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Kia Recalls Basically Every Telluride Sold in America

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By on August 29, 2019

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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