A 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, one of the vehicles included in this recall

Hyundai is recalling over 150,000 Santa Fe Sport SUVs from the 2013 through 2015 model years to fix a faulty part that may cause a fire. The automaker recommends that owners park their vehicles outdoors and away from structures until the problem can be fixed.

The issue is due to the potential of leaking brake fluid within the antilock brake system (ABS) module, which could lead to a short circuit and cause a fire within the vehicle’s engine compartment, either while driving or parked. Before a fire, Hyundai says, owners may notice smoke coming from the engine compartment, a burning or melting odor, and an illuminated ABS or check-engine light on the vehicle’s dashboard.

This is the second time these specific vehicles have been recalled, and it’s the latest in a series of fire-related recalls involving Hyundai and Kia cars. A written statement from Hyundai says the automaker is aware of 18 vehicle fires related to this recall alone—three more since the initial recall was issued.  

This time, dealerships will replace a fuse within the vehicle’s ABS system, Hyundai spokesperson Michael Stewart tells CR. The new fuse will prevent a short circuit from taking place.

The original recall campaign also included two vehicles from Kia— the 2013 through 2015 Optima Sedan and the 2014 and 2015 Sorento SUV—which are not currently facing an additional recall. (Hyundai and Kia are separate brands that exist under the same parent company. In many cases their cars share parts, design, and engineering.) Consumer Reports contacted Kia to find out whether an additional recall is planned for these vehicles, but we have not yet heard back.

After more than 3,000 reports of fires and a petition from the Center for Auto Safety, an advocacy group, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into Hyundai and Kia vehicles that use a 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine design that both companies share, which is called the Theta II. There is a class action lawsuit related to the fires as well. Previous recalls of Hyundai and Kia vehicles involved faulty oil pans, catalytic converters, fuel leaks, oil leaks, and engine problems.

Stewart tells CR that there have been no crashes, injuries, or additional property damage related to this specific recall, and that previous recalls due to faulty ABS modules involve “different suppliers and root causes for the defects.”
 

The Details

Vehicles recalled: 151,205 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUVs manufactured between June 17, 2013, and May 13, 2015.

The problem: A leaking ABS module could short circuit and cause a fire in the engine compartment.

The fix: Hyundai dealerships will, if necessary, install a new ABS module with improved internal seals that the automaker says should prevent a leak. In addition, dealerships may also install a fuse with a lower amperage rating to lower the risk of a short circuit. These repairs will be performed at no cost to the vehicle owner.

How to contact the manufacturer: Hyundai will notify owners via first-class mail by the end of June. Owners of affected vehicles may call Hyundai at 800-633-5151.

NHTSA campaign number: 21V303. The earlier recall’s number was 20V520.

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, 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 using our Car Recall Tracker. Create a free account now to become a CR member.