Persistent Fire Risk Leads Kia To Recall 2017-2018 Niro Hybrid Once Again


Kia is once again recalling the 2017-2018 Niro Hybrid for a fire risk related to the power relay assembly (PRA) that was supposed to have been fixed by a recall campaign started in 2018. Despite having been inspected for the issue, a number of vehicles may still have their original, malfunctioning part.

In all, Kia is recalling 27,030 Niro Hybrids that were built between November 1, 2016, and September 11, 2017. These may be fitted with a power relay assembly whose main relay contacts are inadequately connected to each other. This can increase the electrical resistance and generate heat.

If enough heat is generated, that could damage the rear seat and, potentially, lead to a fire. That led Kia to initiate a recall in 2018 in which its technicians were tasked with looking for heat damage in affected vehicles.

Read: Kia Recalls Select Niro Hybrids And Plug-In Hybrids For Overheating Relay

If any burn marks were found, the entire power relay assembly was to be replaced. If no thermal damage was found, then just the main relay had to be replaced. Fast-forward to June of this year, though, and two owners came into their dealers complaining of a burning smell in their vehicles.

Kia launched an investigation and found that, although both vehicles had been in for their recall repairs, both had the old, defective main relays installed, which is what led to the damage. In all, a total of five instances of fire damage (all limited to localized melting) have been identified and no fatalities, injuries, or crashes have been associated with the issue.

That means, however, that a potential fire risk still exists on a number of vehicles out in the real world. If your vehicle throws up an HEV warning light while driving or is unable to start, it may be as a result of this problem.

In order to fix the issue, Kia will start getting in touch with owners on January 9, 2023, and will ask them to return their vehicle to the dealership. Once again, the power relay assembly will be inspected for signs of damage. If no burns are found, the main relay will be replaced. If damage is found, the entire unit will be replaced.


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