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Parker Waichman LLP

02/14/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/14/2020 17:26

Fire Hazard with Hyundai Elantra Forces Recall

DETRIOT, Mich. - According to Consumer Reports, Hyundai recalled 430,000 Elantra models in both the sedan and wagon body types because the vehicles contain a faulty component that could start a fire. Hyundai identified the fire hazard stemming from the anti-lock braking system (ABS). The automaker found out that moisture could invade the ABS module, cause a short circuit, and spark a fire. The threat of fire persists even if the car is not running. Hyundai said that the ABS module does not shut off even if the car is not running. Consequently, moisture entering the ABS module could start a fire when the car is sitting idly in the owner's garage and thereby sparking a larger, and potentially deadly fire.

Hyundai announced a plan to prevent fires caused by defective ABS modules. The company said that service technicians would install an electronic relay that will power the module down after the user shuts the car off. Agents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, think that a short circuit could still occur even though technicians install a relay when the driver turns the car on. Agents with the NHTSA said that Hyundai must identify why moisture is invading the module in the first instance.

Hyundai countered the criticisms levied by the NHTSA by describing how its vehicles detect a short circuit. A spokesperson from Hyundai claimed that Hyundai vehicles would display warning signs on the dashboard when the system detects a short circuit. The signs of a short circuit in Hyundai vehicles including uncommon noise, or the ABS warning lighting up on the dash.

The NHTSA said that at least three engine compartment fires are tied to short-circuiting ABS modules. However, Hyundai claims that no accidents or injuries have resulted from the short circuit problem.

The NHTSA continues to investigate Hyundai engine fires that cannot be linked to this recall initiative. All Elantra drivers must check to see if their car is subject to recall as soon as possible. Waiting could lead to a short circuit that starts a devastating fire that could injure or kill.