The 2008-2009 Kia Sportage is being recalled for an increased engine fire risk, and owners are being advised to park outside away from other structures, the NHTSA disclosed Wednesday. The recall for the faulty electronic control unit addresses a 2016 recall for the same issue in the same cars.

Evidently, the fix did not take. On the recall issued in Nov. 2016, Kia cited improper sealing on the wire harness cover that enabled water to get into the circuit board and cause a short. The fires kept happening.

It acknowledged thermal damage in the right front corner of the engine compartment in 15 vehicles that had been fixed since the first recall. In the time between recalls, Kia recognized eight vehicle fires.

The cause of the current fire issue is unknown, and while Kia investigates, it recommends owners park outdoors and away from other vehicles and structures, since the fire can start while parked or in motion. The fire can originate from the hydraulic electronic control unit and spread to other areas of the engine compartment.

The recall affects 71,704 Sportages. Owners may notice a burning or melting smell, and smoke coming from the engine. The ABS warning light may illuminate in the instrument cluster.

Fire-related recalls have plagued Kia and parent company Hyundai in recent years, ranging from everything for the wiring on tow hitch harnesses to faulty brakes to, most significantly, connecting rod bearings puncturing the engine block.

Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed December 22, 2022. For more info, contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542 or visit Kia’s recall page.

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