Canadian Underwriter

Fire-risk recall may give brokers opportunity to contact auto clients

August 25, 2022   by Philip Porado

Recall painted in yellow on a roadway to represent an auto recall

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A recall of two late-model SUV models by Hyundai Motor America and Kia America was amplified by a consumer alert from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in Washington.

The issue involves a tow hitch, sold as a dealer accessory, that may allow moisture to get into the harness module and cause a short circuit. “In some cases, an electrical short can cause a vehicle fire while driving or while parked and turned off,” the car makers said in their notice.

The vehicles in question are the 2020-2022 model year Hyundai Palisade and the 2020-2022 model year Kia Telluride.

The car makers recommended owners of those models “park their cars outside and away from homes and other structures until their vehicles have been repaired, due to new recalls for the risk of fire,” the notice said.

Transport Canada also has active defect investigations open on both models and the company recalls appear in its database. Recall database data show 2,863 Kia and 4,008 Hyundai vehicles in Canada.

While the car makers stressed there are no confirmed fires, crashes or injuries in the U.S. related to this alert, the less-common step of issuing a ‘stop sale’ was made on Aug. 23 in compliance with federal regulations. It affects unsold vehicles on lots at dealerships and other vehicle-processing centres.

Still, the park away from buildings order could serve as a door opener for brokers and agents looking for conversation starters with clients—and a look in the auto database can determine whether any policyholders own affected models.

Hyundai dealers are offering an interim repair that includes inspection of the tow hitch module and removal of the fuse, as necessary. NHTSA’s consumer alert noted and added an interim repair isn’t yet available for Kia vehicles.

“The recall repair is under development,” according to the recall notice. “When a repair is available, all owners of vehicles potentially equipped with affected trailer hitch wiring harnesses will be notified by mail with instructions to bring their vehicles to a Hyundai or Kia dealer.”


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