Sporadic, non-collision fires have caught the attention of drivers, our viewers and most recently, U.S. Senators.
The CEOs of Kia and Hyundai were expected to testify before Congress on Wednesday and explain why burning car incidents are happening across the country.
But according to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, the hearing was called off because the CEOs chose not to attend.
Both Kia and Hyundai are owned by the Hyundai Motor Group.
Over the last several months, NBC 5 Responds has reported on incidents that drivers believe should never happen: Their cars bursting into flames without warning.
"I could have burned alive in that car. I'm lucky I didn't die," Amy McDade of Denton said.
She was optimistic about today's scheduled hearing and hoped to finally get the answers about her Kia she'd sought for months.
But drivers like her will have to wait even longer.
Hyundai told NBC 5 it appreciated the concerns of the Senate Commerce Committee and had engaged in frequent and transparent dialogue with its staff.
Kia said it will continue to work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Congress in a full and transparent manner.
Kia also said it was using in house and third-party fire investigation companies to evaluate the results of the fires, and will take any necessary action in a timely manner.
Both Kia and Hyundai are now requesting "a more comprehensive review of non-collision fires among all automakers," citing research that the fires are not only limited to their cars.
But the Center for Auto Safety is displeased with the CEOs of Kia and Hyundai for "refusing" to show up and testify before U.S. Senators.
"There has already been one death and a few injuries associated with these vehicle fires," the Center for Auto Safety said. "How many people need to be horrifically burned before someone takes action?"
More than one million Kias and Transportation have already been recalled for an engine defect.
But critics believe that recall should be expanded to include more cars, with an emphasis on a fire hazard.
Full statement from Hyundai:
Nothing is more important than the safety and security of Hyundai customers. Hyundai takes this matter very seriously, and fully appreciates the concerns of the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee including those of the Chairman and Ranking Member. We have engaged in frequent, open and transparent dialogue with Committee staff on a bipartisan basis, and unequivocally share the Committee's goal of assuring the safety of our vehicles. Hyundai welcomes a more comprehensive review of non-collision fires among all automakers as recent research published by the Highway Loss Data Institute demonstrates that these incidences are not limited to Hyundai vehicles.
In close coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Hyundai has recalled more than one million vehicles to address a manufacturing issue that could lead to engine failure and in certain circumstances an engine fire. In the rare case of an engine fire, Hyundai takes immediate action to determine and address the cause, and take care of the customer involved.
To date, these recalls have completion rates of 86 and 72 percent respectively, versus an industry average of 69 percent for recalled engines. Hyundai is working diligently to contact customers who have not had the recall completed, including through traditional mailings, digital correspondence, owner website alerts and in-vehicle notification.
Hyundai has launched and is promoting an online resource for the engine recalls, www.HyundaiEngineInfo.com, to educate affected customers about the issue, how to have the recall campaign completed on their vehicle or have their vehicle inspected, and symptoms to watch and listen for in their vehicle. We also have enhanced our customer service response for affected vehicles by adding staff and resources so that we can more quickly address customer questions and concerns.
Full statement from Kia:
The safety of our customers is Kia's top priority. Kia has and will continue to work with both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the primary government automotive regulator, as well as Congress. We take seriously and share the concerns of Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson regarding the safety of all passenger vehicles. We have openly shared information and data with NHTSA and the Committee and will continue to answer their questions in a full and transparent manner. To gain a full understanding of this industry-wide matter we have respectfully requested the Committee consider a more comprehensive review of non-collision fires among all automakers. Non-collision fires are not limited to Kia vehicles as research from the Highway Loss Data Institute, an independent, nonprofit research organization shows.
To quickly and effectively address non-collision fire incidents, KMA is using in-house and third-party fire investigation companies and has engaged an independent senior fire expert to evaluate the results of such fire event investigations and is consulting with a recent former head of NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation to evaluate the organization’s response to these incidents. We are cooperating with both NHTSA and the Committee to analyze all relevant information associated with any fire or other safety related matters and will take any necessary corrective action in a timely manner.
KMA encourages customers to remedy any open recalls as quickly as possible, including certain 20112014 model year Sorento and Optima vehicles identified in June of 2017 (NHTSA Recall Number 17V224) by taking their vehicle to the nearest Kia dealership. Additional information about open recalls may be found by visiting https://www.kia.com/us/en/content/owners/safety-recall or through www.safercar.gov. If a recall is unable to be remedied immediately, KMA will provide alternate transportation at no cost to the customer until their vehicle is repaired or another satisfactory resolution is determined.
Owners are encouraged to contact Kia Consumer Affairs at 800-333-4542 with any questions or concerns related to this matter.