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5 Hyundai, Kia models have high fire insurance claim rates

FILE- This Oct. 5, 2012, file photo, shows a Kia optima's steering wheel inside of a Kia car dealership in Elmhurst, Ill. Kia says it will ignore the partial U.S. government shutdown and recall more than 68,000 vehicles to fix a fuel pipe problem that can cause engine fires. The problem stems from previous recall repairs due to engine failures. Kia is only doing the fix on 68,000 of its 618,000 vehicles. The fuel injector pipe recall covers some 2011 through 2014 Optima cars, 2012 through 2014 Sorrento SUVs, and 2011 through 2013 Sportage SUVs, all with 2-liter and 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

DETROIT — An insurance study shows that owners of five Hyundai and Kia cars and SUVs file fire insurance claims at a rate far higher than the average for comparable vehicles.

The Highway Loss Data Institute analyzed claims data from insurers representing about 85 per cent of the U.S. industry. It found that some Hyundai and Kia vehicles equipped with four-cylinder engines have at least double the noncrash fire claim rates than the average of comparable vehicles.

The institute began the study after a consumer group found that owners of some Hyundai and Kia models made a higher-than-normal number of fire complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Last week the South Korean brands announced they would recall about 168,000 vehicles to fix a fuel pipe problem that can cause engine fires.

Tom Krisher, The Associated Press