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Hyundai, Kia subject of multistate investigation into US vehicle fires

A number of U.S. states are investigating Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. for "potential unfair and deceptive" acts in relation to hundreds of incidents of vehicle fires, Connecticut Attorney-General William Tong said in a statement March 18.

Tong is one of the leaders of a multistate investigation into the South Korean carmakers for instances of spontaneous fires, some of which occurred after vehicles had allegedly been repaired in recall processes.

"This is a serious matter, and we are moving aggressively and responsibly to uncover the facts and to ensure accountability," said Tong.

Hyundai and Kia said they are both cooperating with the investigation, Reuters reported.

In October 2018, the U.S. Senate asked executives from Kia and parent company Hyundai to testify about engine fires in their vehicles. It followed an order from the Center for Auto Safety for the recall of about 2.9 million Kia and Hyundai vehicles after more than 220 reported incidents on noncollision fires.

On Feb. 20, South Korean prosecutors raided Hyundai and Kia's headquarters in Seoul amid claims that the carmakers covered up defects in some of their vehicles.