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|Kia Optima vehicles manufactured in 2011-2014 are listed in the US investigation|
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just opened an investigation into about three million cars, including Kia Optima and Sorento vehicles manufactured in 2011-2014, Kia Soul vehicles manufactured in 2010-2015, and Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe vehicles manufactured in 2011-2014.
The investigation was opened due to the recommendation of the Centre for Auto Safety (CAS). Accordingly, the CAS has conducted a research on fire hazard at cars manufactured since 2007 and received reports of about 3,000 fires and 100 injuries related to the cars.
In addition to CAS’ recommendations, the NHTSA also collected information from other car makers, customer claims, and other sources. Since 2015, more than 2.3 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles have been recalled for potential fire hazard. The amount includes 570,000 Sonata and Santa Fe vehicles, and nearly 620,000 vehicles of Optima, Sorento, and Sportage. All vehicle models are running with the Theta II 2.4 petrol engine.
The representative of Hyundai said that the firm will fully co-operate with the NHTSA during the investigation.
It is not the first time Korean car manufacturers are investigated by US authorities. In late 2018 the US authorities began a criminal investigation against both Kia and Hyundai to clarify whether their recalls were related to fire hazard.
In Vietnam, the Theta II 2.4 engines are equipped on Hyundai Santa Fe 2019 and Kia Optima vehicles.