Kia recalls 70,000 Sportage, Sorento SUVs, advises owners to park outside because of fire risk

Kia is recalling roughly 70,000 of its Sorento and Sportage SUV models from 2016 to 2023 and advising owners to park outside over a faulty tow hitch that poses a fire risk, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

The recall expands on one the Korean automaker issued in August, which advised owners of certain Kia Telluride SUV models, around 36,000 in total, to park outside because of a similar issue. That recall also affected 245,000 Hyundai Palisade SUV models.

The exact models affected are the Sorento model years 2016-2022, Sorento Hybrid model years 2021-2023, Sorento Plug-in Hybrid 2022-2023 and the Kia Sportage 2017-2022, according to the NHTSA. Kia estimates that 1% of the recalled cars have the defect.

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Three fires have been confirmed among the recalled Sorento models along with 30 "localized melting incidents," according to the NHTSA, but no crashes, fatalities or injuries were reported.

The 2021 Kia Sorento is among the models listed in the recall.
The 2021 Kia Sorento is among the models listed in the recall.

These vehicles either come with a tow hitch harness built-in or purchased as an add-on accessory. Debris and moisture can accumulate in the tow hitch harness’ circuit board and cause a short-circuit, according to the NHTSA.

Initial Kia recall: Kia, Hyundai recall more than 280,000 SUVs, advise parking outside due to fire risk

Dealers were instructed to stop selling the tow hitch harnesses.

Kia is still working on a remedy, but said it would notify owners on a further course of action between Nov. 14 and Nov. 18.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kia recalls 70,000 Sorento and Sportage SUVs due to fire risk