The Most Common 2021 Kia Telluride Problems

Issues with the powertrain, visibility, and electrical system are some of the most common problems with the 2021 Kia Telluride.
Written by Andrea Barrett
Reviewed by Hillary Kobayashi
The most common problems with the 2021 Kia Telluride include a defective powertrain, visibility issues, and a faulty electrical system.
has set the bar high for its SUVs. From the cute and compact
Kia Soul
to the sporty midsize
, Kia has some of the most popular vehicles for drivers looking for a practical, family-friendly SUV that still offers a hint of luxury. 
In 2020, the introduction of the Kia Telluride proved that Kia could deliver an upscale experience with plenty of popular driver features at a bargain price. But while the Telluride may offer a cavernous cabin, an impressive range of standard features, and killer looks, it doesn’t come without problems. 
Although Kia has maintained its reputation for building reliable vehicles, its vehicles don’t get off scot-free. Whether you have a 2021 Kia Telluride or are considering buying one, we’re here to give you the details on the most common problems you may encounter. 

What are the most common 2021 Kia Telluride problems?

If you own a 2021 Kia Telluride, you might be familiar with some of the most common problems, but for those who don’t, there are a few things you’ll want to know before handing over your checkbook. 
Despite its five-star
NHTSA safety rating
, the 2021 Kia Telluride experiences a fair number of complaints, and the primary ones might be a bit concerning—notably, the fire risk when parked. 
The 2021 Kia Telluride has two recalls for moderately concerning issues that, if you own a Telluride, you may want to have checked out: 
  1. Tow hitch harness fires when parked or driving
Certain 2020 to 2022 Tellurides equipped with a Genuine Kia four-pin tow hitch harness may accumulate debris and moisture on the tow hitch harness module printed circuit board (PCB), which could lead to an electrical short and resulting fire.
2. Occupant detection system malfunction
Certain 2021 Telluride vehicles may not detect the presence of a child restraint system in the front passenger seat, which is a failure to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 208, "Occupant Crash Protection."
But it doesn’t stop there. The 2021 Kia Telluride also received 104 complaints submitted to the NHTSA, primarily involving issues with the SUV’s airbags, electrical system, powertrain, and engine, but some other complaints were about the electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, and active safety features. 
Since Kia offers a comprehensive five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, these issues are likely covered under warranty if they arise. 
On top of formal complaints and recalls, 2021 Kia Telluride owners also have issues with certain features of the SUV, including:
  • Poor city fuel economy
  • Electronics system freezes
  • Fuel system components stalling or hesitating
  • Loose interior and exterior trim or moldings
The 2021 Kia Telluride experiences its fair share of issues that range in importance. If you’re experiencing any of them, it’s best to get your vehicle to a Kia Dealership immediately to have it inspected and avoid further complications.  
MORE: Are Kias expensive to maintain?
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Is the 2021 Kia Telluride reliable?

All vehicles have problems, but Kia has consistently produced some of the highest-quality and most reliable vehicles, and the 2021 Kia Telluride is no different. Although Consumer Reports and RepairPal don’t rank the 2021 model year, it earned a stellar 85/100 for quality and reliability from J.D. Power, a five-star NHTSA safety rating, and an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
But while reliability scores and safety ratings may indicate how well-built a vehicle is, they don't show the whole picture. Drivers must also consider other car ownership costs, like repairs and maintenance. 
According to Edmunds, annual maintenance costs range from $490 to $2,911 over a five-year ownership period, while repairs may not be on the horizon for several years after your purchase. But if you keep up with a regular
car maintenance schedule
, it’s easy to keep those costs down! 
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