WASHINGTON — Hyundai Motor America and Kia America are recalling more than 280,000 large crossovers because of an issue with the tow hitch harness that may lead to a fire while parked or driving, sibling publication Automotive News reports.
The recall covers about 245,030 Hyundai Palisade vehicles in the U.S. and 39,280 Kia Telluride vehicles in the U.S and Canada, both from the 2020-22 model years. About 2,863 Tellurides are in Canada, according to Automotive News.
A “stop sale” was issued Tuesday in the United States in accordance with federal regulations for affected unsold vehicles at dealers and vehicle processing centres, the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) said.
Automotive News Canada reached out to Kia and Hyundai about the number of vehicles and potential stop sale orders in Canada.
Kia Canada said in an email that its “dealers have been advised not to sell the 4-pin tow hitch harness and to return any unsold harnesses to Kia Canada.”
Hyundai Canada did not respond to requests for comment. Transport Canada has not posted similar recalls on its website.
The two automakers are advising customers to park their vehicles outside and away from structures until repairs are complete.
In both cases, “debris and moisture accumulation on the tow hitch harness module printed circuit board (PCB) may cause an electrical short, which can result in a fire,” according to safety recall reports filed with NHTSA this month.
The affected Palisades are potentially equipped with a tow hitch harness installed as original equipment or purchased as an accessory through a Hyundai dealership.
In a report to NHTSA, Hyundai said it has confirmed three fire incidents in Canada and none in the United States. It is also aware of eight related incidents of melting in the United States and eight incidents of melting in Canada from Jan. 16, 2020, through July 15 of this year.
Hyundai said there are no confirmed crashes or injuries related to this condition in Canada or the United States.
The automaker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Segi Korea supplies the tow hitch harness, according to the report.
The cause of the tow hitch issue is still under investigation and a remedy is being developed. As an interim repair, dealers will inspect the tow hitch assembly and remove the fuse, as necessary.
Dealers and owners will be notified starting Oct. 17.
For sibling company Kia, the affected Tellurides are potentially equipped with a Genuine Kia four-pin tow hitch harness installed as original equipment or purchased as an accessory through a Kia dealership.
The automaker told U.S. auto safety regulators that it is aware of six fires involving 2020 model-year Tellurides, but five of the six fires involved “localized melting only.” There are no fires involving 2021-22 Telluride vehicles, the automaker said.
Kia said no crashes, injuries or deaths have been reported.
In a statement to Automotive News, Kia said approximately 27,744 Telluride vehicles from the 2020 model year are equipped with a port-installed four-pin tow hitch harness and, based on sales data, a total of 8,673 harnesses were sold to Kia dealers for potential installation on vehicles.
A repair fix is still under development. In the meantime, Kia dealers have been advised to stop selling the four-pin tow hitch harness and return any unsold harnesses to the automaker.
Mobis Parts America supplies the four-pin tow hitch harness, according to the report. The four-pin tow hitch harness was discontinued as a port-installed option starting with the 2021 model-year Telluride.
Dealers will be notified starting Oct. 10 and owners will be notified starting Oct. 14.