Hyundai and Kia Motors will be recalling nearly 1.5 million cars and SUVs due to engine malfunctions. In the U.S. alone, 1.19 million vehicles are being recalled. The recalled vehicles consist of the 2013 -2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe, along with the 2011-2014 Kia Optima, 2012-2014 Sorento, and 2011-2013 Sportage. All of the defective vehicles are equipped with 2.0 liter and 2.4 liter engines.
The companies claim that the recall is due to complications with the manufacturing process, rather than the actual design of the vehicles. It is speculated that metal debris left in the crankshafts harm the engine and may cause engine failure. The debris left from the manufacturing processes may suppress the flow of oil to the connecting rod bearings. The lack of oil causes temperature increases which leads to the bearings malfunctioning and eventually leading the engine to stall out, increasing the risk of a crash. Luckily, there have been no injuries or crashes reported from these defects yet.
Owners of these vehicles should be on the lookout for “knocking” sounds coming from the engine that increases as drivers accelerate. Warning lights may also warn drivers and owners of potential engine malfunctions. The companies announced that the recalls are schedules to begin in May 2017 and will replace consumers’ recalled engines with new ones.