Hyundai and Kia are alerting owners of some of their large SUVs to park them outdoors and away from buildings after a series of fires involving trailer hitch wiring. The Korean automakers are recalling more than 281,000 vehicles in the United States as a result of the problem, but they haven’t figured out how to fix it yet. The automakers reported 25 fires or melting incidents in the U.S. and Canada caused by the problem, but no crashes or injuries.
The recalls impacts more than 245,000 Hyundai Palisade and over 36,000 Kia Telluride SUVs. The recalls include model years 2020 through 2022. In documents posted August 23, 2022 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the companies said debris and moisture can accumulate in a circuit board in the tow hitch wiring. That can cause an electrical short, which can lead to a fire.
Hyundai said that dealers will inspect the wiring and remove a fuse as an interim repair. Kia doesn’t have an interim repair. The companies say a final repair is being developed. In addition, dealers from both automakers have stopped selling the affected SUVs until repairs are made. An additional complication is that once the fuse is removed, the features related to towing no longer function and could result in additional danger to operators should they decide to tow anything with their vehicles.
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