Kia Recalls EV6 and Niro EV for Improperly Heat-Treated Driveshafts

Kia EV6 16 photos
Photo: Kia / edited
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Kia's first electric vehicle based on the Electric Global Modular Platform has been hit with a recall. The Niro EV has also been recalled over the very same problem, said issue being a manufacturing error attributed to Hyundai World Industrial Ace.
WIA specializes in the production of internal combustion engines, automotive modules, CV joints, four-wheel-drive systems, factory automation solutions, and military goodies. Think smoothbore guns, recoilless rifles, self-propelled howitzers, mortars, and close-in weapon systems.

According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the folks at WIA produced a number of improperly heat-treated driveshaft assemblies. The attached report lists part number 49560-GI000 as the rear inner driveshaft assembly of the EV6 and part number 49500-AO000 as the front left driveshaft of the Niro EV.

An estimated 1,039 examples of the EV6 with suspect driveshafts were produced for the US market. Said vehicles were manufactured between June 27, 2023 and July 13, 2023 at the Hwasung plant in South Korea. All three versions of the Niro are produced there as well. Suspect Niro EVs were manufactured from June 27, 2023 to July 13, 2023.

Due to improper heat treatment, the driveshafts may break under load, therefore resulting in a loss of motive power. This, in turn, increases the risk of a crash. At the beginning of the year, South Korea-based Kia Corporation informed Kia North America of an incident in Turkey involving a Kia Niro EV.

2024 Kia EV6 GT
Photo: Kia
The American division identified two potential breakage reports in the United States market, with said incidents occurring on November 24 and December 22 last year. The subsequent investigation determined the aforementioned condition, prompting Kia to recall every potentially affected vehicle. The condition was corrected by the supplier last year. Kia says that Niro EVs produced from July 14 and EV6s produced from September 4 feature properly heat-treated driveshaft assemblies.

Dealers have already been informed to replace affected driveshafts with remedy parts, but alas, known owners will have to wait until March 29 to receive Kia-branded notifications via first-class mail. In the meantime, owners can take matters into their own hands by running the 17-character VIN on Kia's website or the federal watchdog's website.

Twinned with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the EV6 is currently listed with a starting MSRP of $42,600 and a $7,500 lease bonus. The highest driving range you can expect on a full charge of the high-voltage battery is 310 miles (just around 499 kilometers), whereas the Ioniq 5 tops 303 miles (488 kilometers).

Because it's not based on an EV-specific platform, the Niro EV fares worse in this regard. It also sports a smaller battery (64.8 kWh as opposed to 58.0 or 77.4 kWh for the EV6), therefore resulting in an EPA-rated range of 253 miles (407 kilometers). At the moment of reporting, the Niro EV is $39,600.
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 Download: Kia EV6 and Niro EV driveshaft recall (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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