Kia recalls over 462,000 SUVs for faulty seat motors that may catch fire

Lifestyle

Kia is recalling more than 462,000 cars in the U.S. for defective power seat motors, which may catch fire while the vehicles are parked or in motion, according to a regulatory filing Friday, adding to the dozen other recalls this year by the Korean automaker.
Kia Telluride

Some drivers reported a burning smell and smoke coming from under the driver’s seat, the Korean automaker said.

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Key Takeaways
  • The recall affects Kia Telluride vehicles manufactured between 2020 and 2024, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration filing.
  • An inspection of some affected vehicles determined they were equipped with defective front seat power motors under the driver’s seat, which may overheat because of a stuck power seat slide knob that continuously operates, regulators said.
  • The defect was first reported by a customer in December 2022 who said they saw smoke coming from underneath the driver’s seat, followed by other complaints indicating a burning smell, Kia said in a separate filing.
  • Another customer submitted a complaint in March, indicating their driver’s seat caught on fire while they were driving, though no injuries were reported during that incident or for others, Kia said.
Big Number

1,117,482. That’s how many vehicles Kia has recalled across 13 recalls this year, according to NHTSA data. This is the third-most number of cars recalled by an automaker in the U.S., behind 2.5 million vehicles recalled by Tesla and more than 3 million recalled by Ford, which have issued six and 26 recalls, respectively.

Key Background

Kia recalled over 101,000 cars in January because of loose roof molding, the component covering a gap between the roof and side panels, which may detach while driving, regulators said. That recall affected Carnival vehicles from the 2022-2024 model years and Sportage cars manufactured in 2023 and 2024.

The automaker recalled 48,000 EV6 vehicles in March because of a damaged charging unit, which could result in a loss of driving power. Less than a week later, Kia recalled 427,000 Telluride vehicles for disengaged driveshafts that could cause the cars to roll away while parked.