After Fires Regulators Tell Kia, Hyundai Car Owners: Park Outside

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Sister automakers Kia and Hyundai are again under the spotlight after at least four vehicles caught fire due to an electrical short issue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the defect impacts over 250,000 vehicles nationwide. 

Federal officials announced recently that consumers who own a vehicle of the 2016 through 2023 Hyundai Palisade or Kia Telluride models that might carry four-pin trailer connector harnesses should beware of the potential fire risk. In order to avoid incidents, regulators issued a recall and park outside advisory, meaning that car owners should park their vehicles outside at all times until the issue is resolved.

Advisory Warns That Auto Fire Risk Is Related To Tow Hitch Assembly

Impacted vehicles include the 2016 through 2022 Sorento, 2021 and 2022 Sorento Hybrid (HEV), 2022 and 2023 Sorento Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV), and 2017 through 2022 Sportage vehicle models as well as the 2020 through 2022 Hyundai Palisade vehicle models. 

Related: Fires Remain A Concern For Millions Of Hyundai, Kia Vehicle Owners

The impacted vehicles were fitted with accessory tow hitch assemblies that were available for purchase through Hyundai. Because these assemblies come with harness module printed circuit boards that might experience electric short circuits due to the presence of environmental contaminants, a fire may take place whether the vehicle is in motion or parked.

Regulators stated that while the issue is still under investigation, the hitch assembly defect might be due to a production issue that caused the printed circuit board (PCB) to be exposed to moisture.  

Auto Fires Reported, Regulators Urge Drivers Caution

So far, Hyundai and Kia are aware of four auto fires involving Tellurides and Palisades as well as four auto fires involving Sorento vehicles. Fifty other vehicles experienced heat-related issues such as melted parts or smoke without any fires. 

In order to avoid a fire that could expose property to fire damage, car owners should park their vehicles outside day and night. Contact Hyundai or Kia to check if your vehicle was impacted. Because this issue is related to parts that were installed after the vehicle was purchased, car owners will have to look into whether the manufacturer has more detailed information. 

Act fast to avoid a fire-related accident. 

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