— Kia is recalling more than 38,000 model year 2020-2022 Telluride SUVs possibly equipped with Kia 4-pin tow hitch harnesses installed as original equipment or purchased as accessories.
Kia is warning owners to park outside and away from structures until recall repairs are complete.
Debris and moisture can built up on the tow hitch harness module printed circuit boards and cause electrical short circuits and fires.
Kia Canada learned about a 2020 Telluride fire in the trailer hitch harness area in October 2021. Then a customer in the U.S. said the left rear of the Telluride caught fire with the ignition off. A Kia engineer found the fire came from the trailer hitch module.
The supplier opened an investigation but couldn't determine what caused the problem.
A third-party engineering company was hired and determined there was contamination on the printed circuit boards.
"Kia’s third-party engineering firm provides additional details regarding incident vehicle part and identifies Chloride and Tin in the presence of moisture can, over time, result in a resistive fault which can lead to fire but that the source of contamination is unknown."
There have been six fires on 2020 Tellurides, with five of those fires involving localized melting.
Kia is also including certain 2021-2022 Telluride vehicles as a precautionary measure since the 4-pin tow hitch harnesses could have been installed in these vehicles as dealer installed options.
Kia says there have been no crashes or injuries related to the tow hitches.
Kia is still working on a fix, but Telluride recall letters are expected to be mailed October 14, 2022.
Kia Telluride owners may call Kia at 800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC247.