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Kia Recalls 462,869 Tellurides Because the Seats Could Catch Fire

Kia has issued a massive recall for its popular Telluride SUV, totaling 462,869 vehicles from the 2020 through 2024 model years. The reason is a bit spooky—there’s a fire risk originating from the electric seat motors for either the driver or passenger front seat. It could occur whether the SUV is in use or parked with the ignition off, leading Kia to issue a park-outside advisory in case the seats catch fire.

The specific cause isn’t the seat motor, but the slide knob that controls it. The recall notice (NHTSA Recall Number 24V-407) states an external impact could dislodge the seat switch back cover. This could cause a misalignment of the switch controlling the seat motor, and with the switch stuck, would feed constant power to the motor. If occupants are unaware of this, the motor could get hot enough to start a fire.

According to documents filed with the recall, Kia is aware of one small driver-seat fire that occurred in a 2023 Telluride while being driven. Beyond that, there are six confirmed incidents of melted components under the seats. Smoke in the cabin was also reported with some of the incidents.

Wouldn’t it be obvious if a power seat motor was stuck on? The recall notice doesn’t address this, and Kia’s chronology report on the issue (going back to December 2022) makes no mention of symptoms prior to the aforementioned incidents. However, Kia does advise that seats moving “even after seat slide knob is released” along with burning smells, smoke, or inoperable seats could indicate a problem.

The fix is straightforward. Kia dealers will install a new bracket for the power seat switch back cover, and seat control knobs will be replaced. Owner notification of the recall should begin through mail on July 30; concerned owners can also contact Kia customer service and mention recall SC316. The number is 800-333-4542.

Read the full article here

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