Kia Recalls Previously Recalled Niro Plug-In Hybrids Over Fire Risk

On September 25th, 2018, the North American division of the Kia Corporation filed recall number 18V-666. Long story short, precisely 27,030 examples of the 2017 to 2018 model year Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid were called back due to inadequate connection between the main relay contacts. Increased electrical resistance leads to heat, which increases the risk of a fire. The power relay assembly is located under the rear seat.
2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid 10 photos
Photo: Kia
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The South Korean automaker corrected the recall condition in production when the supplier was changed from LS IS CO to Panasonic on July 17th, 2017. Suspect assemblies were installed in vehicles produced through September 11th, 2017, as per documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Dealers were instructed to remedy this problem by replacing the suspect main relay in case of thermal damage.

Fast forward to June 13th, 2022, and the aforementioned issue reared its ugly head yet again. Kia North America received a tech-line case from a dealer, who reported a burning smell involving a 2017 model year Niro Plug-In Hybrid. Said vehicle had been repaired under recall 18V-666 on August 5th, 2019. The safety boffins became aware of a second incident on June 28th, 2022. Come August, the collected parts were identified as being the suspect main relays made by LS IS CO instead of Panasonic.

Two additional warranty claims were subsequently identified, prompting the Kia North America Safety Office to escalate the issue to the higher-ups. One additional warranty claim later, the company decided that enough is enough. The same 27,030 vehicles have been recalled a second time as part of recall number 22V-836. Once again, dealers have been told to inspect for thermal damage and replace the main relay if needed. Dealers have also been instructed to identify the supplier of the main relay. If it reads LS IS CO, it will be replaced by a Panasonic main relay.

Owners can expect to receive word of this recall by first-class mail on January 9th, 2023. Owners who paid for the remedy out of pocket are eligible for reimbursement if they can provide adequate proof of payment.
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 Download: 2018 Kia Niro PHEV main relay recall no. 2 (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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