South Korea’s two big automakers have recalled more than 281,000 Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride sports utility vehicles over a tow hitch that can cause electrical fires.
“An accessory tow hitch sold through dealerships may allow moisture into the harness module, causing a short circuit. In some cases, an electrical short can cause a vehicle fire while driving or while parked and turned off,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in a consumer alert Tuesday.
The recall affects 245,030 Palisades and 36,417 Tellurides, in both cases from model years 2020-22.
The two manufacturers have warned consumers to “park their cars outside and away from homes and other structures until their vehicles have been repaired,” according to the NHTSA consumer alert.
Hyundai Palisade owners will be able to receive an interim repair wherein the dealer will remove the fuse; no such interim repair is available for Kia Telluride owners.
“The recall repair is under development. When a repair is available, all owners of vehicles potentially equipped with affected trailer hitch wiring harnesses will be notified by mail,” the NHTSA consumer alert reads.
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Dealers of both brands will stop selling the affected vehicles during the recall period.
This is not Hyundai or Kia’s first tangle with fire-based recalls this year.
An anti-lock brake control module was discovered to possibly short circuit, starting fires in the engine compartment, in several other models from the mid- and late-10s.
According to CNN Business, Hyundai recalled more than 350,000 Santa Fe and Tucson SUVs and Kia more than 125,000 K900 sedans and Sportage SUVs
While no fires, crashes, or other incidents have been reported related to the Hyundai Palisade in the U.S, there have been three fire incidents in Canada, and 16 incidents of melting in the two countries combined from Jan. 16, 2020, to July 15, 2022, according to Automotive News.
Kia, for its part, told regulators that it had reports of six fires with “localized melting” involving 2020 Tellurides, but no further reports for models made after that year, according to Automotive News.
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