Kia recalls 463,000 Telluride SUVs that could catch fire, warns drivers to park outdoors

Kia America is recalling nearly 463,000 Telluride SUVs and urging owners to park their cars outside and away from other structures until an issue that poses a fire risk is fixed.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the front power seat motor in affected Tellurides from the 2020-2024 model years may overheat due to a stuck slide knob. This could cause a fire while the car is parked or running.

Kia made the decision to recall the vehicles on May 29, NHTSA documents released Friday show, after receiving reports of an under-seat fire and six incidents of localized meltdown in the seat tilt motor between August 2022 and March 2024. There are no related injuries or accidents. or deaths were reported at that time.

The recall report notes that a strong external impact to the Tellurides’ front power seat side cover or seat slide knob can cause internal misalignment, and with continued operation, that can cause overheating. People who drive vehicles with this problem may find that they cannot adjust the power seat, notice a burning or melting smell, or see smoke coming from under the seat.

To fix this problem, dealers will install a bracket for the rear covers of the power seat switches and replace the seat slide knobs at no charge. Until the vehicles are repaired, owners are instructed to park their vehicles outside and away from buildings.

Owner notification letters will be mailed beginning July 30 and dealer notification a few days prior. Kia America, based in Irvine, California, did not immediately respond to The Associated Press’ request for comment on why these notifications would not begin until late next month.

In the meantime, drivers can also confirm if their specific vehicle is included in this recall and find more information by using the NHTSA site and/or Kia’s recall search platform.

The recall covers 462,869 2020-2024 model year Tellurides that were manufactured between January 9, 2019 and May 29, 2024. Kia America estimates that 1% have the defect.

This isn’t the only recall affecting Kia Telluride owners. In March, Kia America said it would recall more than 427,000 2020-2024 Telluride SUVs due to a defect that can cause the cars to roll while parked.

Just last fall, Kia and Hyundai announced earlier “park out” recalls for 3.4 million other car and SUV models due to the danger of engine compartment fires. Amid long-delayed repairs, many of those vehicles remained on the roads months later, raising serious concerns from drivers and consumer safety advocates.

Hyundai owns part of Kia, although the two companies operate independently.

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