Irvine, CA – November 22, 2022 – Kia (OTCMKTS:KIMTF) is recalling 27,030 2017-2018 Kia Niro hybrid vehicles whose electric systems may overheat. This may, in extreme cases, result in a vehicle fire, increasing the risk of a crash and injury.
This is the second recall for the same issue that comes on the back of five fires and the latest in the long string of both Kia and sister company Hyundai vehicles fire recalls. Vehicles repaired under the previous recall in 2018 will need to have the new remedy implemented.
Listed vehicles have a series of relays, or switches, under their rear seats which are part of these cars’ electrical systems. The system is collectively called the power relay and contains an element called the main relay due to the important role it plays.
Due to the poor electrical connection, this particular relay may overheat and damage the seat cushion above it. In extreme cases, this may even lead to a vehicle fire.
As described in previous similar recalls, a fire that occurs while driving is a serious safety concern with a wide range of potential hazards.
Background of the recall
These vehicles were recalled in 2018 for the same issue and were supposed to received new relays to correct it. However, following several localized fires, the manufacturer discovered that at least some of the cars did not receive the remedy, which prompted another recall.
An overheating main relay may trigger a hybrid system warning sign on the dashboard or prevent the vehicle from being started.
Other Kia recalls
Kia and their parent company, Hyundai, have been dealing with potential vehicle fires for some time now. The latest in the steak of fiery recalls, which happened just a few days ago, was caused by overheating ABS modules.
These ongoing issues also caught the U.S. government auto safety regulator’s attention, which is currently investigating whether the current remedies are sufficient to address the fire risk.
There are no other recent Kia Niro recalls aside from this one.
To fix these Kia electrical issues, dealers will inspect the power relay assembly for traces of damage caused by overheating. If present, the whole assembly will be replaced with a new one. Otherwise, dealers will replace the original main relay, if still present, with an updated one, made by Panasonic.
The repair is free of charge, and the owners should be notified on January 9, 2023.
Is your vehicle part of this recall?
Almost 30,000 hybrid Kia vehicles are affected by this Kia fire risk recall. To do a Kia recall check and see if yours is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.