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Hyundai, Kia execs asked to testify at US Senate hearing over engine fires

Executives from Kia Motors Corp. and parent company Hyundai Motor Co. have been asked to testify at a U.S. Senate committee hearing in November about fire risk in the carmakers' vehicles, the Associated Press reported Oct. 17.

The move comes after nonprofit group Center for Auto Safety called on the companies to recall about 2.9 million Hyundai and Kia cars in the U.S. following complaints that the vehicles can catch fire without being involved in an accident.

The group is asking the automakers to recall all 2011-2014 editions of the Kia Sorento, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Santa Fe, as well as 2010-2015 editions of the Kia Soul.

Senators John Thune and Bill Nelson reportedly wrote to Hyundai Motors America CEO Kyung Soo Lee and Kia Motors CEO SeungKyu Yoon, inviting them or their representatives to a hearing Nov. 14.

"Hyundai actively monitors and evaluates potential safety concerns, including noncollision fires, with all of its vehicles and acts swiftly to recall any vehicles with safety-related defects," Hyundai spokesman Michael Stewart reportedly said in an email to the AP.

The newswire said a Kia spokesman also confirmed that the company was reviewing the matter.