Kia recalls about 460,000 Tellurides and tells owners to park outside because of fire risk

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Kia America is recalling nearly 463,000 Telluride SUVs — urging owners to park their vehicle outside in case the seat spontaneously catches fire, federal highway safety regulators warned Friday. 

The South Korean automaker announced a recall of certain Tellurides from model years 2020-2024 because the motor that controls the power seats on the vehicles can potentially overheat. Kia America estimates that 1% of the SUVs have the defect. The recall covers Tellurides that were built between January 2019 and May 2024, according to recall documents Kia submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Telluride front power seats are equipped with tiny motors that allow passengers to adjust their position. The seat adjustment function is controlled by a switch wrapped in a cover. In recall documents, Kia said that the adjustment switch on the power seat can dislodge if hit too forcefully, locking in the position of the seat while the seat motor is still running. 

“A misaligned seat motor control switch with a stuck seat slide knob can lead to continuous operation of a seat motor,” Kia said in the recall. “Over time, this can result in overheating of a seat motor, thereby increasing the risk of a fire while driving or while parked.”

In a separate document to NHTSA, Kia said it has received one report of an under-the-seat fire from a Telluride owner, along with six reports of the seat motor melting. No crashes or injuries have been reported related to the power seat issue, Kia said.

Telluride owners can recognize if their vehicle is at risk of fire if passengers cannot adjust their seat, if they smell burning under a seat or if they see smoke coming from that area, Kia said in the recall. 

Kia said it plans to fix the issue by installing a bracket for the seat switch. Dealerships will install a bracket for free for eligible owners, who will be notified by mail by the company on July 30.  

All Tellurides manufactured after May 30 have already had the seat issue resolved, Kia said in the recall. 

Owners with questions about the recall can contact Kia at 1-800-333-4542 and use the recall number SC316. Owners can also contact the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.

Previous Telluride recall

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

The power seat issue also marks Kia’s second major recall of 2024. In March, Hyundai and Kia recalled a combined 147,110 electric vehicles because a part inside the cars may stop charging their batteries.

Last fall, Hyundai and Kia announced previous “park outside” recalls for 3.4 million other car and SUV models due to a risk of engine compartment fires. Amid long-delayed repairs, many of those vehicles remained on the road months later, raising concerns from drivers and consumer safety advocates.

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

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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