Hyundai and Kia Recall More Than 600,000 Cars Due to Trunk Latch Concerns

The trunk latch may prevent opening from inside, potentially trapping a person inside 

2017 Hyundai Sonata Photo: Hyundai

Corporate partners Hyundai and Kia are recalling more than 600,000 cars to address concerns that the trunk latch may be damaged, thereby preventing opening the trunk from the inside. This is a concern for children who may be playing unsupervised in a car, especially during warm weather. The action involves 348,158 Hyundai and 253,074 Kia cars. 

The Korean automakers associate the potential cracking problem that renders the trunk release inoperable with high temperatures.

Replacement parts have been engineered to better resist thermal contraction and include steel reinforcement to prevent damage or separation. Upgraded parts were introduced in the assembly process in 2017, 2018, and 2019, depending on the model. 

There have been more than 40 related warranty claims. The automakers are not aware of any related injuries related to this problem. 

Owners will be notified by mail in early October. 

The Details

Vehicles Recalled
2018 to 2020 Hyundai Accent
2016 and 2017 Hyundai Azera
2017 and 2018 Hyundai Sonata
2016 to 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
2016 to 2018 Kia Forte and Forte Koup
2018 and 2019 Kia Rio

The problem: In high temperatures, a thermal crack can develop in the trunk latch, which can intermittently cause the trunk’s interior emergency release to be inoperative. In the rare event that a person is inside the trunk compartment at the same time the latch pawl cracks, the person might not be able to get out of the trunk.

The fix: Dealerships will replace the trunk latch assembly free of charge.

How to contact the manufacturer: Owners may contact Hyundai customer service at 855-371-9460. Kia customer service: 800-333-4542.

NHTSA campaign numbers: 21V619000 and 21V622000. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 208. Kia’s number for this recall is SC216. 

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 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.

Stay informed about recalls that might affect your vehicle by using our Car Recall Tracker. Create a free account now to become a CR member. 

2018 Kia Forte

Photo: Kia Photo: Kia

Jeff S. Bartlett

A New England native, I have piloted a wide variety of vehicles, from a Segway to an aircraft carrier. All told, I have driven thousands of vehicles—many on race tracks across the globe. Today, that experience and passion are harnessed at the CR Auto Test Center to empower consumers. And if some tires must be sacrificed in the pursuit of truth, so be it. Follow me on Twitter (@JeffSBartlett).