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Kia has expanded the recall of a tow hitch harness that can catch fire due to an electrical short, the NHTSA disclosed Monday. The more extensive recall includes newer Kia Sorento and Kia Sportage crossover SUVs equipped with a tow hitch harness.

Moisture or debris on the circuit board in the harness module can cause a short circuit and increase the risk of a fire, a Kia investigation included. It applies to either a factory- or dealer-installed harness made by supplier Mobis Parts America.

The SUVs could catch fire while driving or while parked with the engine off, prompting Kia to advise owners to park their vehicles outside and away from buildings, garages, and other structures until the issue is remedied.

The expanded recall encompasses 70,887 SUVs equipped with a Genuine Kia tow hitch harness assembly. It affects the following vehicles:

2016-2022 Kia Sorento

2021-2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid

2022-2023 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid

2017-2022 Kia Sportage

Kia identified four vehicle fires and 31 incidents of melting around the harness, but it reported no injuries or crashes related to the issue.

In late August, Kia and sister company Hyundai recalled the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride three-row SUVs for the same concern.

Kia has advised dealers to stop selling the tow hitch harness and to return unsold harnesses back to Kia. Owners can expect notification of the expanded recall as early as Nov. 9, and Kia will reimburse owners who have had the harness repaired or deleted. A remedy has not been finalized. For more info, contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542 or visit Kia’s recall website.

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