— A Hyundai 12V accessory socket outlet recall has been announced for more than 272,000 vehicles, but Hyundai hasn't decided how the problem will be fixed.
The 2011-2012 Hyundai Elantra, Sonata Hybrid and 2012 Accent and Veloster vehicles have 12V accessory socket outlets that may have been over-tightened during installation.
This can disable the thermal fuse and allow the outlet to overheat and cause a fire.
The Hyundai vehicles are equipped with accessory tire mobility kits to repair a flat tire, at least enough to make it safely to a shop to permanently repair the tire. The air compressor for the tire kit can be powered by the 12V accessory outlet which contains a thermal fuse that cuts the outlet’s power to prevent overheating.
The problem goes back nine years to 2011 when Hyundai received the first report of a 2012 Hyundai Accent with a 12V accessory socket outlet that began to smoke and eventually burned dashboard components. The automaker says the owner had plugged an aftermarket air compressor into the socket.
Hyundai believed using an aftermarket compressor would not start a fire because of the thermal fuse in the accessory socket. The entire point of the fuse is to cut accessory power when high temperatures are detected, so no action was taken by the automaker except to monitor the field for future problems.
In November 2018, Hyundai received a report about an Elantra that caught fire while parked inside a garage. According to the customer, the Hyundai tire mobility kit was plugged into the accessory outlet when the fire occurred. However, an inspection of the Elantra couldn't pinpoint the cause of the fire.
Engineers tried to replicate the problem by running a Hyundai air compressor plugged into the accessory outlet, and one test produced smoke in the vehicle. But none of the test vehicles caught fire even during long periods of using the compressors.
In June, the automaker received information about accessory sockets that may have been installed with too much torque. Performing tests on sockets that were too tight caused smoke and dashboard fires.
Hyundai didn't say how long it may take to create a remedy, but the recall is expected to begin August 28, 2020.
Hyundai Elantra, Sonata Hybrid, Accent and Veloster owners may contact Hyundai at 855-371-9460. Ask customer service about recall number 193.