Kia and Hyundai, sister auto companies based in Seoul, Korea are recalling 1.6 million vehicles. The cars, it seems, share a defect in their brake lamps.
The problem is compounded because it sends incorrect signals to the cars' electronic brains.
Various vehicle systems rely on signals from the brake lamp to detect when the brakes are, or are not, being applied. Bad signals can cause the gear selector to become stuck in "park." They can also sporadically render the push-button engine start feature useless and create intermittent interference with the cars' cruise control systems.
Seven Hyundai models and six Kia models are involved in the recall.
The Hyundai cars involved are 2007-2009 Accents and Tucsons, 2007-2010 Elantras, 2010-2011 Genesis Coupes, 2007-2011 Santa Fes, 2011 Sonatas and 2008-2009 Veracruzes.
The Kia models involved are 2011 Optimas, 2007-2010 Rondos and Sportages, 2007 Sedonas, 2007-2011 Sorentos and 2010-2011 Souls.