Washington, D.C. – July 16, 2023 – The U.S. government’s auto safety regulator is investigating Kia (OTCMKTS: KIMTF) over an allegation its 2022 Kia EV6 electric cars may lose motive power or even experience a “complete electric failure,” upping the risk of a crash and injury.
If the investigation leads to a recall, it could affect around 20,000 cars.
The regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), opened an investigation on July 3, 2023, following 11 complaints of cars losing power. In at least some cases, the cars could not be restarted and had to be towed.
Upon inspection, dealers found that there was a “strong correlation” between the power loss and the failure of the integrated control charging unit (ICCU).
What is an integrated control charging unit?
The integrated control charging unit is an electric “charger” that powers up both the high-voltage battery used to drive the electric motor and the low-voltage battery, which provides 12-volt electricity for the rest of the car’s systems.
Based on the initial findings, an excessive current may damage ICCU’s circuit board, preventing the low-voltage battery from being charged. This ultimately shuts down the systems using it as a power supply, making the vehicle inoperable.
Without sufficient power being delivered to the wheels, the driver may have difficulties maneuvering the vehicle into a safe spot. This dramatically increases the risk of a crash.
In fact, one driver described an “unnerving” experience when the car suddenly decelerated to 22 miles per hour (mph) from 40 mph “during rush hour on a secondary road with a limited shoulder.”
Drivers also reported their cars being stuck at dealerships for weeks after they “could no longer be driven.” Some drivers have been told that the part was “on national backorder.”
Before the power loss, some drivers observed “Stop the vehicle and check power supply” and “Check electrical vehicle system” warning messages pop up on the instrument cluster. In addition, one driver stated there was a “loud pop from the rear passenger side of the vehicle” just before the message appeared.
Other Kia recalls
Is your vehicle part of a recall?
This investigation may eventually lead to a Kia loss of power recall, potentially affecting almost 20,000 electric cars. To do a Kia recall check and see if your car might be a part of it, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.