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Kia recalls 460,000 Telluride SUVs over fire risk

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Kia is recalling about 460,000 Telluride SUVs from model years 2020 through 2024, telling car owners to park outside because of “a risk of fire while parked or driving,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The fire risk comes from a problem with the front power seat motor, NHTSA said in a Friday announcement. An internal control switch can become dislodged if the car is hit with an external impact, leading the seat motor to operate continuously and overheat. The vehicle fires are typically preceded by a burning or melting smell and smoke coming out from underneath the driver seat, NHTSA said in a safety recall report issued separately.

The company said it isn’t aware of any related injuries, crashes or deaths, although a timeline put out by NHTSA shows that the current recall was caused by a passenger who noticed and reported a burning smell. There were six other instances of “localized melting of a power seat motor,” according to Kia.

The issue can be fixed by replacing the slide knob and installing a bracket, NHTSA said. Dealers are offering that fix free of charge and will reimburse car owners for any repair expenses.

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It’s not the first time Kia has flagged a risk of fire. In 2020, Hyundai and Kia recalled a total of more than 600,000 Sorento and Santa Fe SUVs over brake fluid leaks that can cause the engine to catch fire, according to the Associated Press. In a different recall from September 2023, the two companies issued a “park outside” order for more than 3.3 million vehicles, also citing brake fluid leaks.

Kia is notifying car owners by mail starting July 30 and is providing the recall number SC316 to determine whether their vehicle is included. Vehicle owners can contact Kia customer service at 800-333-4542 or use an online lookup tool to determine whether their vehicle is subject to recall.

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