On Jan. 24, Hyundai issued a precautionary recall for nearly 88,000 vehicles in response to the potential for the engine compartment to catch fire. The recall applies to about 87,900 Hyundai Azeras and Sonatas. The Azera recall is for cars from model years 2006-2011, and the Sonata recall is for 2006 models.
To find out if your Hyundai is impacted by the recall, enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) into Hyundai’s recall campaign tool, or call (800) 633-5151. Hyundai will issue notices of the Sonata and Azera recall to registered owners beginning Feb. 23.
Under certain circumstances, water could get into the anti-lock brake system (ABS) of the recalled Sonata and Azera models, according to the official recall. Water in the module has the potential to cause a short in the circuit, which could eventually generate enough heat to spark a fire, particularly when a car is parked for an extended period of time.
The issue associated with the Azera and Sonata recall cannot occur while the vehicle is in motion, so drivers need not fear that their cars will suddenly catch fire while they are cruising down the highway. The potential for fire lies in the fact that the ABS module continues to receive power when the ignition is in the “off” position. Therefore, a fire can potentially occur only if the Hyundai remains off for one to two weeks.
Hyundai officials disclosed information about two separate events that may have been associated with the ABS module issue, which ultimately prompted the Sonata and Azera recall. In one car belonging to a South Korean driver, the anti-lock brake system overheated. Another incident happened to a North American car owner whose vehicle was producing smoke originating at a spot near
the ABS module.
Beginning Feb. 23, Hyundai is providing free repairs for cars included in the recall. Technicians at Hyundai dealerships will address the problem by installing a relay in the car's electrical system, preventing a short circuit from causing an ABS fire.
In the meantime, drivers do not need to park their Azeras and Sonatas away from their houses, Hyundai officials said. The Azera and Sonata recall is a preventative measure to ensure safety, and the chance of an engine fire actually occurring is extremely slim, a Hyundai spokesman said. Vehicles parked for over a week would be at the greatest risk.