Recall alert: Kia recalls nearly 463,000 Telluride SUVs; front seats can catch fire

Kia is warning some Telluride owners to park their SUVs outside and away from other vehicles and structures due to the risk that they could catch fire, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday.

The issue impacts 462,869 Telluride vehicles from model years 2020-2024, officials said. It stems from a problem with the front power seat motor.

In a safety recall report, officials said that a hard hit could cause the back cover of the power seat switch to dislodge, potentially forcing the seat motor to run non-stop.

“Over time, this can result in overheating of a seat motor, thereby increasing the risk of a fire while driving or while parked,” officials said.

Kia first learned of the issue in December 2022, when a dealer got a complaint of smoke from beneath the driver’s seat of 2021 Telluride, according to a timeline shared by the NHTSA. In March 2023, a second complaint came in, this time reporting that the passenger side seat of a 2022 Telluride became inoperable, accompanied by a “burning smell.”

The company saw two more complaints of smoke and determined that the issue stemmed from “stuck seat switches with continuous motor operation.” In March, one owner complained that the driver seat of a 2023 Telluride caught on fire while someone was driving. No injuries were reported.

In vehicles covered by the recall, Kia dealers will install a bracket to reinforce the back covers of the power seat switch and replaces seat slide knobs, free of charge. The company will begin notifying owners by mail next month.

Owners of the affected vehicles can contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. The internal recall number for the issue is SC316.

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