Hyundai, Kia recall 1.4M vehicles because engines can fail

The U.S. engines were made at the Hyundai’s engine plant in Alabama. All have either 2-litre or 2.4-litre gasoline engines.

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The recall is scheduled to start on May 19. Hyundai and Kia will notify owners and dealers will inspect the engines. They’ll replace the block if needed at no cost to owners.

DETROIT — Hyundai and Kia are recalling 1.4 million cars and SUVs in the U.S., Canada and South Korea because the engines can fail and stall, increasing the risk of a crash.

Brand new Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs are displayed at a Hyundai dealership on April 7, 2017 in Colma, California. South Korean automakers Kia and Hyundai announced that they are recalling 1.4 million cars and SUVs in the U.S., Canada and South Korea for a potential problem that causes engine failure or stalling. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) The recall includes 2013 and 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUVs as well as 2011 – 2014 Kia Optima, 2011 – 2013 Kia Sportage SUVs and 2012 – 2014 and Kia Sorento SUVs.

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The companies say in documents posted Friday by the U.S. Since they are cooled by oil, the restriction can increase temperatures and cause the bearings to wear and fail, and the engines could stall. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that debris left from manufacturing can restrict oil flow to connecting rod bearings.

The South Korean recall includes Hyundai’s Grandeur and Sonata sedans and Kia’s K5, K7 and Sportage with engines produced from 2009 to 2013.

They also could get engine warning lights on their dashboard, Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor said. Owners will hear a knocking sound from the engine that increases in frequency as the engine speed rises. Those with problems should contact their dealers.

The recall covers some of the Korean automakers’ most popular models in the U.S. and Canada including 2013 and 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUVs and Sonata midsize cars. Also covered are Kia Optima midsize cars from 2011 through 2014, Kia Sportage SUVs from 2011 through 2013 and Kia Sorento SUVs from 2012 through 2014.

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The U.S. recall is the second in the past two years for the same engine problem. In September of 2015, Hyundai recalled 470,000 Sonata sedans from the 2011 and 2012 model years with the same engines.

But claims started growing and by May 2016 the company extended warranties on the engines. Kia documents posted Friday by U.S. regulators show the company at first didn’t think the problem affected its engines because warranty claims and field reports were low. Eventually it decided to do a recall because of the potential safety problem.

Trainor said the company has no reports of any crashes or injuries.

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Kia is a smaller affiliate of Hyundai. Together they are the world’s fifth-largest automaker.