Kia Recalls 462,869 Tellurides For Seat Motors That Can Overheat And Catch Fire

Photo: Kia
Photo: Kia

The rough and ready KiaTellurideimmediately sailed to the top of themidsize three-row crossover segment, winning comparison tests and the money of nearly half a million buyers since it launched in 2020. Now though, Kia is recalling all 462,869 Tellurides sold between 2020 and 2024 due to a fire risk from overheated power seat motors, per an announcement by the NHTSA on June 7.

According to the recall, external impacts to the front seat side cover, the panel that houses the power seat controls, or the seat slide knob can cause the switch covers to come loose. If that happens it can misalign the seat motor, causing it to run continuously and potentially overheat, increasing fire riskwhether the vehicle is in motion or parked. Despite there being no known reports of injuries or deaths attributed to the hot power seat motors, Kia has reported one under-seat fire and six reports of the seat motor melting, with some complaints of smoke in the cabin and burning smells.

Kia identified the seat motor supplier as a South Korean company called Duckil Industry, though the repair for this recall doesn’t involve a motor replacement. To address the recall, Kia dealers will install a bracket to reinforce the power seat switchback covers and replace the seat adjustment knobs with improved ones. The reinforcement will protect the panel and seat motor control switches from damage and dislodgement. Tellurides made after May 30 will be produced with a reinforced power seat switch mechanism to prevent the issue from afflicting new vehicles.


For a vehicle that’s marketed as being rugged, it’s surprising that the Telluride’s seat controls can’t even take a few punches without potentially conflagrating. Hyundai and Kia have had plenty of fire-risk recalls over the years, and this is just the latest. Whether you use your Telluride to actually go off the beaten path or if it serves as a family truckster that only leaves the pavement when you jump a curb, be sure to take it into the Kia dealer so its seat controls can be reinforced.

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