2020 Kia Telluride Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Visibility/wiper and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

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The 2020 Kia Telluride was the first year for the model. It came with a lot of hype and excitement as drivers sought to find a lower-cost SUV filled with many luxury features. Even the company boasted that this model is “Made for Adventures.” After some time in the market, it didn’t take long to realize that the adventures Kia was referring to weren’t the ones owners wanted to have. Between excessive shaking at highway speeds and cracking windshield, there is a lot that the automaker didn’t get right on this first edition.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2020 Kia Telluride

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Exterior Lighting
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Power Train
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control

Problems with the Visibility/Wiper

The first windshields were installed about 14 years after the original cars were designed. That means they have been in existence for more than 100 years already. In this time, the design should be perfected and work to provide optimal clarity. Sure, everyone hits some stones now and then and faces minor imperfections. Typically, these are simple to fix and don’t cause much concern. Kia, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to know the right way to make a windshield.

One NHTSA user wrote, “This is my second report. My windshield on my 2020 Kia Telluride is cracked again. This time it’s on the passenger side of the windshield. It’s a long crack that starts at the A-Pillar and travels across the windshield. When I got in my car to go somewhere I saw the crack. I am the only driver. I never saw or heard anything hit the windshield this time. It cost $1,500 dollars to repair it last time, which was four months ago. It’s going to get expensive if this keeps up. I have no idea how this occurred.”

This isn’t just one complaint about this situation, but there is an unending chain of other drivers facing the exact same problem. It’s clear that Kia hasn’t learned yet how to make a windshield, despite more than 100 years of innovation. While the automaker is attempting to compete with luxury manufacturers, they will find trouble doing so if the quality doesn’t change. Furthermore, in Service Bulletin #TT074, they talk about a button in the rearview mirror getting stuck and automatically dialing roadside assistance. This isn’t just annoying but continues to show the difficulty this company has with the simple design features. Of course, if only drivers could get the roadside technician to haul this SUV away, there would probably be some happier travelers on the road.

Problems with the Powertrain

The Kia Telluride is marketed as a vehicle that excels about the others in its class. To do this, the ride must be insanely comfortable, which it’s clear that it is not.

One NHTSA user has illustrated what many drivers find with this model. “Shortly after purchasing this AWD vehicle, there is a distinct vibration at highway speeds. The vibration starts at 67 mph and is there until speeds exceed 75 mph, where things start to smooth out once again. There is also an odd noise inside the vehicle while the vehicle is traveling in this speed range. Vibration is felt in the steering wheel, gas pedal and bottom of seats. Rear seat occupants also feel this vibration. Local dealer has road force balanced the tires but has made no improvement. There definitely is a serious drivetrain issue causing this vibration. Very disappointed with the Telluride as a result of this, but honestly, disappointed in the Telluride altogether.”

There aren’t any particular service bulletins that deal with this issue directly. However, Service Bulletin #TSBCHA097 does instruct the technicians to inspect the steering shaft universal joint. They don’t claim there is any problem, they simply desire to review it for “proper installation.” They claim that this action was only taken because there was one instance of decoupling found during a regular inspection. The company also makes it clear that this inspection doesn’t need to be performed with customer notification.

Even though they aren’t planning to tell customers about the problem, they later talk about the severity this might cause. Technicians are to “NOT release the vehicle to the customer until directed to do so. That means plenty of drivers are operating possibly affected vehicles and aren’t aware of it at all until they go in for regular service. At which point, drivers find out that they can’t have their vehicle back because of a safety issue. Sounds like recall material. Of course, the Telluride needs to live up to its motto and create plenty of adventures – sitting at the dealership is just not one of them.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Cadillac pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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