By on August 29, 2019

Image: Kia Motors

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]

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60 Comments on “Kia Recalls Basically Every Telluride Sold in America...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “While that sounds like a minor problem, the issue is that those units lack an automatic locking retractor (ALR) necessary for securing child seats.”

    The status of these vehicles as family wagons means this should have been discovered within 5 min of the first retail sale.

    “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.”

    My TourX is so aggressive in that regard that I often vigorously attack an on ramp only to find myself pinned to the seat afterward. But it makes me smile.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      You are making the assumption that the owner actually knows the proper way of securing a car seat.

      Also the ALR is not responsible for your seat belt locking up when taking a corner hard. No ALR on a driver’s seat since they don’t think someone in a car seat will be driving. So it is a ELR doing it.

      • 0 avatar
        SlowMyke

        The vast majority of child seats use the anchors to install now, not the old seatbelt method. I’m not at all surprised it took so long to discover the fault. So long as they anchors are present, one should be able to safely use child seats. I suspect that may also be the reason the middle East doesn’t need the locking seatbelts in back.

        I would be more concerned with full-sized people sitting in back without the retractors/locks. I wonder if this is how the issue was actually discovered.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I’m surprised that there wasn’t a distinction between the models with 2nd row captains chairs and 2nd row bench seat.

          The article makes it sound like the error was universal.

          • 0 avatar
            SlowMyke

            I’m not entirely sure, but i think it’s either pretty standard or maybe even required to have anchors in the second row seats, regardless of type – bench or captain. I think maybe the real issue stems from the third row. I have a 14 CX9 and the 3rd row doesn’t have anchors at all. You have to use the seatbelts if you want to install a carseat. Perhaps the third row doesn’t need or isn’t equipped standardly with the anchors, thus necessitating the proper belt tensioners.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Still not a record. I remember Microsoft issuing first update to the software on a day of release.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I guess the black wheel movement has officially jumped the shark. I never really felt it, but I still dig the black basketweave with the polished lip. Preferably on a scorching red car. Or black or white. Or most any color actually.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      My dedicated -2 winter wheels are black, and they’re not aging well. They again they were there cheapest I could find several years ago when I got my Focus ST that had performance summer tires as standard kit.

      But with the 2 septate lug patterns, I’ve been able to mount them on the Mazda as well.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    I looked at the telluride at a dealership. I wasnt a fan of all the gray plastic made to look like brushed aluminum…makes it look like a cheap range rover knockoff.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I can’t deal with the droopy butt and the fact that it looks cross-eyed with the DRLs. The boomerang lights don’t work.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        Dear tankinbeans: ‘Cross-eyed’ people can read— sometimes, even take offense when others call their peepers ‘wonk’, ‘cross’ or ‘lazy’.

        The condition’s called amblyopia or cycloplegia and it hurts my feelings to read what you’ve written.

        Signed— TTAC’s resident (and most combatant!) amblyope.

        • 0 avatar
          ravenuer

          So if he had said “it looks amblyopiad with the DRLs”, it would have been ok?

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            It would not have— it is not okay to use biology to describe negative feelings, in negative ways.

            It takes the dignity of people that possess that biology without their consent.

            Put in baser terms: if we anthropomorphize a car with too much chin spoiler and liken it to an ethnic group’s cultural legacy of lip-stretching— is that okay? It is not.

            This is not okay.

        • 0 avatar
          tankinbeans

          My mistake. I honestly hadn’t even thought about that, though I try to be conscious of how my actions and words might affect others. I will do my best to prevent it moving forward.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Its interior is genuinely nicer than basically anything in its class at its price point. You gonna tell me a Pilot, Explorer, or Traverse have better interiors? Please.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Interior wise I’d put it up against a Cadillac XT6 and if you removed the badges I’m guessing most of the non enthusiast public would have trouble choosing the more expensive vehicle correctly.

  • avatar

    Who buys these Korean monsters anyway?

    • 0 avatar
      3800FAN

      People in massachusetts. I see them everywhere. My issue with it is it looks like fake luxury. Like the kia amanti but an suv. A cheaper asian copy of a european design. Yes its alot cheaper and more reliable but in the end a company has to forge their own design and not make knockoffs.

      • 0 avatar

        Thats what Koreans were and still doing for years – knockoffs. Like Samsung Galaxy was nothing more than iPhone knockoff, even today. Used to make knockoffs of American cars when American cars had prestige. Like all Russian cars were knockoffs of American cars (Packard, Lincoln, Cadillac) and cheap ones – of Europeans cars (like Zapor was FIAT 500 knockoff). Same with Japanese ad Korean cars.

        • 0 avatar
          quaquaqua

          Wanna tell me what American car this Telluride is trying to emulate? This isn’t 1985, ya know. Ain’t nobody payin’ attention to what GM or Ford are doing.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          “Like Samsung Galaxy was nothing more than iPhone knockoff,”

          Is that sarcasm? Recent iPhones owe Samsung far more than vice-versa. A senior engineer on the iPhone team I graduated from college with would laugh at this statement. Years ago, the Galaxy 3S basically took the iPhone’s international market and I asked my friend what they were going to do to respond in the US. He said they were going to use their lawyers, insinuating that they really didn’t have anything in the pipeline product wise that was competitive. Apple marketing is even better than their legal team though, and their customers are their greatest resource of all. Bleat, bleat.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I figured you as an iPhone guy. They are basically the Toyota of phones. They just work, they have fantastic resale, and they last a long time (by last I mean are actually supported by the manufacturer with OS updates and security fixes not custom ROMS, etc). The 5S just fell off for support. That is 6 years. Is there an Android phone that got anywhere close to that support?

            I don’t buy flagship devices but if I did it would likely be an iPhone. As it is my only Apple device is a heavily modded iPod mini (larger SSD and battery) from 2005 that is still running. The clickwheel is still the best way to interact with a music device. If they put it on a phone, id buy.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            And by Samsung copying them I assume he is talking about back when the Tundra was new (2007) when everyone but Apple was trying to copy the Moto Razr.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            “I figured you as an iPhone guy.”

            I get called all sorts of horrible things here, but that sort of stings.

            As for the Toyota thing, I’ve had more coworkers lamenting iPhone reliability issues than I have had complaining about their Androids. iPhones also have a long track record of being introduced with glaring flaws so the early adopters are motivated to buy another in less than a year. They’re the tampons of consumer electronics, there are always strings attached.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            My Androids typically break at the charge connector before 2 years is up. This is fine because I have found updates slow to a crawl after the new model comes out. No way I’d do a grand for something with 2 years of support. I buy a mid level phone annually now, typically a long in the tooth model on sale for 2-300 bucks. No case and no tears if I break it. I just hope LG keeps putting dedicated DAC’s in their mid tier phones. I liked the Pixel 3a, but it wouldn’t push a decent set of headphones. Still, as it is an LG I know I’ll be SOL waiting for updates so it isn’t a long term deal, but at 190 bucks I can live with that.

            Samsung makes beautiful devices now, but good lord I despise their skin. An Android One Galaxy would be tempting.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I had my Galaxy S3 for more than four years. People were shocked when I said what it was towards the end. I never put it in a case or protected its screen and it was just fine functionally. I might still have it, but it died a violent death in 2017 when I had to choke out a pit bull that was tearing my ex-girlfriend’s little terrier to pieces.

            Now I’ve got an S7 in an Otter case that was a gift. I have more faith in Pelicans, a friend of mine having recovered her Pelican-clad S7 after an extended soak in the Pacific. When I got the S7, I turned down the opportunity to pay more for a curved screen S7 or an S8. If I kill it today, it will have cost me $240 a year. I’m not interested in a new phone for any reason other than loss.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I’ve had (or bought for others) a succession of iPhones since 2008, probably about 20 in total. Of those, just two have had issues: a 4S that stopped accepting a charge and a 6S that suffered the battery failure that afflicted so many of that model.

            My mom is a luddite; I just replaced her five-year-old iPhone 5 with an iPhone 8. The 5 is in perfect condition even though she carried it without a case.

            The thing that fails about iPhones is the Lightning port end of charging cables. Doesn’t matter if Apple or third party; they all fail eventually. My primary bedside charging spot kills about one cable a year.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Unfortunately I work in the industry and see first hand how some of these vulnerabilities are exploited. No way will I own a phone outside of the window which it is receiving security patches. I care less about OS updates unless there are glaring issues (My old LG V20). I don’t worry about nation state hollywood level BS (if an intelligence agency wants to waste time on me then frankly that is a win for the good guys lol), but good old fashioned criminals who just want to steal your money can make your life miserable.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @Dal, agree on the lightning cables. Still, I wish the Android makers would get this…I’d rather my cable fail than the port on the phone, but neither is best.

            I wish they would go to a “mag safe” style connector that MacBooks used to have. Even Apple abandoned that though. The last gen MacBook Pro sent me back to Windows after 3 generations because of that and the fact that I got sick of buying dongles on travel because I forgot them. I dont mind an external optical drive but I want everything else in the case. I actually prefer Linux on my current notebook to OSX and I get to use those wonderful clicky IBM model M/F keyboards as a bonus.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Art, the reason I upgraded my mom is because the latest OS I could run on her phone wasn’t getting patched anymore.

            Now with the impending release of Catalina and likely abandonment of El Capitan, I have to make a decision about her laptop… (shrug)

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah, you are right: Apple stole iPhone from whatever Samsung was capable of coming with 10 years ago, like flip phone?

          • 0 avatar

            For the record I never owned Apple products (but my wife does and only Apple) and have no experience in iOS (although it is still Linux based). Ten years ago I developed middleware and applications for then new Android OS, namely Android NDK/SDK well and Linux.JNI. Yeah it is also Linux at core. I own and owned Motorola smartphones because they are sturdy. My current phone is Droid Turbo. It is 2014 Verizon model I bought used in 2016 from swappa.com for $180. And it is adequate for my needs. BTW all our HW team members own Motorolas, not because they are fanciful but because they are sturdy and durable. But that was before Lenovo bought them. Whatever they make now – I do not care so my next phone will be Pixel 3 which I chose because of camera and decision to move to Google FI. I am going to buy it after Google releases Pixel 4. BTW right now you can buy new Pixel 3 from Best Buy for only $299.99. I plan to buy it for $200 used in October or November.

        • 0 avatar
          don1967

          To dismiss Korean cars as “knockoffs” in 2003 was valid. In 2019 it’s just lazy.

          Name a modern vehicle that doesn’t resemble something else produced within the past 100 years in some small way if you squint hard enough. It can’t be done.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          First off, the Telluride was designed by Americans at Kia’s California design studio.

          And the iPhone, itself, is a knock-off of numerous companies/features (Steve Jobs proudly proclaimed that they only “stole” from the best).

          The LG Prada debuted before the iPhone and the the basic design of the iPhone is basically the same as digital photo frames, including those made by Samsung.

          And plenty of people are buying the Telluride; Kia basically sells every one they make and in particular, can’t keep up w/ demand for the top SX trim w/ the Prestige package.

          Even after about half a year on the market, the Telluride is selling for above MSRP.

          And oh, Hyundai and Kia have already been making affordable alternatives to Teslas.

          • 0 avatar

            I worked with LG engineers on LG Prada. Yeah it looked cool but SW was nowhere as good as in iPhone. BTW LG engineers were looking for any opportunity to stay in US. They universally hated LG and Korea in general. I worked with different LG engineers different times on different projects including flip phones. They worked all day and nights until solving all problems. I think quality suffered from this approach. Do not know when they slept. Same as Japanese engineers.

      • 0 avatar
        dantes_inferno

        >People in massachusetts. I see them everywhere. My issue with it is it looks like fake luxury.

        There are two types in the world: Those who are, and those who wannabe.

        There are way too many wannabes in the world. It’s all about using fakery in order to project an image of perceived success. Actual talent doesn’t seem to matter these days as long as there’s the appearance of success.

        Cases in point: Reality TV, Instagram “Influencers”, etc.etc.etc….

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I would. My 09 Sedona is a “Korean monster”, and technically it’s heavier than a Telluride. A Telluride is on my list if the Sedona ever bites the dust.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Emergency Locking Retractors do lock up on you when you lean forward to quickly.

    ALRs lock up when you have fully extended the seat belt to put it in that mode when you are securing a car seat. Then it doesn’t release until the seat belt is allowed to fully retract.

  • avatar
    quaquaqua

    Geez, nice sensationalist headline. This thing has been on sale for like 4 months. KIA *DESTROYED* BY NHTSA!! YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHY (CLICK FOR GALLERY…. PIC 5 WILL BLOW YOU AWAY)

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    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!

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Jerome10: You beat me to it. I was logging in to say the same thing.

      Oh Hell, let’s just blame Ford and GM and the UAW anyway. It’ll be more fun that way…

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        It almost feels as-if the American two-party system has resulted in a populace/collective-consciousness that can only understand two variables— and equates them, selfishly— as right/wrong, to self-validate.

        Almost

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      If this was GM or Ford, they’d have fought the recall for a decade while the bodies piled up.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        @Todd, yeah not like Honda with those airbags, or Toyota with those gas pedals, or VW with, well most things.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Everyone had Takata airbags, but it stuck to Honda because there was nothing else to attack Honda over. Toyota gas pedals were fake news. VWs failings are a blur.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I attack Honda because they found the flaw, changed the design, and then failed to notify the NHTSA of the flaw thus avoiding fixing them. As I recall, the floormat thing was just people being stupid but there was also a seperate issue with the pedals. I do know they dragged their feet on the black box data and making it public. Not the story that the media made it out to be, for sure, but not the Audi 5000 on 60 Minutes or Chevy Trucks on Dateline either.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            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.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I was came here for the “Really, they can’t get the seatbelts right” comments prevalent in the recent post about a Ford seatbelt recall. I was disappointed to not see them, but not surprised.

  • avatar
    IBx1

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

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Just be glad it’s an easy fix and they left the metal flakes out of the motor this time.

      Hyundia/KIA – WHAT A DISGRACE!

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I knew someone who got a new motor in their Sonata based on that recall.

        It had over 100,000 on it and they were thinking about a new car but decided that they might drive the Hyundai another 100,000.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          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.


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