Kia recalls 30,000 2020 Telluride SUVs for improper seat belts

Kia said parts from other global markets were installed by mistake.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2020 Kia Telluride
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2020 Kia Telluride

Seat belt assemblies installed might be Middle Eastern-spec.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Have you parked a shiny, new 2020 Kia Telluride in the driveway? There's a chance it will need to go back to the dealership in the near future. The SUV, which just began shipping to dealers months ago, has been recalled for incorrect seat belts.

NHTSA published the recall documents on Thursday after filed them earlier this month. Total, 30,168 Telluride models are affected and may have the incorrect seat belt assemblies onboard. Affected assemblies could be in the front-passenger seat, second or third rows.

In the event of a crash, the improper seat belt assemblies may not secure a child's seat the owner installed. Thus, they do not comply with US regulations. Kia has an explanation for the problem: they're not the correct seat belt parts because they were intended for global Telluride models.

In the documents, Kia said the affected models house seat belt assemblies meant for the Middle East market. That provides a lot of context for why they don't meet US standards since we're talking about totally different regulations between separate geographical locations. Specifically, the components do not have an automatic locking retractor. The lap belt portion of the seat belt will not sufficiently lock into place for a child's seat.

Owners will be told to take their Telluride to a dealership, where a technician will not only inspect the passenger seat and the back rows, but also the driver's seat to ensure the SUVs are up to snuff. If the wrong assembly is present, the technician will install the correct part free of charge. Any models made after Aug. 5 were subject to new inspection processes and Kia believes just 1% of the recalled SUVs actually house the defect.

Letters to inform owners of the recall should start mailing out on Aug. 30.

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