Nam Y. Huh, AP
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 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.

SALT LAKE CITY — Hyundai and Kia have recalled about 168,000 vehicles to fix a fuel pipe problem that is believed to cause engine fires.

According to CBS News, the problem was created during previous recalls of Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

Both Kia and Hyundai faced complaints from drivers across the country for starting fires.

The automakers will now issue a “product improvement campaign,” which will cover 3.7 million vehicles to add software that will alert drivers about their engines and whether or not they're close to starting fires, according to CBS.

Reaction: Kia spokesman James Bell issued a statement, according to The Washington Post.

"Making our customers comfortable is vastly more important than making sure we're following additional government processes right now," he said.

The companies said the high-pressure fuel pipe “may have been damaged, misaligned or improperly tightened while the engines were being replaced under recall. That can allow fuel to leak and hit hot engine parts, causing fires," according to The Washington Post.

According to Reuters, Kia announced the recall would apply to 68,000 cars, including:

  • Kia Optima (2011 to 2014)
  • Kia Sorento (2011 to 2014)
  • Kia Sportage (2011 to 2014)

Hyundai said the recall would impact 100,000 cars, including

  • Hyundai Sonata (2011 to 2014)
  • Hyundai Sante Fe Sport (2011 to 2014)
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Bigger picture: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been trying to determine whether enough cars were recalled during the initial recall to fix the problem, according to CBS.

However: NHTSA has been closed because of the government shutdown.

The NHTSA hasn’t updated its website since the shutdown, according to The Washington Post.

But the agency said it “may recall furloughed employees if NHTSA becomes aware of information concerning suspended functions that involve imminent threats to the safety of human life or protection of property.”