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

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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 posing a fire hazard is fixed.

The front power seat motor on the affected Tellurides from the 2020-2024 model years may overheat because of a stuck slide knob, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That could potentially result in a fire while the car is parked or being driven.

Kia made the decision to recall the vehicles on May 29, NHTSA documents published Friday show, after receiving reports of one under-seat fire and six incidents of localized melting in the seat tilt motor between August 2022 and March 2024. No related injuries, crashes or fatalities were reported at the time.

The recall report notes that strong external impact to the recalled Tellurides’ front power seat side cover or seat slide knob can result in internal misalignment — and with continuous operation, that can cause overheating. People driving vehicles with the issue may find they can’t adjust the power seat, may notice a burning or melting smell, or see smoke rising from underneath the seat.

To fix this, dealers will install a bracket for the power seat switch back covers and replace the seat slide knobs at no cost. Until the vehicles are repaired, owners are being instructed to park their cars outside and away from buildings.

Owner notification letters are set to be mailed out starting July 30, with dealer notification a few days prior. Irvine, California-based Kia America did not immediately respond to The Associated Press’ request for comment on why these notifications wouldn’t begin until the end of next month.

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

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

This isn’t the only recall impacting Kia Telluride owners. In March, Kia America said it would be recalling more than 427,000 of 2020-2024 Telluride SUVs due to a defect that may cause the cars to roll away while they’re parked.

Just last fall, Kia and Hyundai announced previous “park outside” 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 road months later, posing serious concerns from drivers and consumer safety advocates.

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

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