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Kia recalls Telluride SUVs due to fire risk

June 7, 2024

(CNN) — Kia is warning owners of almost 463,000 of its popular Telluride SUVs in the United States to keep them parked outside and away from buildings because the front seats could start burning.

Seat control switches on the front power seats of the SUVs can become misaligned and stuck if they’re hit hard by something, according to recall documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If that happens, a small electric motor that moves the seat can run continuously and overheat.

The recall involves 2020 through 2024 Kia Telluride models.

The Telluride, a roomy SUV with three rows of seats, has been an extremely popular model for the Korean automaker.

Designed in California and built in Georgia, the Telluride was created specifically to appeal to Americans.

When it first came out, dealers were unable to keep enough in stock for customers.

The problem was first noticed by Kia in 2022 when a customer reported smoke coming from under their Telluride’s driver seat, according to a timeline Kia provided NHTSA.

In 2023, another customer complained of a smoke smell from the passenger-side power seat, which wasn’t working.

Other similar cases were reported later that year. In 2024, at least one Kia owner reported that the driver’s seat caught fire while they were driving.

An investigation by Kia concluded that the problem was with the power seat switches which could be damaged in a way that caused its motor to overheat.

Kia will send recalled vehicle owners letters, starting at the end of July, asking them to bring their SUVs to a Kia dealership for repairs — at no cost. Service technicians at the dealers will install reinforcements and improved switches to prevent the seats from burning.

Owners who suspect their Telluride might be involved can also call Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542.

Kia recalled more than 400,000 Tellurides earlier this year for a separate problem that could allow them to roll away while in park.

Photo: KIA via CNN Newsource

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