Kia owner pressing gas tank (l) Kia dealership (c) Kia in parking lot (r)

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‘Rolled away down a slight slope’: Kia recalls more than 400,000 cars. Here’s why

'They can roll away from attempted Kia boyz thefts.'


Eric Webb


Posted on Apr 2, 2024   Updated on Apr 2, 2024, 10:47 pm CDT

The Kia Telluride is highly rated by car review outlets like Edmunds and Car and Driver. So, consumers will want to know that the car company recalled recent models of the SUV for a possible defect that could send Tellurides rolling away while parked.

According to a March 26 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Kia recalled 427,407 Kia Telluride SUVs. That recall includes “all 2020-2023 model year and certain 2024 model year Telluride vehicles manufactured from January 9, 2019 through October 19, 2023,” the report reads.

The recall report says that the cars’ intermediate shaft and right front driveshaft “may not be fully engaged due to suspected improper assembly by the supplier.” That “partial engagement” can cause damage, which could lead to a vehicle moving on its own while in park—unless the parking brake is engaged. 

Warning signs include a grinding noise and/or reduced motive power. An estimated 1% of vehicles in the recall have the defect, according to NHTSA. The car manufacturer reported 16 cases of unintended Telluride movement while in park and confirmed that six of those involved the defect.

“All owners of the subject vehicles will be notified by first class mail beginning May 15, 2024, with instructions to bring their vehicles to a Kia dealer,” the company told the Daily Dot in a statement via email.

According to Kia, dealers will install updated electronic parking brake software to automatically engage the brake when the gear shifter is in the park position and the engine is off, or when the vehicle is stopped and the driver’s door opens.

“There have been no crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this issue,” Kia’s statement reads. The company said that it will replace the intermediate shaft on recalled vehicles if damage is found, as well as reimburse owners who already had the repair work done. Kia directed customers with questions to call its consumer assistance line at 1-800-333-4542 or to contact their local dealer.

In the meantime, Telluride owners should manually engage their electronic parking brake when parking.

On Reddit, the news caused conversation among car enthusiasts. In a post on the r/KiaTelluride subreddit, one commenter wrote, “Workaround is to engage the parking brake. I’ve always done this and am surprised people don’t.” Another commenter wrote, “This actually happened to my 2021 nine months after purchase. Rolled away down a slight slope … very fortunate the area was a straight path in a parking lot, no pedestrians, hit a wooden electric pole, that split in half fell, but no damage to power lines.”

In a thread on the r/Kia subreddit, one redditor joked, “It’s not a defect, it is an advanced security feature! They can roll away from attempted Kia boyz thefts.”

According to a CNN report about the recall, the Telluride is popular with consumers, and Kia has had trouble keeping manufacturing on pace with demand. 

This isn’t Kia’s first time at the recall rodeo in recent months. In February, the company issued a recall for some 2020 Tellurides due to the possible failure of headlight high beams. The same month, Kia recalled some 2024 Tellurides due to a defect that could cause loss of motive power

And on April 1, the Associated Press reported that most of the 3.4 million Kia and Hyundai vehicles involved in a September for fire risk are still on the road. 

USA Today reported that the most recent Kia recall is one of several announced by the NHTSA in recent days. Also recalled: some Kawasaki and BMW motorcycles, almost 2,000 of Ford’s 2023-2024 Transit vehicles, and 118,723 of Subaru’s 2020-2022 Outback and Legacy cars.

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*First Published: Apr 2, 2024, 11:00 pm CDT