Hyundai Motor America and Kia America have recalled more than 280,000 large crossover vehicles because of a fire risk related to the tow hitch harness. The recall includes Hyundai Palisades in the U.S. and Kia Tellurides in the U.S. and Canada from the 2020-2022 model years.
The NHTSA issued a stop sale on Tuesday for affected unsold vehicles at dealers and processing centers in accordance with federal regulations. Owners are advised to park their vehicles outside and clear of any structures until repairs can be completed.
The fire risk stems from “debris and moisture accumulation on the tow hitch harness module printed circuit board (PCB),” which according to safety recall reports filed with the NHTSA, “may cause an electrical short, which can result in a fire.”
Hyundai has confirmed three incidents resulting in fire in Canada, although none have been reported in the U.S. However, eight related incidents of melting have occurred in the U.S. and eight more were reported in Canada between January 2020 and July 15th of this year.
Hyundai’s tow hitch harness is supplied by Segi Korea, and the cause of the issue is still under investigation, including finding a remedy for the problem. In the interim, dealers will perform inspections and remove the fuse if necessary.
Kia’s Telluride vehicles are potentially equipped with a Genuine Kia four-pin tow hitch harness supplied by Mobis Parts America. The company is aware of six fires involving 2020 model-year Tellurides, but five of those six incidents involved “localized melting only.” The company is still working on a repair fix for the issue.
Dealers can expect communication from both companies regarding the recall starting in October.
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