— A Kia tow hitch recall has caused Kia to warn owners to park outside and away from anything that could burn.
According to Kia, a vehicle could catch fire while driving or while parked with the ignition off.
The Kia tow hitch recall includes more than 70,000 of these vehicles equipped with tow hitch harnesses installed as original equipment or purchased as accessories through Kia dealerships.
- 2016-2022 Kia Sorento
- 2021-2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid
- 2022-2023 Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid
- 2017-2022 Kia Sportage
Kia tow hitch recall documents filed with the government say a short-circuit could occur due to debris and moisture contamination on the tow hitch harness module printed circuit board.
Kia is still trying to determine the origin of the circuit board contamination, but a short-circuit can cause a fire in the tow hitch harness module.
A separate Kia tow hitch recall was issued in August for Tellurides following fire reports, but the automaker also received "several" fire allegations for other Kia Sorentos.
In July, Kia issued technical service bulletin (TSB) ELE261 entitled, "Trailer Hitch Accessory Fuse Requirement," to remind dealers to use the required 15-amp fuse when installing a trailer hitch accessory.
The tow hitch module supplier did CT scans of a 2016 Kia Sorento and found damage on the tow hitch harness module printed circuit board. And in September Kia confirmed three car fires and 30 localized melting incidents on 2016-2020 Kia Sorentos.
The latest Kia tow hitch recall was issued after it was determined the suspect harness module is used in the recalled Kia models.
As of September 12, no fires or localized melting involved the 2021-2023 Kia Sorento HEV, 2022-2023 Kia Sorento PHEV or 2017-2022 Kia Sportage.
Kia also says there have been no reports of fatalities, injuries or crashes.
Kia is still working on a fix, but Kia tow hitch recall letters will be mailed November 14, 2022.
Kia owners with concerns should call 800-333-4542 and ask about tow hitch recall number SC249.