Kia Telluride Problems: 10 Common Issues (Explained)

The Kia Telluride debuted in 2019 as Kia’s 2020 model. Its roomy three-row interior, driver-assistance features, and high safety rating have quickly earned the respect of many mid-size SUV fans.

Still, the Telluride may be prone to several common issues that may need attention during the vehicle’s life.

This article will look at some of the Kia Telluride’s most reported problems.

1. LCD Display Goes Blank

Telluride owners have complained that the LCD screen display goes blank. Information about vehicle status, including speed, gas level, and other standard indicators, is unavailable with a dark screen.

Kia addressed this issue, stating, “A blank LCD may be missing information, such as the digital speedometer, gear selection indicator, and odometer, which may increase the risk of a crash.”

On July 28, 2021, Kia issued a recall (number 21V577) and instructed owners to schedule an appointment with their Kia dealer to resolve the issue.

Possible Causes and Solutions

When the Telluride’s LCD screen remains blank after starting the vehicle, drivers cannot monitor their vehicle status and driving indicators safely or turn on and off safety features.
For instance, the back seat alert that warns drivers when a child is left in the back seat may not function properly.

The glitch that causes the LCD to remain dark is a flaw in Telluride’s instrument panel software. Kia dealers will fix the problem by updating the instrument panel firmware.

Owners who experience problems with the LCD should take their vehicle to their local Kia dealer to receive the free update.

2. High-Beam Headlights Problem

Approximately 20 percent of the 2020 Kia Telluride’s NHTSA complaints are related to malfunctioning headlights.

Some owners complain that the low-beam headlights are too bright and distract other drivers in oncoming traffic. Others state that their high-beam headlights do not turn on, work randomly, or operate intermittently.

Many of the complaints report minimal peripheral illumination from the headlights and lights that are so dim drivers cannot see the side of the road around curves or on unlit roadways.

Furthermore, improper headlight function can malfunction Telluride’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, including Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, and Pedestrian Avoidance.

Although these visibility issues are commonly reported as headlight issues, there has been no recall as of this writing.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Several different issues may cause the headlight problem.

You may be able to fix the headlights yourself, or you may need to take it to a service center for repair.

Here are some possible causes and solutions to fix finicky headlights.

Causes Solutions
Burned-out or weak headlight bulbs


Regularly inspect and replace headlight bulbs as needed.

Ensure bulbs are at the correct brightness for low beams and high beams.

High-beam shades become stuck


Contact a dealer or service center for repairs or replacement of the stuck shades.

Periodically check and lubricate the high-beam shades to prevent sticking issues.

3. Excessive Vibration

While driving, Telluride owners report excessive vibration from 55 mph to 70 mph while driving.

According to NHTSA Campaign Number 21V164000, some affected vehicles may not detect when there is a child restraint system in the front passenger seat and deploy the airbag, causing serious injury.

Some owners report their vehicle will not accelerate to highway speeds, with less than 5,000 miles on their new Telluride. Other drivers complain their Telluride unexpectedly shifts into neutral while driving.

This shift can occur after turning, driving at low speeds, or accelerating.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Excessive vibration, unexpected shifting, and inability to reach average highway speeds are caused by issues in the powertrain.

According to some consumers, Kia resolves issues by replacing the driveshafts/AWD couplers. Kia seems to be performing repairs randomly for consumers.

Some owners report they have been able to have their vehicle’s powertrain repaired. In contrast, others are unable to get help from Kia.

Here’s what to do if your Telluride experiences any powertrain problems.

Causes Solutions
Powertrain-related problems before warranty expiry



Regularly monitor your vehicle for any signs of powertrain issues.

Seek immediate attention for any symptoms covered by Kia’s 10-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.

Familiarize yourself with the warranty coverage to ensure your repairs are eligible.

Vehicle shifting into neutral while driving



If the Telluride shifts into neutral, turn off the vehicle and restart to restore power to the transmission.

Contact your Kia dealer or service center promptly to schedule a diagnosis and repair.

If a repair is needed, arrange for a rental car from the service center while waiting for the completion of repairs.

4. Windshield Cracking

Windscreen cracking has become a frequent concern for owners of Kia Telluride vehicles from 2020, 2021, and 2022, and it appears to continue into the 2023 model year.

These cases emphasise not just the difficulty of dealing with broken windscreens, but also the potential safety hazards that such failures might deliver.

The unexpected cracking noticed by these owners raises concerns regarding the structural integrity and quality of Kia Telluride windscreens.

Owners who have encountered this issue have voiced irritation and disappointment, particularly when dealing with unhelpful replies from dealerships.

The safety of the passengers is vital, and the ease with which these windscreens are apparently shattering highlights a critical issue that requires immediate action.

Possible Causes and Solutions

If you own a Kia Telluride and are having similar windscreen concerns, it is suggested that you properly document the incident and contact the dealership for a diagnosis and repair.

Furthermore, remaining up to date on any official recalls issued by Kia about this issue is critical to assuring safety for you and your passengers.

5. Engine Problems

The Kia Telluride has experienced several typical engine issues, which some owners have noted.

These issues, which can range from unusual noises to severe breakdowns, can have an influence on the whole driving experience and may result in pricey repairs.

Here are some of the most common engine problems owners have experienced:

  • Engine Ticking: Owners have noticed a ticking noise coming from the engine, which is especially evident after a cold start.
  • Screeching Noise: Some Telluride owners report hearing a high-pitched screeching noise from the engine in cooler weather.
  • Engine Failing to Start: The engine failing to start is a less common but significant issue that can be troublesome and may necessitate a replacement. Although this is an uncommon occurrence, it can result in huge costs.
  • Overheating Engine: Overheating engines have been recorded, with probable reasons including coolant leaks, radiator fan difficulties, thermostat troubles, and other variables that necessitate maintenance.

These engine issues illustrate potential issues that Kia Telluride owners may experience. When these concerns arise, owners must be attentive, handle issues swiftly, and consider expert assistance.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Here are some possible causes and solutions if you’re experiencing any engine problems with your Telluride:

Engine Problem Causes and Solutions Cost to Fix
Engine Ticking Noise


Weather, ignition system troubles, exhaust leaks, low oil levels, and pressure.

Regular oil replacement may cost around $50 (DIY) or $200 (Professional).

$50 to $200

Around $200

Cold Start Engine Squealing Cold temperatures cause high-pitched squealing. Approximately $150 for serpentine belt replacement
Engine Failing to Start Various causes may lead to the engine failing to start, potentially requiring a replacement. Starting at $620, up to $2,000 in severe cases
Overheating Engine Causes include coolant leaks, radiator fan issues, thermostat problems, or other factors. Repair costs range from $100 to $1,000

6. Transmission Challenges

Contrary to standards, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports indicate that the Telluride’s gearbox occasionally slips out of drive and into neutral on its own.

An especially unsettling event, reported under NHTSA ID numbers 11301205 and 11453034, describes a driver’s experience when the gearbox slid into neutral while entering a highway.

Furthermore, additional complaints with NHTSA ID numbers 11425571 and 11354498 shed information on a distinct aspect of the gearbox problems.

Owners reported situations when the transmission’s engagement of specific ratios was delayed, resulting in needless engine revving and illogical downshifts.

This raises concerns regarding the general functioning and responsiveness of the Telluride’s gearbox system, potentially presenting safety issues.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Here are some possible causes and solutions if you’re experiencing any transmission challenges with your Telluride:

Transmission Issue Causes Solutions
Slipping into Neutral


Potential issues with transmission control modules.

Electronic glitches or sensor malfunctions.

Consult with a professional mechanic to diagnose and address transmission control module concerns.

Regularly update vehicle software to address potential electronic glitches.

Delayed Engagements and Unreasonable Downshifts


Transmission control software issues.

Mechanical failures in the transmission system.

Update the transmission control software to the latest version.

Professional inspection and potential repair or replacement of faulty components.

7. Electrical Issues

The Kia Telluride has also been plagued by an array of electrical faults, including issues with the:

  • Instrument cluster
  • Digital speedometer
  • Side windows
  • Blind spot collision warning system
  • Door locks

These problems, while not widespread, should be taken into account by prospective customers and indicate potential dependability difficulties in particular Telluride models.

Aside from the instrument cluster issues in the 2022 model, the Telluride has sporadic electrical issues with the side windows, the blind spot collision warning system, and the door locks.

Complaints to the NHTSA detail occasions in which side windows refuse to close while the vehicle is in motion, and the blind spot collision warning system fails, particularly in wet weather.

There have also been instances of door and boot locks activating independently.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Here are some possible causes and solutions if you’re experiencing any electrical issues:

Electrical Issue Causes Solutions
Instrument Cluster and Digital Speedometer



Electronic component malfunctions.

Adhesive issues on the circuit board (acknowledged in the 2022 recall).

Sensor malfunctions affecting the digital speedometer.

Seek professional diagnosis from a certified Kia dealership or mechanic.

If within the recall scope, obtain recall-related repairs from an authorized Kia service center.

Regularly update vehicle software to address potential electronic glitches.

Side Windows


Electrical wiring issues.

Control module malfunctions.

Consult with a professional mechanic to inspect and address any faulty wiring or control module concerns.

Update vehicle software and address potential glitches through regular software updates.

Blind Spot Collision Warning System Sensor malfunctions, particularly in rainy conditions. Regularly update vehicle software to address potential electronic glitches.
Door Locks



Electrical wiring issues.

Control module malfunctions.

Mechanical failures in door and boot lock mechanisms.

Consult with a professional mechanic to inspect and address any faulty wiring or control module concerns.

Update vehicle software and address potential glitches through regular software updates.

Professional inspection and potential repair or replacement of faulty components.

8. Forward Collision-Avoidance Challenges

The forward collision avoidance (FCA) technology, which is intended to improve safety by preventing crashes, has regrettably caused some Kia Telluride owners anxiety.

One prominent owner’s complaint noted with the NHTSA (ID number 11485486) highlighted a string of FCA concerns that culminated in an accident.

The FCA would abruptly activate the brakes, erroneously sensing a probable collision with a non-existent car, according to an allegation.

Further examination revealed that these FCA issues extend beyond individual cases.

More than ten owners experienced identical problems, indicating that the problem is more prevalent than previously thought.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Kia has yet to propose a viable solution to these issues as of 2023. Some owners reported problems with FCA sensors, while others sought assistance from service centers without success.

9. Exploding Sunroofs

Unfortunately, the Kia Telluride has received unwanted attention for a concerning issue – the abrupt explosion of sunroofs.

While this is not a new issue for Kia (the 2011 Kia Sportage had similar concerns), the Telluride appears to have a higher frequency of such events.

One Telluride owner, who submitted a complaint under the NHTSA ID number 11469110, described a terrifying encounter while traveling with their children across the Harbour Bridge in Corpus Christi, Texas. The front sunroof mysteriously exploded, resulting in a potentially hazardous situation.

Regrettably, this is not a one-off occurrence.

Numerous reports (NHTSA complaint numbers 11458647, 11436039, and others) indicate a pattern of sunroofs bursting on their own.

Despite the gravity of these instances, Kia authorities have yet to issue an official statement.

Possible Causes and Solutions

The frightening incidence of sunroofs unexpectedly exploding in the Kia Telluride emphasizes the need for owners to remain watchful and report events as soon as possible.

Seeking immediate assistance from Kia and staying up to date on any advancements surrounding sunroof recalls is essential to guaranteeing Telluride owners’ safety.

10. Recalls

While Kia’s quick response to resolve issues through recalls is admirable, the number and variety of recalls for the 2022 Kia Telluride might pose questions about the model’s overall reliability.

The fact that many recalls for diverse components such as airbags, electrical systems, tires, and trailer hitches were issued in a single year necessitates a closer look into the Kia Telluride’s overall reliability.

Recall Concerns
Air Bags (10/03/21) The recall related to the airbag/restraint control module raises questions about the initial quality control processes in place during manufacturing.
Electrical System (27/07/21 and 16/06/22) The recurrence of electrical system recalls indicates potential challenges in ensuring the reliability of the instrument cluster/panel.
Tires (18/07/22) The recall regarding the temporary/emergency spare tire raises concerns about the overall durability and safety of the vehicle’s tire system.
Trailer Hitches (14/08/22) While the nature of the trailer hitch problem remains undisclosed, its inclusion in the recalls suggests potential issues in the design or functionality of this component.

While recalls are typical in car manufacturing and are frequently undertaken as a preventative safety precaution, the quantity and diversity of recalls for the 2022 Kia Telluride may indicate a larger problem with the vehicle.

Recalls can turn troublesome for car owners, posing significant safety issues and impacting the general operation of the vehicle.

General Pros and Cons

Here are some of the top pros and cons of the Kia Telluride:

Pros Cons
Outstanding Value

Full Suite of Driver Assistant Aids

Plenty of Room

Quality Driving Experience

Driving Mode Options

Advanced Safety Features

The engine could use more torque

Transmission could be more responsive

No hill descent control

What Do the Reviews Say?

“The Telluride is among the very few three-row crossovers that I actually like driving. It feels like a good two-row crossover, with crisp turn-in, excellent ride quality, and great body control.”

“The Telluride is an impressive three-row SUV. It boasts a quiet and upscale cabin, impressive tech, extensive standard features, adult-friendly third-row seating, and a satisfying driving experience. It has a few minor weaknesses, but overall this Kia is a great pick for a three-row crossover SUV.”

What Is the Resale Value of the Kia Telluride?

Due to its safety record, affordability, reliability, and luxury feel, the Kia Telluride keeps its resale value relatively intact.

Granted, the model is only entering its fourth year, but owners can expect the value of their Telluride to hold up for many years.

In its 2023 model, Kia has found a way to make the already popular Telluride even more appealing with sharpened exterior styling and new X-Line and X-Pro trim levels for a more frugged look.

Here’s a look at some of the average prices for the Kia Telluride LX series.

Year Mileage Price
2020 23,950 $33,998
2021 16,405 $35,998
2022 18,823 $38,998
2023 9,115 $40,998

GO BACK: Problems for all Kia models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.