The nonprofit consumer advocacy group (originally founded by Ralph Nader of Unsafe At Any Speed fame) alleges that Hyundai and Kia have not gone far enough to remedy the potential for vehicle fires in over 3 million 2011-2014 Kia Sorento, Optima, Hyundai Sonata, and Santa Fe models, as well as 2010-2015 Kia Souls.
The Center for Auto Safety reports having received more than 200 complaints of vehicle fires from Hyundai and Kia owners, with 103 of those being filed between June and October of 2018.
"Based on the data collected to date, and these manufacturers' inability, or unwillingness, to determine the cause of these fires on behalf of the hundreds of Kia and Hyundai customers who own cars which have burst into flames, the center believes the additional remedy which is warranted is a full recall," said Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, in a statement.
"In some very rare instances — a rate of less than 1 percent — the affected engines have caught on fire. An exhaustive study has confirmed that there is no defect trend outside of that identified in the related recalls causing non-collision fires in Hyundai vehicles," said Hyundai representatives, in a statement to Automotive News.
Hyundai and Kia did not immediately respond to our requests for further comment.