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Major Kia, Hyundai recalls after 5 On Your Side and Scripps investigations expose car fire problems

Hundreds of Kia and Hyundai drivers have reported car fires across the country
Posted at 4:40 PM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-28 17:17:58-05

CLEVELAND — Kia and Hyundai are now recalling more than half-a-million vehicles in the U.S. because of problems that can lead to engine fires.

News 5 and our Scripps organization have shown case after case of problem fires with Kias and Hyundais and some say the recall is long overdue.

People all over the U.S. complained about various models going up in flames including Shirley Boyers’ Kia.

“Somebody needs to be accountable. These cars are dangerous,” Boyers said.

The Hiram native’s car caught fire in August while she was going home.

“I began to turn the ignition off and it burst into flames…right up from the hood,” Boyers said.

She was able to get to safety, but a man from the Cincinnati area died in a Kia Soul after flames ripped through it.

Now, the largest of the new recalls covers nearly 379,000 Kia Souls from 2012-2016 with 1.6 liter engines.

Canton native Jacob Moyer's Optima that was already under a recall and was supposedly fixed caught fire as he was driving home.

"I see my buddy fly up left lane. Passes me, swerves me off the road. He's yelling, 'Get out of the car! It's on fire!" said Moyer.

Kia and Hyundai are also recalling 152,000 Tuscon SUVs from 2011 to 2013 and Sportage SUVs from 2011 to 2012 to fix an engine oil pan leak that also can cause fires.

All of this after we told you about a Kia whistleblower speaking out just last month.

“I'm coming forward because people's lives are at risk,” said Vaughn, a former employee who worked for Kia's Warranty Department at its headquarters in Irvine, California.

"I discovered in the course of performing dealer audits a safety concern that I believe is causing the Kia vehicle fires,” he said.

Now, 500,000 cars are involved in the new recall because of the fires.

"They can't be on the road,” said Boyers. “This is not safe.”

With this new half-a million in recalls, the companies have now recalled 2.4 million vehicles for fire and engine failure problems since September of 2015.

RELATED: Exclusive Interview: 'Whistleblower' claims he told Kia about the cause of car fires back in 2017