U.S. Senate hearing over Hyundai, Kia engine fires on hold


By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee said on Thursday that a hearing planned for Nov. 14 on reports of engine fires involving Hyundai MotorCo (KS:005380) and Kia Motors Corp (KS:000270) vehicles was on hold, but could be rescheduled for a future date.

Last month, the committee invited the U.S. chief executives of the two Korean automakers after safety advocates raised concerns about fires in vehicles not involved in collisions.

The non-profit consumer advocacy group Center for Auto Safety said last month 103 fire complaints had been filed with U.S. safety regulators since June 12 and urged an immediate recall of nearly 3 million vehicles.

“While the committee does not anticipate convening a hearing on vehicle fire safety next week as previously contemplated, discussions among the committee and two auto manufacturers about participation at a future date remain ongoing,” Frederick Hill, a spokesman for Senator John Thune who chairs the Commerce Committee, said on Thursday.

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