Fire Safety Risk Prompts Urgent Recall on Half a Million Kia Vehicles

One of Kia’s most popular SUV models has been recalled en masse for the second time this year.

463,000 Telluride’s Recalled

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The American branch of vehicle manufacturer Kia has recalled nearly 463,000 Kia Telluride SUVs across the country, due to the risk that its seats could spontaneously catch on fire while driving.

Submitted to the NHTSA

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Recall documents were submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by the South Korean auto company on Friday, on the basis that 1% of all Telluride vehicles likely have the described defect.

A Warning Issued

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Now, the company along with federal highway safety regulators is warning Telluride owners to keep the SUVs parked and cleared away from buildings until they can be towed.

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

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They have also been advised to examine the car seats of their vehicles to look out for signs of smoke or the smell of burning plastic and/or fabric. 

1% of Vehicles Affected

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According to the retail documents, 1% of affected vehicles have a manufacturing defect that could cause their seat control switch to become stuck if it is struck by something. This could lead the seat functions electric motor to overheat and catch fire.

2019 to 2024

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The recall affects all Telluride models created between the dates of January 2019 and May 2024. Formal notices will be issued to all owners on July 30.

A Long In-Between Period

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Kia America, which is based in Irvine, California, has not responded to queries about why customer notifications won’t be issued for another two months. 

Repairs Free of Charge

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The cars can be returned to Kia dealers, who will “install a bracket for the power seat switch back covers and replace the seat slide knobs, free of charge,” the NHTSA assured in its Safety Recall Report.

Previous Repairs Reimbursed

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Any repair costs previously incurred by the manufacturing error would also be reimbursed directly by Kia. 

Newest Models Not Affected

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Kia also noted in the recall report that no models manufactured after May 30 this year would be affected as the seat issue had already been resolved by this point in the manufacturing process.

First Report in 2022

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The issue of faulty, and potentially dangerous, seat controls came to Kia’s attention back in 2022 when a customer reported that the driver’s seat of his Telluride had begun surreptitiously smoking. 

Second Report Out

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The following year a second customer claimed that their Telluride passenger seat controller was no longer working and that they could smell smoke issuing from the seat.

No Injuries Caused

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Complaints and concerns continued to flow in over the next two years, with one customer even reporting that their seat had spontaneously caught fire after seat control issues. However, Kia maintains that no injuries have yet been caused by the seat malfunction.

7 Reports All Up

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Altogether the company reported six incidents of “localized melting in the seat tilt motor” during this period, and one incident involving fire, which eventually led to the decision to recall the vehicles on May 29.

A “Very Rare” Issue

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Kia spokesman James Bell told the New York Times that the issue was “very rare” and thus unlikely to cause major problems or injury to any Kia customers.

Call Customer Service

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Telluride owners and other Kia customers with questions or concerns about the recall report can contact Kia’s customer service at 800-333-4542 using the recall number SC316. 

Mass Recalls in 2023

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The recent announcement may remind customers of the mass vehicle recalls made last year when Kia and Hyundai recalled a combined 3.4 million vehicles across the US due to the risk of engine compartment fires. 

Hyundai and Kia

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The faults were recorded across a range of cars and SUV models manufactured between 2010 to 2019. As in the case of Telluride, no crashes or injuries were recorded as a result of the faulty engines. 

March Recalls for Telluride

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What’s more, this is not even the first specific recall for the Telluride model. Back in March, Kia recalled another 427,000 Telluride models released between 2020 to 2024 over another defect that had led to some vehicles rolling away while parked.

One of the Most Popular Models

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These are significant issues for the 3-row mid-size Telluride SUV, which has proven to be one of Kia’s most popular models since it first came out in 2019. They were in such high demand upon release that dealers across the US could not initially keep up with demand.

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The postFire Safety Risk Prompts Urgent Recall on Half a Million Kia Vehicles first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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