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NHTSA Opens Investigations Into Hyundai, Kia Vehicle Fires

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSDFW.COM) - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating a series of what they call "non-crash fires" involving Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

The NHTSA probe will cover nearly three million vehicles, specifically: Hyundai's 2011 to 2014 Sonata and Santa Fe, Kia's 2011 to 2014 Optima and Sorento, and Kia's 2010 to 2015 Soul.

(credit: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

Fires in those vehicles have resulted in at least one death and more than 100 injuries.

The investigations come after the consumer group Center for Auto Safety filed a formal petition with NHTSA. According to the petition, the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, and Kia Optima were all produced at the same factory in Georgia and the Hyundai Sonata sedans were made at a plant in Alabama.

"It is long past time for the full power of the federal government to be brought to bear to answer why so many thousands of Kia and Hyundai vehicles have been involved in non-crash fires," Center for Auto Safety executive director Jason Levine said after the investigations were announced.

Kia Car Logo
(credit: Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images)

In all, the NHTSA says they have received more than 3,100 reports of fires in the vehicles that were not sparked by a crash.

Both Hyundai and Kia have issued a number of recalls since 2015 as a result of engine failures and fires -- the latest on March 29 when Hyundai issued a recall affecting more than 6 million vehicles.

Officials with Hyundai and Kia said they're cooperating with the investigations.

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