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Kia Telluride recall involves 427,000 SUVs over rollaway risk


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In a rare stumble for the Kia Telluride, the automaker is recalling 427,407 units over a potential rollaway risk. With the relevant assembly dates of vehicles in the recall pool running from January 9, 2019, to October 19, 2023, we're talking about nearly the entire production run of Kia's massively popular three-row SUV. In cars with the problem, splines on the right front driveshaft and the intermediate driveshaft (located between the two front driveshafts, hence "intermediate") might not engage fully in some instances. Kia's recall report said the problem is "suspected improper assembly by the supplier" of the bearing and bracket assembly where the shafts unite.

Over time, the imprecise alignment can damage the splines. When that happens, good engagement is impossible between the parts that turn the front wheels — the same parts that prevent the front wheels from moving when the transmission is in Park. Kia wrote in its recall report, "Damaged shaft splines may result in unintended vehicle movement while in Park if the parking brake is not engaged."

The Kia North America Safety Office began receiving owner complaints in April 2022, drivers noting the "transmission not holding in Park or unintended vehicle movement," the inability to shift the transmission into Park or Reverse, grinding noise, vibration, "or noise when hitting [a] bump and/or while turning." 

Accidental rollaway is one of the worst phrases in the industry, so Telluride owners should get this checked and fixed ASAP. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends drivers manually activate the parking brake in the meantime whenever they park the vehicle.

Kia believes just 1% of the total recall population might be affected; the recall timeline record states that of the 16 reported cases of unintended vehicle movement while in Park, only six where found "to have spline damage/wear on intermediate shaft consistent with intermediate shaft and right-hand front axle partial engagement."

The remedy is a two-step process. Kia says owners should stop by their dealers, and the dealers "will install updated Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) software to automatically engage the EPB to prevent unintended vehicle movement when the gear shifter is in the 'P' (Park) position and the engine is turned off, or when the vehicle is stopped in any gear shifter position and the driver’s door opens." The NHTSA notice makes no mention of the second step, but Automotive News reports that dealers will also inspect the shafts and bearing and bracket assembly, and replace parts that need it.

Letters to owners will go out by May 15. In the meantime, owners are welcome to contact Kia customer service at 800-333-4542 and reference internal recall number SC303. Telluride drivers are also welcome to contact the NHTSA Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 (TTY 800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov, for more information on campaign number 24V214000.

There's no mention of whether the mechanically similar Hyundai Palisade could be affected by the same issue.




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