DETROIT — Hyundai and Kia are telling owners of some of their large SUVs to park them outdoors and away from buildings after a series of fires involving trailer hitch wiring.
The Korean automakers are recalling more than 281,000 vehicles in the U.S. because of the problem, but they haven't figured out how to fix it yet. The automakers reported 25 fires or melting incidents in the U.S. and Canada caused by the problem, but no crashes or injuries.
The recalls cover more than 245,000 Hyundai Palisade and over 36,000 Kia Telluride SUVs from the 2020 through 2022 model years.
In documents posted Tuesday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the companies said debris and moisture can accumulate in a circuit board in the tow hitch wiring. That can cause an electrical short, which can lead to a fire.
Hyundai said that dealers will inspect the wiring and remove a fuse as an interim repair. Kia doesn't have an interim repair. The companies say a final repair is being developed.
In addition, dealers from both automakers have stopped selling the affected SUVs until repairs are made.
Hyundai and Kia aren't the only car brands that have been affected by recalls over fire hazards. Earlier this year, Ford had to recall about 139,000 SUVs because the engines of those cars could potentially catch on fire, even when the ignition was turned off.
That issue was caused by a printed circuit board that was susceptible to a short.
Similar to the new recall, Ford also told customers to park their cars outside until they could get a replacement.