There is another potential fire hazard with certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles, prompting the automaker to issue recalls, stop sales, and advice current owners to park outside away from buildings and other vehicles. There is no problem under the hood, but rather with the trailer cable module at the rear.
This issue affects certain Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride models from the 2020 to 2022 model years. Recall an announcement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stating 36,417 Kias could be at risk of fire, with 245,030 Hyundai potentially involved. Overall, the recall covers 281,447 vehicles.
The problem lies in the tow hitch accessory module that is available in this SUV either through the automaker, or through Hyundai and Kia dealers. Moisture or other contaminants may enter the module, causing a short circuit. That can cause a fire, and because the module is part of the trailer’s wiring harness, it’s always on. Thus, short circuits and fires can occur even with the vehicle turned off and not connected to the trailer.
So far, there have been no reports of fires, accidents, or injuries related to this potential problem in the United States. However, Hyundai reports three related fires have been confirmed at the Hyundai Palisade in Canada, along with eight reported cases from module melting in Canada and the US. In Telluride, one fire was confirmed in Canada, with five cases of module melting.
Obviously, this recall only applies to Palisades and Tellurides equipped with cables and tow modules. For Palisade owners, a temporary solution is to check the module and remove the fuse at the dealer, deactivating it. There is no temporary solution for Telluride. A permanent solution to the problem of both SUVs is being investigated, although the time frame for availability is currently unknown.
This is the latest in a series of fire-related recalls from Hyundai. In July, the Ioniq hybrid was recalled due to a loose connection in the main relay that could have heated things up. In February, half a million midsize SUVs from Hyundai and Kia were recalled due to a malfunctioning anti-lock braking system that could have caused a fire.