Hyundai and Kia have soared to the top of J.D. Power's quality rankings in recent years and earned respectable marks from Consumer Reports.
But a brewing crisis surrounding hundreds of reports of noncollision fires in their vehicles could put the rewards of those accolades at risk and rekindle memories of their early years in the U.S. when the brands struggled with quality.
The South Korean stablemates are facing pressure from the Center for Auto Safety, which renewed calls this month for them to recall almost 3 million crossovers and sedans for potential fires that could erupt while people are driving.
The group is asking for recalls of all 2011-14 Kia Sorento, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Santa Fe models, as well as all 2010-15 Kia Souls.