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Hyundai, Kia recalling about 168,000 cars over fire risk

South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate, Kia Motors Corp., are recalling about 168,000 vehicles to inspect fuel tubes in replaced engines that have a potential fire risk.

Hyundai said in a Jan. 16 release that it will recall approximately 100,000 vehicles, which include Hyundai Sonata models from 2011 to 2014 and Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs from 2013 and 2014.

The company will inspect the installation of fuel tubes in engine replacements done for previous recalls. Improper installation of the tubes could result in fuel leaks, posing a risk of engine fires.

In line with the inspections, Hyundai said it developed a new engine monitoring technology, called a knock sensor detection system, which uses software and existing engine sensors to monitor symptoms that may precede an engine failure.

In addition, the carmaker said it will extend the warranties of 2011 to 2018 model year Sonatas and Santa Fe SUVs from 2013 to 2018 for engine repairs required due to excessive connecting rod bearing damage.

Separately, Kia is recalling 68,000 vehicles, also to inspect fuel tube installations in engine replacements, The Associated Press reported Jan. 16, citing the company's memo to dealers. Targeted for recall are Kia Optima models from 2011 to 2014, Sorrento SUVs from 2012 to 2014, and Sportage SUVs from 2011 to 2013.

Kia said it had six reports of fires among its specified vehicle models, according to the report. Hyundai, meanwhile, said it had not received any reports of engine fires.