NPR/Associated Press reports, “U.S. auto safety regulators have stepped up a series of investigations into engine fires that have plagued Hyundai and Kia vehicles for more than six years.”

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says a new engineering analysis investigation covers more than 3 million vehicles from the 2011 through 2016 model years. The agency has received 161 complaints of engine fires, some of which occurred in vehicles that had already been recalled.”

“The vehicle fires involve the related Korean automakers’ Theta II GDI, Theta II MPI, Theta II MPI hybrid, Nu GDI and Gamma GDI engines. Models covered include Hyundai’s Sonata, Santa Fe, and Elantra and as well as Kia’s Sorento, Rio, Optima and Soul. Model years covered are 2011 through 2016.”

“In November of 2020, NHTSA announced that Kia and Hyundai must pay $137 million in fines and for safety improvements because they moved too slowly to recall more than 1 million vehicles with engines that can fail. The fines resolve a previous probe into the companies’ behavior involving recalls of multiple models dating to the 2011 model year.”