Kia recalls nearly 463,000 Telluride SUVs due to fire risk, urges impacted consumers to park outside

INDIANA – 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 result in a fire while the car is parked or driven.

NHTSA documents published Friday show that Kia decided to recall the vehicles on May 29 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 external solid 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, 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 instructed to park their cars outside and away from buildings.

Owner notification letters will be mailed out starting July 30, with dealer notifications 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 confirm if their specific vehicle is included in this recall and find more information using the NHTSA site  or Kia’s recall lookup platform.

The recall covers 462,869 model year 2020-2024 Tellurides 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 2020-2024 Telluride SUVs due to a defect that may cause them to roll away while they’re parked.