesis G80 sedan — a vehicle that has been recalled due to a fire risk

Genesis is recalling over 95,000 G70 and G80 sedans to fix an ABS module that could short-circuit and cause a fire. The automaker warns owners to park their vehicles outdoors and away from structures until a repair can be performed.

G80 sedans from the 2015 through 2020 model years and G70 sedans from the 2019 through 2021 model years are included in two separate recalls. Genesis says it does not yet know the reason the antilock brake system modules are experiencing short circuits, but the carmaker says replacing a fuse within the part will prevent a fire.

In documents provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Genesis says that two G80s and three G70s have caught fire but that there have been no crashes or injuries related to this recall. If a fire is imminent, drivers may notice smoke, a burning or melting odor, or an illuminated check-engine or battery light near the speedometer.

This is the first in a series of fire-related recalls involving Hyundai and Kia vehicles to include cars from the Genesis brand, an upscale car division of Hyundai. Both Hyundai and Kia exist under the same parent company, and all three brands’ vehicles often share parts, design, and engineering.  

Previous fire-related recalls for Hyundai and Kia vehicles involved other brake system short circuitsbrake fluid leaksfaulty oil pansfuel leaksoil leaks, and problems with a specific four-cylinder engine called the Theta II that is optional in the G70 and not used in the G80.

MORE ON CAR RECALLS

In 2019, after more than 3,000 reports of fires and a petition from the Center for Auto Safety, an advocacy group, NHTSA launched a still-ongoing investigation into the 2011 to 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe and Sonata, 2011 to 2014 Kia Optima and Sorento, and 2010 to 2015 Kia Soul. Separately, Hyundai and Kia paid a combined $210 million in penalties last year because of delays and inaccurate information reporting during fire-related recalls.

If any vehicle you are driving catches fire, here’s what to do, according to experts CR has consulted with.

• First, pull over and shut off the engine. This stops the flow of fuel.

• Get yourself and your passengers out of the car as quickly as possible. Make sure to stay a significant distance away—100 to 150 feet or more—and never go back into the vehicle to retrieve personal property, advises the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

• Call 911 or have another motorist make the call to get emergency services on their way as soon as possible.

• Attempt to put out the fire only if you have clear access to the source, have a suitable fire extinguisher, know how to use it correctly, and can maintain a safe distance from the car. Use only an extinguisher approved for Class B or Class C fires; a label on the extinguisher will identify which kind of fire it’s suitable for.

• Never open the hood or trunk if you suspect there’s a fire there; the additional air flowing in could cause the fire to enlarge.

• Be aware of your surroundings. Never stand on an active roadway. If you’re parked by the side of the road, stay far behind the vehicle to avoid being hit if another car strikes your vehicle.

The Details

Vehicles recalled: 94,646 Genesis G80 sedans from the 2015 through 2020 model years, and 552 Genesis G70 sedans from the 2019 through 2021 model years.

The problem: An antilock brake system module could short-circuit, potentially leading to a fire in the vehicle’s engine compartment.

The fix: Genesis dealerships will replace a fuse in the ABS system module that will prevent a short circuit.

How to contact the manufacturer: The recall is expected to begin in early May. Owners may contact Genesis directly at 855-371-9460.

NHTSA campaign number: 21V160 is the campaign number for the G80. 21V161 is the campaign number for the G70. Genesis’ numbers for these recalls are 201, 006G, and 007G.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.

If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have any open recalls. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly to see whether your vehicle has had a recall issued.

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