If you drive a Kia Sportage or a Kia Sorento, then be sure to park it outside for the time being. Don’t park under any covered surfaces or near structures because your SUV could go up in flames. Thousands of Kia Sportage and Kia Sorento models are at risk.
Kia Sportage and Kia Sorento recall due to fire
If you drive a Kia Sportage or Kia Sorento, see if your SUV is at risk of catching on fire. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), the Sportage and Sorento could spark flames while driving or parked with the engine off.
The issue is related to the tow hitch harness. Debris and moisture may collect in the circuit board of the harness module, leading to a short circuit that increases the fire risk.
Kia’s investigation found that the problem is related to the equipment supplied and manufactured by Mobis Parts America. Also, it applies to harnesses that were installed by the factory and dealerships.
The models at risk include the 2016 – 2022 Sorento, 2021 – 2021 Sorento Hybrid, 2022 – 2023 Sorento Plug-in Hybrid, and the 2017 – 2022 Sportage. Overall, there are about 70,887 SUVs with the Genuine Kia tow hitch installed.
Kia is aware of four vehicle fires and 31 accounts of melting around the tow hitch harness due to this problem. But so far, there have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue.
What to do if your Sorento or Sportage is at risk
If your Kia Sorento or Kia Sportage falls under this recall, then be careful about where you park. Kia advises drivers to avoid parking under structures, away from buildings, and from garages. Basically, park outside.
An official remedy for this problem hasn’t been released. However, Kia advised dealers to stop selling vehicles equipped with the tow hitch harness equipped. Unsold harnesses will be returned to Kia.
Owners of vehicles at risk may be notified via may beginning around November 9th. Hopefully, Kia will have a solution by then. If you already had the toe hitch repaired or replaced, then Kia will reimburse you for the service costs.
You can contact the Kia customer service line at 1-800-333-4542 with any questions that you may have. Also, you can visit the Kia recall site here.
To see if your SUV is at risk right now, visit the NHSTA site and enter your 17-digit vehicle identification number (V.I.N).
Why does this Kia problem sound familiar?
This Kia Sorento and Kia Sportage recall is part of a much larger problem. In August, there was a recall issued for the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade due to the same tow hitch harness issue.
That recall covers over 281,447 vehicles. It’s unclear if a permanent solution has been released for these larger SUVs. However, Kia and Hyundai dealerships have been removing a fuse to make the system inert in the meantime.
We will keep an eye on Kia SUVs to provide updates as soon as they’re released. Until then, remember to check your mailbox in November for a recall notice and park outside.