— Kia Sedona and Sorento fires have caused a recall of nearly 229,000 vehicles to install relays to prevent fires that can occur while the ignitions are turned off.
The 2006-2010 Sedona and 2007-2009 Sorento vehicles may catch fire due to short circuits caused by moisture that intrudes into the hydraulic electronic control units.
The hydraulic electronic control unit stays energized when the ignition switch is turned off, leaving the vehicle susceptible to a short-circuit while the vehicle is off.
Kia received a report of a Sorento engine compartment fire in April 2017 and discovered the fire occurred near the fuse/relay box, but the cause of the fire couldn't be found.
In July 2018 Kia received two more complaints about engine fires in 2008-2009 Sorentos, and inspections showed the fires occurred near the hydraulic electronic control units and engine room fuse/relay boxes. But again, Kia couldn't determine what caused the fires.
The automaker and the supplier eventually found corrosion, possibly from moisture that intruded, but engineers didn't determine how the moisture got into those areas.
Hydraulic electronic control units were collected but the cause of the fires remained unknown. Then in February 2019, a 2008 Sedona caught fire and Kia found burn damage to the hydraulic control unit, but the cause still couldn't be determined.
In May 2019, a 2007 Sedona caught fire and again the cause couldn't be found.
In July another fire occurred, this time in a 2009 Sorento and in the same area as the previous fires. The supplier found evidence of a short-circuit caused by moisture, but engineers still haven't determined how the moisture is intruding.
The automaker decided to issue the recall after two Sedona fires and five Sorento fires, but no reported injuries.
Kia dealers will install relays in the main junction boxes to prevent power from being directed to the hydraulic electronic control units when the ignition switches are turned off.
The recall is expected to begin April 10, 2020, but Sedona and Sorento owners may call Kia at 800-333-4542 and refer to recall number SC186.