Recall Alert: A Faulty Trailer Brake Light Affects Nearly 87,000 Kia Tellurides

The 2020 Kia Telluride has seen massive success in the past year with over 58,000 sold in 2019 alone. Of course, Kia has sold many more of them since the end of last year and unfortunately, some of those units will have to pay a visit to the dealership soon. Nearly 87,000 Tellurides are subject to a recall concerning a faulty trailer brake light issue when the Smart Cruise Control system is activated as it can lead to a serious accident from the rear of the vehicle.

What does the recall involve?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recall affects Kia Telluride models with the Smart Cruise Control Function as the system does not activate the brake lights when the cruise control and automatic braking system is engaged.

As stated on NHTSA’s Safety Recall Report:

“The subject vehicles are equipped with Smart Cruise Control (SCC). One of SCC’s functions is to independently apply the brakes to decelerate the vehicle when the system senses a vehicle in front of it within the set distance. When a trailer is connected to the subject vehicles, the trailer brake lights do not illuminate when the SCC independently brakes to decelerate the vehicle.”

As such, the faulty brake light can more than likely lead to an accident from the rear of the vehicle when it’s towing a trailer as the following vehicle may not be notified that the Telluride is braking. While the recall is not VIN specific, it does affect 86,921 units that were built between January 9, 2019, and July 21, 2020.

2020 Kia Telluride | Kia-00
2020 Kia Telluride | Kia

What is the proposed remedy for the recall?

Fortunately, it should be a simple fix. According to CNET, Kia Telluride owners will need to bring their vehicles to a Kia dealer where a certified technician will replace the existing wire harness in the main fuse box with a new one. The new harness will then be able to send the signal to the brake light when the Smart Cruise Control system is active in order for it to light up.

2021 Kia Nightfall Edition parked in dirt
2021 Kia Nightfall Edition | Kia

Why Is the Kia Telluride So Popular?

Will the new 2021 Kia Tellurides be affected?

Fortunately, the new 2021 Kia Tellurides will have the newer harness already installed, so future owners won’t have to worry about it. New models typically already have most of the “kinks” worked out of them after the first model year, this recall is one of them.

In case you do currently own a 2020 Kia Telluride, we suggest that you get the recall fix done on it even if you don’t normally tow anything. While it might seem trivial to most Telluride owners, you never know when you might need to tow something, or perhaps, if you end up selling the vehicle later on, then the new owner will not have to worry about it. Current 2020 Telluride owners should be receiving the recall notice in the mail starting on September 10, 2020, and Kia dealers will be notified of it starting on September 2, 2020.