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Trail of Fire: Kia adds Sportage, Sorento models to tow hitch fire risk recall

Washington, D.C., United States — The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced another Kia recall, in addition to the Telluride recall issued by the automaker last month.

A further 70,000 models–this time of the Kia Sportage and Sorento varieties–have been added to the recall, prompted by dozens of reports of the models overheating or catching fire due to moisture and debris in the tow hitch circuit board.

The new recall notice covers about 70,887 model year 2016 through 2022 Sorentos; 2021 and 2022 Sorento Hybrids; 2022 through 2023 Sorento Plug-In Hybrids and 2017 through 2022 Sportage vehicles equipped with an OEM tow-hitch harness (whether it was original equipment on the vehicle, or purchased accessory through a Kia dealer).

To date, the NHTSA and Kia have been informed of at least three vehicle fires and 30 melting incidents related to tow hitch issues. Cases have been reported both in the U.S. and in Canada.

In August 2022, Reddit user sadinw posted this image of their 2022 Sorento, claiming that “it’s not only the Telluride with a tow hitch problem.” (Reddit/u/sadinw)

Kia has yet to release a repair remedy for the recall issue. The OEM has ceased sales of its Telluride model, which contained tow hitch accessories that may “smolder, melt of catch fire when the vehicles are in the parked position.”

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