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Genesis Recall: ABS Module Fire Risk

Niel Stender

A Genesis recall has been issued regarding faulty ABS modules. An electrical short circuit can trigger an engine bay fire so owners are being told to park outside.

Genesis Sedans at Risk of Fire

2019 Genesis G70 - genesis.com
2019 Genesis G70 - genesis.com

A Genesis recall has been issued for over 95,000 sedans due to the potential for an engine bay fire. The hydraulic anti-lock braking system (ABS) module could malfunction internally. Which in turn could cause an electrical short and subsequent fire in the engine compartment.

While the root cause is still under investigation, Genesis is telling owners to park their vehicles outside and away from any buildings until the problem is fixed. The ABS module remains energized even after the vehicle is turned off, so the fire has the potential to occur at any time. Warning signs to watch for, according to Genesis, include smoke, a burning or melting odor, and an illuminated check engine or the battery light in the instrument panel.

Which Genesis Cars and Why?

2016 Hyundai Genesis - carsforsale.com
2016 Hyundai Genesis - carsforsale.com

This recall affects a total of 95,198 sedans spread across the 2015 to 2016 Hyundai Genesis, 2017 through 2020 Genesis G80 and 2019 to 2021 Genesis G70. Genesis estimates 1% of the vehicles will experience this defect according the safety recall sheets issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on March 10.

2018 Genesis G80 Sport - genesis.com
2018 Genesis G80 Sport - genesis.com

Hyundai, which is the parent company to the Genesis luxury brand, began investigating non-crash engine bay fires with their ABS module supplier Mando, in December of 2020. Though that investigation was focused on markets outside the US, in February of this year, Hyundai convened its North American Safety Decision Authority. As a result, they decided to conduct a North American recall to address this ABS module condition. While there have been three confirmed fires in other markets, at this point no related engine bay fires have occurred in the US.

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The planned remedy is a lower amperage ABS module fuse, which will effectively limit the operating current running through the module. Owners are told they can continue driving safely, but to bring their affected vehicles into a dealership to have the fix performed. To this end, Hyundai will be sending out letters to impacted owners beginning in early May.

A Recent Issue with Hyundai Brands

Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia are all sibling companies under the corporate Hyundai umbrella. While sold as separate brands, they share engineering and parts across model lines. Though this is the first time the Genesis brand has experienced a fire-related safety recall, Hyundai and Kia have been embroiled in an ongoing list of similar problems.

2012 Hyundai Santa Fe - carsforsale.com
2012 Hyundai Santa Fe - carsforsale.com

Kia and Hyundai issued a recall in 2018 due to a defective part that could trigger a fire. In 2019, NHTSA opened an investigation on vehicles, from the two brands, erupting into flames without being involved in a crash. Throughout 2020, over 1 million Hyundais and Kias were recalled for fire risks stemming from faulty ABS modules, fuel line leaks, and brake fluid leaks. Earlier this month, Kia recalled around 380,000 vehicles due to risk of fire caused by an electrical short in the hydraulic electronic control unit.

2017 Kia Sportage - kiamedia.com
2017 Kia Sportage - kiamedia.com

The dealership fix will be conducted at no charge and Genesis will reimburse owners for any related work already completed. Owners can visit the NHTSA site www.safecar.gov to enter their Vehicle Identification Number for info on open recalls.

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Niel Stender
Niel Stender

Niel got his start in the car world as a vehicle dynamics engineer with SVT at Ford. He still has dreams of running figure eights on the wet pad in an S197 GT500. These days, when not fending off karate kicks from the 3 tiny humans that run his household, he can be found on St. Louis backroads pretending to be Ken Block in his 6-speed Mazda 6.

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