The history of vehicles catching fires is a long one globally, and locally. Vehicles catch fire due to some manufacturing fault, such as there have been cases in Pakistan. Usually, in Pakistan the issue has been with the old cars, however, sometimes, even the brand new models can ignite, such as 10th generation Honda Civic, Kia Sportage, and now Hyundai Tucson.
The major reason for most fires has been the malfunctioning of substandard aftermarket accessories that people buy for their cars, but this is not the case for Tucson this time.
There’s been a rise in the number of vehicle fire incidents across Pakistan, and the names that come up in such news more often than others, are Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson.
Hyundai Nishat has taken notice of the problem and identified it, resulting in the issuance of a recall of the Tucson SUV to fix the problem.
According to media reports, the automaker has recently released the following message, reportedly addressing the Tucson SUV owners.
The message reads, “Dear Customer Hyundai Nishat Motor (Private) Limited (HNMPL) is committed to providing quality vehicles to our customers. We bring to your attention that your vehicle may have a possible malfunction in the ABS module, which could potentially short-circuit. As a precautionary measure, please take your vehicle to a Hyundai dealership immediately, for the installation of an enhanced protective kit and upgrade of the Electronic Control Unit & AVN software of your vehicle (free of any cost) to provide a safe and reliable driving experience.”
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The company has then provided the contact details for customer relations for further assistance.
As mentioned in the message, according to the company, the source of the malfunction in the vehicle is the faulty Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) which could result in a short circuit and further causing the vehicle to catch fire.
According to the message, upon arrival at the dealership, the experts would solve the issue by introducing another protective layer by using an enhanced protective kit and upgrade the firmware and software to comply with the upgraded ABS module.
Pakistan not alone
The issue is global. According to Tucson.com news from 4th May, Hyundai is recalling more than 390,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada for two problems that can cause engine fires. In one recall, owners are being told to park their vehicles outdoors until repairs are made.
The article says that engine failure and fire problems at Hyundai and affiliated Korean automaker Kia have plagued the companies for more than five years, affecting the owners of more than 8 million vehicles.
Similarly, an article in USA Today from January 2021 mentions that Hyundai is adding 471,000 SUVs to the 180,000 units recalled by the car manufacturer in September 2020.
In September 2020, according to the article, the South Korean automaker recalled about 180,000 Tucson SUVs in the U.S. from 2019 through 2021 to fix the same problem.
The company says corrosion can cause a short circuit in defective antilock brake circuit boards that can cause a fire even if engines are off.
Similarly, Hyundai’s sister company Kia also recalled 57,000 units of two different models, the Kia QL Sportage MY2016-2021 and the CK Stinger MY2017-2019.