Hyundai Faces Australian Suit over ABS Fires

MACQUARIE PARK, Australia – The potential of vehicle fires caused by faulty anti-lock (ABS) electronic-control units, which have resulted in global recalls of Hyundai (and Kia) vehicles, has now spooned a class-action suit in Australia.

Media reports indicate the suit, covering almost 200,000 of the Korean-company’s vehicles sold in Australia from 2014 to 2020, were previously recalled for the fire risk, but some of the owners involved in the legal action allege they never received the notice.

According to a report by DRIVE (, “One Hyundai owner involved in the legal action – led by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers – told Nine News her car went up in flames on Christmas Day, having just picked up her elderly grandparents. A passerby helped them out of the burning vehicle.

“Another Hyundai owner had her car suddenly catch fire while it was in the garage at home, parked below her bedroom.”

The suit covers 136,000 Hyundai vehicles, but a further 56,000 Kia cars with the same issue could be added, for approximately 193,000 vehicles total.

The vehicles covered by the suit:

Hyundai Tucson (2014 to 2020)
Hyundai Santa Fe (2015 to 2018)
Hyundai ix35 (2014 to 2015)
Hyundai Genesis sedan (2014 to 2017)
Hyundai Genesis G70 and G80 sedans (2018)

The legal action could be extended to:

Kia Sportage (2016 to 2019)
Kia Stinger (2016 to 2019)

Hyundai and Kia have faced recalls in other countries, including the United States (as reported in The BRAKE Report on several occasions since 2020).

As previously reported, the fault with the anti-lock brake system was the subject of a recall due to a fire risk; an electronic control circuit board can short circuit when exposed to moisture.

This creates a risk of an engine compartment fire, even when the car is parked and the engine is not running.

A statement from Kia Australia said: “We are aware of a proposed class action by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. However, we have not received any official notification on the matter and as such we will not be making any further comment at this time.” 

Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.