Kia Telluride Recalled for Seat Motors That Can Overheat

Kia will be recalling the Telluride midsize SUV for the third time this year. The problem now is a fire risk on more than 426,000 units in the U.S. and a yet-unspecified number in Canada. All model years (2020 through 2024) are affected.

According to the NHTSA, which oversees traffic safety south of the border, an "external impact with excessive force to the front power seat side cover and/or seat slide knob could misalign the seat motor and cause it to run continuously and potentially overheat, increasing the risk of a whether the vehicle is in motion or parked.

Warning signs include not only the inability to adjust the seat, but also burning smells or even smoke in the cabin—the kind of trouble owners should take seriously.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

The NHTSA said it received six separate customer complaints from December 2022 to March 2024. A seventh case, this one literally involving a fire, was also reported. Fortunately, no one was injured as a result.

To fix the problem, Kia dealers won’t need to replace the seat motors, just the seat slide knobs. Furthermore, they will install a bracket for the power seat switch back covers.  

Affected owners will be notified later this summer (around August), but until the repairs are completed, Kia advises to park outdoors and away from other vehicles and structures as a precaution. Owners also need to stay alert to the warning signs mentioned above.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

This is the third recall for the Telluride this year. The first aimed to address an engine issue on a small number of 2024 models (144) in Canada. The valve springs could break and cause the engine to fail. Oil could also leak onto hot components in the engine bay, potentially leading to a fire.

The second recall involved over 18,500 Tellurides in the country, spanning the 2020-2024 model years. The axle shafts may not have been manufactured properly and could become damaged after a while, which means the vehicle could move when it's parked and the parking brake isn't applied.

Despite these recent recalls, the Kia Telluride ranks among the safest vehicles on the road, having won a Top Safety Pick+ award from the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It’s also one of the vehicles people like the most in 2024 according to Consumer Reports.

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