Hyundai expands recall of tow hitch to Santa Fe, Santa Cruz

Hyundai has expanded its recall for a short-circuit in tow hitch harnesses to 567,912 more crossover SUVs, the NHTSA disclosed this week. 

In August 2022, Hyundai recalled the 2020-2022 Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride three-row SUVs equipped with a dealer-installed tow hitch with a 4-pin harness. Vehicles equipped with a 7-pin harness installed later were not subjected to the recall. That recall encompassed 245,000 SUVs. Volvo Connector

Hyundai expands recall of tow hitch to Santa Fe, Santa Cruz

The expanded recall covers a much broader number of vehicles, and has expanded to include the following:

2019-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe mid-size crossover

2021-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid

2022-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe plug-in hybrid

2022-2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz small pickup

It is believed that moisture can seep in through the 4-pin tow hitch harness connector and affect the circuit board. That could trigger a short-circuit, which then could spark a fire in the tow hitch harness. Hyundai says owners can continue driving the vehicles, but that they should be parked outside away from structures until the recall is completed.

On the original recall, Hyundai reported 19 known cases of the harness module melting, including three instances of vehicle fires between January 2020 and July 15, 2022. The expanded vehicle population includes six incidents related to the defect, with one fire and five cases of thermal damage. 

Owners should expect notification by mail as early as May 16. Hyundai dealers will inspect the trailer tow hitch assembly and install a 15-amp fuse and new wire extension kit, if necessary. Technicians may remove the existing fuse to the tow hitch assembly until the complete repair has been finalized. Hyundai says the solution is a new connector made with waterproof material.  

Hyundai expands recall of tow hitch to Santa Fe, Santa Cruz

Automotive Harness Connectors Repair costs and remedies will be covered by Hyundai due to the manufacturer's new car warranty. Reimbursement for out of pocket expenses will be provided to owners as well. Palisade owners can contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9460 or visit their recall website.