Kia Recalls Basically Every Telluride Sold in America

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Kia’s brand-new Telluride crossover is subject to a recall affecting 30,168 units after some vehicles were presumed to have the incorrect restraint assemblies installed. Considering the model has only been on sale a few months, with U.S. deliveries totaling 27,786 through July, the recall affects every Telluride manufactured before and August 5th. That means if you’ve purchased one, it’s probably included.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documentation suggests a number of American-spec models may have received seat belt assemblies designed for the Middle East. While that sounds like a minor problem, the issue is that those units lack an automatic locking retractor (ALR) necessary for securing child seats. It’s also the component that obnoxiously pins you to the chair anytime the driver taps the brakes or when you attempt to lean forward too quickly.

While emergency locking retractors are far more comfortable, as they don’t automatically cinch up on you, they cannot adequately secure a child restraint system. Many can be swapped to ALR mode, however (check your manual). Kia issued a letter to service centers on August 15th addressing the issue.

“If a non-ALR seat belt is used to secure a child seat, it may not tightly secure a child restraint system, increasing the risk of injury to a child seat occupant in a crash,” the company wrote.

While we wonder why Middle Eastern models don’t get automatic locking retractors, Kia is actively working on getting them back into the second and third rows of American-spec Tellurides. The recall is scheduled to commence in earnest on August 30th, meaning owners won’t have to wait long before notices begin showing up in the mail.

The fix involves dealers taking a look at the units to assess whether or not they’re up to spec. If the wrong components are discovered, Kia will install ALR-equipped seat belt assemblies free of charge. As of now, Kia and the NHTSA report no deaths or injuries stemming from the issue.

Customers who don’t receive a notice can contact the automaker directly at (800) 333-4542 using the recall code SC181. The NHTSA can also be contact through its website or via the vehicle safety hotline at (888) 327-4236. Just be sure to have your VIN handy.

[Image: Kia]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Jerome10 Jerome10 on Aug 30, 2019

    Come on B&B! If this was a Ford or GM product this comment section would already be 75 replies deep about how inept these companies are that they can’t even realize they need to pull the right seat belts out of the right bin to install in the correct vehicle!

    • See 7 previous
    • Bd2 Bd2 on Sep 02, 2019

      @ToddAtlasF1 Art is correct, and there have been plenty to criticize Honda. Numerous issues currently, but even going back 10-15 years (infamous prematurely imploding 6 spd AT) and it's not like Honda has been immune to class action lawsuits.

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Aug 30, 2019

    tHeY'Ve cOMe a LoNg WAy fRom HoW thEy uSEd TO be

    • See 2 previous
    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Aug 30, 2019

      @PrincipalDan They are mehmobiles. My wife is on her second. I don't think it is built as well as the first. In addition to the engine stuff which hasn't bit us yet, it has had the blower motor replaced (warranty, but of course now it has a nice rattle), a Door lock actuator replaced, and I routinely have to spray stuff up the AC drain and run an ozone machine in it to clear out the nastiness that hits you in the face upon turning on the blower (it is garaged and none of my other cars do it). The body seems to be a magnet for dings too...I mean bugs have dented the leading edge of the hood in a couple places. It is just a disposable appliance. Not bad, but not great at anything. The first one went like 150k. It never had an unscheduled trip to the mechanic and at 120k and like 9 years in I replaced the battery Hyundai put in at 15k in 2008 (I got a dead battery at Fort Drum and the dealership explained that cars for that cold of an environment got a beefier battery, which they brought to the house and installed. Service on the new one has not been that smooth.

  • Golden2husky Have to say he did an excellent job on the C7, especially considering the limited budget he was given. I am very happy with my purchase.
  • Marty The problem isn't range; it's lack of electricity in multi-unit building parking. All you need is level 1 - a standard 120v wall socket - and if you're plugged in 10 hours overnight you get 280 miles per week or more. That's enough for most folks but you can use public charging to supplement when needed. Installing conduit circuits and outlets is simple and cheap; no charge stations needed.
  • 2manyvettes Tadge was at the Corvette Corral at the Rolex 24 hour sports car race at the end of January 2023. During the Q&A after his remarks someone stood up and told him "I will never buy an electric Corvette." His response? "I will never sell you an electric Corvette." Take that Fwiw.
  • Socrates77 They're pinching pennies for the investors like always, greed has turned GM into a joke of an old corporate American greed.
  • Analoggrotto looking at this takes me right back to the year when “CD-ROM” first entered public lexicon