Kia, Hyundai Recalls Thousands of Vehicles For Leaks That Can Cause Fires

Two major Korean automakers have issued recalls for nearly 600,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to fix a brake fluid leak that might ignite a fire.

According to a release from the automakers, the recalls cover Kia Optima midsize sedans models from 2013 through 2015 and Kia Sorento SUVs from 2014 and 2015. Hyundai has recalled its Santa Fe SUV models from 2013 to 2015.

The automakers say a hydraulic control unit for the anti-lock brakes is to blame. Brake fluid can leak and potentially cause an electrical short that can lead to a fire. In paperwork released by U.S. Safety regulators on Thursday, Hyundai reported 15 fires caused by the fluid leaks, while Kia reported 8. No injuries have been reported by either company.

Kia's recall begins Oct. 15, with Hyundai's started a week later on Oct. 23. Dealerships will inspect the control unit for leaks and replace them at no cost to owners if necessary.

Owners do not need to park their vehicles outdoors before the problem is fixed, however, Hyundai said that if the anti-lock brake warning light comes on, owners should not drive their vehicles and contact a dealer. Owners are also advised to disconnected the 12-volt battery by removing the positive cable.

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