Kia Telluride Recall: High Beam Safety Concern

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Kia Telluride Recall High Beam Safety Concern

Kia America Inc. has acknowledged an issue affecting slightly over 35,000 units of the 2020 model year Telluride. According to documents published by the NHTSA, vehicles equipped with halogen headlights may encounter failures with the high beams due to damage to the high beam shield gear mechanism caused by heat from the halogen bulbs.

This recall traces its origins back to January 2023, when the federal agency reached out to Kia America regarding complaints about high beam loss in 2020 models. Subsequently, the Office of Defects Investigation initiated a preliminary evaluation into the matter.

Shortly thereafter, the automaker proposed a plan to replace the headlights at no cost to customers and extend the warranty to 15 years or 150,000 miles (approximately 240,000 kilometers).

Responding to the ODI’s preliminary evaluation, Kia argued that high beam failure doesn’t pose an unreasonable safety risk. While low beams suffice for most driving scenarios, the absence of high beams in low-light conditions increases the risk of accidents.

Kia Telluride Recall High Beam Safety Concern

Kia notified owners about the headlight replacement and warranty extension campaign on April 25, 2023. Continuous monitoring of field data revealed numerous instances of high beam failures, prompting Kia to raise awareness by renotifying Telluride owners on October 13, 2023.

In January 2024, the ODI convened with Kia America’s safety experts. By February 2024, the federal agency learned that Kia was aware of 4,975 warranty claims, 839 teaching cases, and 543 customer complaints received between January 2019 and February 2024.

Given the substantial volume of warranty claims and complaints, along with reports of three alleged but unconfirmed deer strikes, the Office of Defects Investigation deemed a safety recall necessary. Consequently, Kia decided to recall every potentially affected SUV produced for the 2020 model year with halogen lights.

The recall encompasses 35,031 vehicles, consisting of three-row sport utility vehicles manufactured in the USA between January 2019 and November 2019. Kia notes that the introduction of an improved shield gear and additional venting for enhanced heat dissipation occurred with the 2020 model year.

Dealers will be instructed to apply a clip to secure the shield gear to the shaft or replace the headlamp assembly by April 22. Owners who incurred repair expenses before this recall due to high beam failures caused by the recall condition are eligible for reimbursement upon providing proof of payment.

Owner notifications will be dispatched around April 25. In the interim, 2020 Kia Telluride owners can determine their vehicles’ inclusion in the recall by entering the 17-character VIN on the automaker’s website.

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