They looked at my car and took temp readings with the steering wheel heater on. They said that it only got to 142 degrees. The service manager put in a call and bulletin to Kia Engineering. I'm curious to what they have to say. I have only used it 3 times. It burned me in the 9 and 3 position (not 9 and 2 as quoted earlier). They said that Kia Corporate will be contacting me. It sounds like the heating element is getting way too hot. Of course the problem didn't happen when it was in the service lane at the dealership. I recommended a steering wheel change after I smelled something burning too.
I just used mine this morning and only had it on for about a minute, not more than 2. It does get very warm very fast. I just use it so the steering wheel isn't ice cold. It's currently 33 degrees for me. Speaking of smells, has anyone else noticed that it almost smells like burning solder when the heat is cranked? That's gotten me slightly worried a few times, no smoke or anything, but smells like hot metal/burning solder. I have gotten my hands pretty warm on the steering wheel, but never burned them because I always turn it off.
Since my original post, I have used my heated steering wheel all winter. It now gets much warmer than it originally did. Occasionally, it feels actually hot, but never dangerous. I like it much better now.
When I first got my Cadenza, the steering wheel did get way too hot, but after 5-6 uses, it mellowed out.
Wonder if its just a faulty temperature control module, or if it needs to be used a bit to find a happy median... I did notice when using it with the heater on auto 80(we had some sub zero days) it barely warmed up at all over the 15 minute cycle.