The Center For Auto Safety said Friday that there have been more than 220 complaints to the U.S. government since 2010 about fires and an additional 200 complaints about melted wires, smoke and burning odors.

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DETROIT — A nonprofit auto-safety group is demanding that Hyundai and Kia recall 2.9 million cars and SUVs in the U.S. due to consumer complaints that they can catch fire.

The Center For Auto Safety said Friday that there have been more than 220 complaints to the U.S. government since 2010 about fires and an additional 200 complaints about melted wires, smoke and burning odors.

The complaints involve the 2011 through 2014 Kia Sorento and Optima and the Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe. Also included is the 2010 through 2015 Kia Soul.

The fires are being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as part of a 2017 probe into Hyundai and Kia engine failures.

“The volume of fires here make it appear that Hyundai and Kia are content to sit back and allow consumers and insurers to bear the brunt of poorly designed, manufactured and repaired vehicles,” Jason Levine, the center’s executive director, said. The fire reports have come in from across the country, including an April 2017 death in Ohio, he said.

Hyundai says it monitors safety concerns and acts quickly to recall defective vehicles. “We have a robust system in place for monitoring and investigating reported vehicle fires that includes investigation and reporting to NHTSA as required,” a company statement said.

Kia said it is using company and third-party fire investigators to determine what caused the fires so it can address them.

In June, the Center for Auto Safety filed a petition asking NHTSA to investigate the fires separately from the engine failures. The agency said Friday that it is evaluating the petition.

In May 2017, the government began investigating whether Hyundai and Kia moved quickly enough to recall more than 1.6 million vehicles because of engine stalling.

Melissa Markoutsis, 39, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, said the engine on her 2012 Kia Soul exploded and failed in an Interstate 94 construction zone south of Milwaukee on May 14, spewing thick black smoke as she was driving amid semis and Jersey barriers. “I panicked. I couldn’t see anything,” she recalled.

Markoutsis said she safely coasted to an exit ramp and had the Soul, a small SUV, towed to a Kia dealer, where she was told it would cost $6,500 to replace her engine. The Soul isn’t included in the previous recalls.

Kia is a smaller affiliate of Hyundai.