— A Hyundai Santa Fe Sport engine fire recall has been announced for more than 151,000 Santa Fe Sports after 15 engine fires occurred in the SUVs.
The 2013-2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sports could suffer short circuits when brake fluid leaks inside the ABS (antilock brake system) modules, causing engine compartment fires.
Problems at the supplier caused the piston seals in the ABS module’s hydraulic valve unit to leak brake fluid into the electronic control unit (ECU).
Hyundai learned of an engine fire in a 2014 Santa Fe Sport in April 2018 but engineers couldn't find the source of the fire. The ABS module was collected and the automaker searched warranty records, finding four engine compartment fires on 2013-2014 Santa Fe Sport vehicles.
The remaining modules were collected and Hyundai monitored all engine compartment fires on 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sports.
Hyundai learned nothing by inspecting the parts so they were sent to the supplier for analysis. In September 2018 another Santa Fe Sport engine fire was reported but the vehicle was damaged to the point Hyundai couldn't determined what caused the blaze.
In January 2020 no root cause could be found, leading Hyundai to hire a third-party testing lab which finally found evidence of electrical shorting caused by corrosion on the ABS module ECU’s printed circuit board. Investigators also discovered brake fluid in the motor housings and hydraulic units attached to the ECUs.
Santa Fe Sport owners should watch for the obvious signs of problems such as burning odors and smoke from the engine compartments, but illumination of ABS or other warning lights may also be signs of trouble.
The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport engine fire recall is expected to begin October 23, 2020. Hyundai dealerships will replace any faulty ABS modules.
SUV owners with questions should call 855-371-9460 and ask about recall number 194.
Last month Hyundai was sued by customers who claim previous ABS module recalls didn't do much to prevent engine fires.