One of New Zealand’s most popular vehicles, the Sportage, could soon become subject to a nationwide recall alongside its sports sedan cousin, the Stinger.
Both models have been recalled in Australia over fears of elevated fire risk. According to reports, the pairing could catch fire even when switched off, due to an electronic fault in the engine bay.
“The Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU), responsible for the anti-lock braking system, electronic stability control system and traction control system, can remain live even when the vehicle is switched off. If moisture enters the HECU, an electrical short circuit can occur,” says Kia Australia’s recall notice.
“If an electrical short circuit occurs, this could result in an engine compartment fire when the key is switched off and the vehicle is parked – a vehicle fire could increase the risk injury or death to vehicle occupants or bystanders and/or damage to property.”
Kia New Zealand has released a statement outlining that it’s investigating whether the recall implicates cars sold in New Zealand. It is in the middle of processing the potential recall with the New Zealand Waka Kotahi Transport Agency.
“The safety of Kia owners is paramount and, whilst there haven’t been any historical incidents of this specific issue happening in New Zealand, we are proceeding with due caution and will issue a recall notice,” says Managing Director of Kia New Zealand, Todd McDonald.
“We will be proactively contacting all owners of affected vehicles and asking them to take their vehicle to their nearest authorised Kia dealership for inspection and repair, the cost of which will be covered by Kia New Zealand.”
Both Kia New Zealand and Kia Australia have said that there have been zero cases to date of fires on either side of the ditch.
It’s estimated that, should a recall be confirmed for our market, it will impact approximately 15,000 Sportage models and approximately 120 Stinger models. The former represents Sportage models built between 2016 and 2021, while the latter represents Stinger models built between 2017 and 2019.