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Kia, Hyundai car fires prompt Senate committee to reach out to companies' CEOs

Senator: "We have to get to the bottom" of this
Posted at 6:50 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 17:46:47-04

U.S senators want to know why Kia and Hyundai cars have been catching fire. It's a follow-up to our 5 On Your Side Investigation that's put the spotlight on car owners dealing with those fires.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation recently sent letters to the Kia and Hyundai CEOs asking them to testify about the growing concern about some of their cars going up in flames.

The committee said it wants to hear from them in person on November 14.

The committee also said just since June, there have been 103 fire complaints filed.

Late last month, our investigation showed that Kia cars catching fire around the country and in our own backyard. We talked to Shirley Boyers from our area, who said her 2012 Kia Rio burst into flames back in August.

Shirley told us she had just escaped that car when the flames started and the whole fire situation has definitely affected her.

"The first night when I went home after that, I couldn't sleep because I was dreaming that I'm in a car, it's on fire, and I can't get out,” said Boyers. “Somebody needs to be accountable [for the car fires]."

Keith Nash burned to death after getting into his mother's 2014 Kia Soul just outside Cincinnati last year.

Huyndai sent us this statement:                            

“Hyundai received the request to appear from the senate commerce science & transportation committee and is currently reviewing it. Nothing is more important than the safety and security of Hyundai customers. Hyundai actively monitors and evaluates potential safety concerns, including non-collision fires, with all of its vehicles and acts swiftly to recall any vehicles with safety-related defects.”

Kia sent us this statement:

Kia Motors America (KMA) shares the goal of the Senate Commerce Committee to assure the safety of the vehicles we sell to our customers and which are driven on American roads. Kia will continue to voluntarily cooperate with the Committee – and the federal agency with primary jurisdiction over vehicle safety: NHTSA – and is in the process of responding to its recent inquiries regarding vehicle fires.

KMA is also working cooperatively to provide NHTSA with data regarding the safety performance of all Kia vehicles, including concerns about vehicle fires, and is committed to providing this relevant information in a timely manner and to use this information to develop a data driven analysis of Kia vehicle safety.

The Ranking Member of the Senate committee, Bill Nelson, said, "We've got to get to the bottom of what's causing these fires. Car owners need to know if their vehicles are safe." 

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