2022 Kia EV6 Owners Report Loss of Motive Power, NHTSA Opens Investigation

Kia EV6 20 photos
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The Office of Defects Investigation has opened a preliminary evaluation into the Kia EV6. No fewer than 11 vehicle owners complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about either reduced or complete loss of motive power while driving, an issue that elevates the risk of a crash.
As per the document attached below, the Office of Defects Investigation has already conducted several interviews with vehicle owners. Suspect vehicles were produced for the 2022 model year exclusively. The NHTSA highlights that failure of the integrated control charging unit – ICCU for short – likely causes the reduced or loss of motive power condition. The root cause for the failure appears to be an ICCU over-current condition that damages the transistors in the low-voltage direct current to direct current converter.

Said transistors are FET by design, as in transistors which use an electric field to control the current flow. Field-effect transistors are commonly used for amplifying wireless signals, both digital and analog.

The ICCU is responsible for both the high- and low-voltage batteries. Damaged transistors may lead to the inability to recharge the low-voltage battery, resulting in a partial or complete loss of motive power.

Complaint number 11529045 alleges that the 2022 Kia EV6 died while driving on the road. The owner couldn't even activate the hazards due to the 12-volt battery going flat. Complaint number 11529045 alleges that the 12-volt battery drained twice: first on June 3, then the following day. The dealer couldn't tell the owner when a replacement ICCU would be available.

The investigation may be ongoing, but given said complaints and the correlation between the damaged transistors and loss of motive power, there is no denying a recall will be issued. The federal watchdog estimates that 19,824 examples of the EV6 may be affected.

Kia sold 20,498 units during calendar year 2022 in the United States. According to Kia's latest sales release, EV6 deliveries totaled 8,328 vehicles in the first half of 2023.

Twinned with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 – which is due to receive a performance version at the Goodwood Festival of Speed – the EV6 carries a sticker price of $42,600 for the 2023 model year. Said pricing doesn’t include fees, purchase incentives, or lease incentives. At press time, Kia's website lists a grand total of six trims.

The most affordable of the bunch is called Light RWD, which includes a 58-kWh battery that enables a driving range of 232 miles (373 kilometers) on a full charge. It's not a spartan vehicle, though, for it comes standard with 19-inch alloys, an 800-volt electrical architecture, heated front power seats with memory for the driver, as well as 10 years of warranty for the battery pack.

At the other end of the spectrum, the GT e-AWD is a bit on the expensive side of compact electric vehicles at $61,600 due to its performance-oriented powertrain. The dual-motor setup is believed to carry over to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, which – as per technical advisor Albert Biermann – makes 600-ish ponies.
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 Download: 2022 Kia EV6 loss of motive power investigation (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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