Hyundai Elantras Recalled for Fire Risk

Keith Barry

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Hyundai is recalling nearly 430,000 Elantra sedans and wagons because of a faulty part that may catch fire.

The problem is due to an issue with the vehicle’s ABS module, which helps control the antilock braking system. There is a chance that moisture could enter the module, which might cause a short circuit that could lead to a fire. Since the ABS module remains powered on even when the vehicle is shut off, that fire could take place while the vehicle is unattended. 

To prevent the risk of fire in an unattended vehicle, Hyundai will install a relay that shuts off the module when the vehicle is turned off. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that Hyundai has not yet identified why moisture could enter the ABS module in the first place. That means a short circuit could still take place when the vehicle is turned on.

In an email, Hyundai spokesman Michael Stewart told CR that drivers will be able to detect the symptoms of a short circuit if they are present in the vehicle.

“When the vehicle is on, short circuits are preceded by other noticeable symptoms,” he wrote. According to Stewart, these symptoms may include noise or an ABS warning light illuminated on the dashboard.

Hyundai says it is unaware of any injuries or crashes related to this issue. NHTSA documents show that at least three cars have had engine compartment fires that may be related to the faulty ABS module.

NHTSA is currently investigating engine fires in Hyundai vehicles, which the automaker says is not related to this recall.

The Details

Vehicles Recalled
• 396,025 Hyundai Elantra sedans from the 2006 through 2011 model years manufactured between Aug. 26, 2005 and Nov. 23, 2010

• 33,361 Hyundai Elantra Touring wagons from the 2007 through 2011 model years manufactured between Jun. 21, 2007 and Dec. 6, 2010

The problem: A faulty ABS module could short circuit and cause a fire.

The fix: Dealers will install a relay in the vehicle’s main electrical system that will cut off power to the ABS module when the vehicle is shut off. This repair will be free of charge.

How to contact the manufacturer: The recall is expected to begin April 3, 2020. Owners may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9460.

NHTSA campaign number: 20V061. Hyundai's own number for this recall is 188.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: Plug in the 17-digit vehicle identification number at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. It will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.



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