Hyundai and Kia are recalling 281,000 vehicles over the potential for fire or melting. The automakers have observed 25 incidents of fire or melting in North America.
Though no crashes or injuries have been reported, the Korean automakers are telling SUV owners to park their vehicles outside and away from structures. Around 245,000 Hyundai Palisades and 36,000 Kia Tellurides built between 2020 and 2022 are included in the recall.
The fire risk is due to an accessory tow hitch that was sold through dealerships. Moisture can collect in the harness module, causing it to short circuit. The NHTSA says that the short can lead to a vehicle fire while “driving or while parked and turned off,” so all the time.
Both automakers have issued a stop sale order for the SUVs, but the NHTSA says they can continue driving them. Hyundai dealers can take interim measures to reduce fire risk before a complete repair is issued. The fix involves removing the fuse from the tow hitch module, but it only works for the Palisade. The NHTSA says a fix is not yet available for the Telluride.
The automakers will notify affected owners by mail. The NHTSA says owners will be notified by October 17. Repairs will be carried out by a dealer at no cost to the customer.