The company said the electrical short could cause a fire even when the cars are turned off.
In April of 2019, NHTSA opened two new investigations into fires involving Hyundai and Kia vehicles after getting complaints of more than 3,100 fires and 103 injuries.
The investigations, one for Hyundai and the other for Kia, cover non-crash fires in almost 3 million vehicles from the affiliated automakers.
The agency granted a petition seeking the investigations by the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, a consumer advocacy group.
Jason Levine, executive director of the center, said Friday that the recall shows consumer complaints need to be monitored and taken seriously by NHTSA and automakers.
“This recall of brand new models finally peels back the story that the epidemic of Hyundais catching fire were only happening on their older vehicles and they fixed the problem,” Levine said.
NHTSA had previously said it would incorporate the noncrash fires into a 2017 investigation that examined recalls of Hyundai and Kia vehicles for engine failures. It opened the new probes “based on the agency’s analysis of information received from multiple manufacturers, consumer complaints and other sources.”
Engine failure and fire problems with Hyundais and Kias have affected more than 6 million vehicles since 2015, according to NHTSA documents.