2023 Kia Telluride Problems, Issues & Top Complaints

Electrical system and engine issues, together with cracking windshields and exploding sunroofs are the main causes of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

Introduced in 2019 as a 2020 model, the Kia Telluride is Kia’s flagship SUV. Kia maintains that the new 2023 Telluride is made for “adventures in the wild.” But owners whose SUVs have windshields that crack spontaneously, sunroofs that explode, accelerators that stop working, and instrument cluster screens that fail, are questioning the quality of adventure they can expect.   

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2020   2021   2022

Most Common Problems with the 2023 Kia Telluride

The most common problems owners of the 2023 Kia Telluride are reporting to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) are horribly similar to the problems experienced with the 2022 model. Specifically, these relate to windshields that crack spontaneously, sunroofs that explode, and instrument cluster display screens that fail and blank out.

NHTSA complaints show that 2023 owners have other problems too, including issues with the accelerator malfunctioning.

While there aren’t any complaints about the Telluride airbags, there is a recall that potentially affects 31,943 2023 Telluride vehicles. NHTSA Campaign Number 23V035000 warns that a “manufacturing error” has impacted the wire harnesses for the second-row seat airbags. The danger is that they may be damaged which would result in them not deploying in the event of a crash. This, of course, increases the risk of those in the SUV being injured.

Another issue that’s highlighted in NHTSA complaints and on Telluride Forums is that the 2023 model is being shipped without a tow package. This is because of the urgent safety recall that Kia issued in August 2022 for 36,417 2020-2022 Telluride vehicles. The problem is that they still don’t have the necessary recall repair parts, which means that they don’t have safe hitch harnesses for new Tellurides either.

2023 Kia Telluride Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
25
25
Electrical System
20
20
Visibility/wiper
19
19
Power Train
13
13
Vehicle Speed Control
13
13
Visibility:windshield
9
9
Engine
8
8
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
5
5
Fuel/propulsion System
5
5
Steering
4
4

Problems with Windshield Cracking

This problem echoes what owners of 2020, 2021, and 2022 owners have been reporting about faulty Telluride windshields.

An owner from Georgia was subjected to the experience while driving home after purchasing a new 2023 Telluride. It started with a “pop” that sounded like the noise an empty water bottle might make. At first, unaware of where the sound had come from, those in the SUV eventually noticed a fine line crack in the lower passenger-side corner of the windshield extending from the edge of the glass towards the center, curving upwards. It was about 9-10 inches long. They contacted the dealer, only “to be told they can’t help us.”

Similarly, an owner from Ohio heard “a very loud and scary popping noise.” After pulling off the highway at the next exit, he found a large chip and a crack in the top of the windshield. “I did not see a rock hit it so I’m not sure how it cracked.” This, the complaint states, is “completely unacceptable and a safety concern if the windshield cracks this easily.”

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Exploding Sunroofs

As with cracking windshields, this is a well-documented problem that many 2020, 2021, and 2022 Telluride owners have complained to the NHTSA about.

According to a 2023 owner from Florida, while “driving down the road, (we) heard a noise and the sunroof exploded. Thankfully we had the visor closed.”

Faulty Instrument Cluster Display Screens

Complaints about the faulty cluster screens follow the same theme as those made about the 2022 Telluride.

For example, an owner from Florida states that the “driver instrument display is black, (with) no information displayed. It just happened when starting the car, no display. These LCD displays are dangerous. Go back to analog. I have NO information about anything going on with the car or its speed. It’s dangerous to drive. Multiple engine start/stop cycles do nothing.”

An owner from California says the “Driver Instrument Display is off and won’t turn back on. I have tried turning off the car for extended periods of time and turning it back on but no luck. Not having this display on is a safety hazard not just because I can’t see critical information.” It also affected other critical functions:

  • No audio from the turn signals
  • No audio from the reverse sensors even when I’m about to hit what is behind me
  • I can’t tell what gear I’m in from the gear selector as the light won’t come on

This is not acceptable as I just bought this car about a week ago from making this post (February 15, 2023).” The vehicle doesn’t even have 150 miles on the clock.

While there have been 2 recalls for 2022 Tellurides, Kia has not acknowledged that it is also an issue with the 2023 model.

Lack of Acceleration Problems

A vehicle with acceleration problems is an accident waiting to happen, which owners of 2023 Tellurides know.

An owner from Utah has experienced acceleration issues twice in a Telluride with only 200 miles on the clock. Both incidents happened on the same day. “While accelerating uphill, the RPMs drop and the acceleration dies and we have had to turn on hazards as it slows down while we pull over to the side of the road. Then it will turn back on and jerk forward and continue to accelerate.” The complaint states that when this happened, the car was in snow-driving mode. It is “a huge safety concern as you need to be able to accelerate uphills.”

The problem has also recurred for an owner from New York who had owned the SUV for only 2 months. “For the 3rd time, while pulling out into traffic, the car refused to accelerate like it was having trouble with (the) transmission. This made it dangerous for me pulling into busy traffic. For 10 to 20 seconds it would not accelerate and then finally it would operate as normal. The last time it happened (was) when it kicked into gear. The car jumped and it made a loud noise.”

Tow Hitch Harness Missing Due to Fire Risk

The 2020-2022 Tellurides implicated in the tow hitch harness recall mentioned earlier all have genuine Kia 4-pin tow hitch harnesses that were either installed in the factory or purchased as an accessory through a Kia dealership. Kia discovered that an accumulation of moisture and dirt on the harness module printed circuit board can cause an electrical short, which may, in turn, lead to a fire. Owners have been advised to park outside away from structures until the recall repair parts are available.

While there is no recall notice on the NHTSA page for the 2023 model, a complaint from an owner in Oregon states that he received the recall notice in August 2022. “I have contacted my Dealer as well as KIA corporation and KIA is telling everyone that they do NOT have any solution for this fire hazard and they cannot even provide any date as to when they will have a solution.”

According to the complaint, Kia’s solution is to ship all the new Tellurides, which should be coming with a tow hitch and harness, without them. So, it seems that more recent 2023 Tellurides aren’t at risk of a fire. At the same time, Kia is “saying they have no idea when you can get the new revised Hitch and Harness Solution.”

This suggests that an unknown specified number of early 2023 models were shipped with the same faulty Kia tow hitch harnesses fitted to 2020, 2021, and 2022 models. But later Tellurides aren’t.

An ongoing discussion in Telluride Forums indicates frustration and anger from new Telluride owners who purchased the new 2023 SUV for towing.

Forum Comments

  • “I found out today that I purchased a Kia Telluride ex clone to tow my camper, which I live in and I can’t tow anything because of this issue. Someone mentioned “starting the return process.” My dealership refuses to let me return the car. Advice?”
  • “Sounds like the 2023 isn’t set up like the previous years. I mistakenly paid $10,000 for a decent car to drive around town in. Unfortunately, I live in a camper. When I took my car to have the hitch put on, paid for by Kia, the man scratched his head and said “there’s no wiring. Nothing.” Kia dealership then told me that what I need is on at least three-month backorder. I bought the Telluride to tow. And it doesn’t.”
  • “The 2023 has no wiring harness. You can have Kia order one, they are on at least 3-month backorder. I feel the dealership wasn’t transparent about this, given the fact I was buying it to tow my camper.”

The response one member received from Kia America on this issue was:

“Unfortunately, the tow hitch packages are not available for the 2023 Tellurides at this time and we do not have an ETA on when they will become available”

What to do if your 2023 Kia Telluride is a lemon?

The issues many owners of Kia Tellurides, including the 2023 model, are experiencing certainly seem to indicate that there are lemons on the road.

If you believe your 2023 Telluride might be a lemon, you can do something about it. Contact us and we’ll assess your problems free of charge. We may be able to negotiate a settlement on your behalf or enable you to join one of our class action investigations. In any case, the law says that Kia must pay your legal fees for lemon law cases, so it’s not going to cost you anything.

Call our Helpline now or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you.

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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
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