Kia Niro owners are taking note. The automaker is recalling its 2017-2018 Niro hybrid crossover for a second time due to a potential fire risk. Dealers may not properly complete the repair the first time the automaker recalls it. The new recall affects the same 27,030 vehicles.
Kia initially recalled this Niro crossover back in 2018 when it discovered a problem with the Main Relay contact making an inadequate connection. This can cause an increase in electrical resistance, generate heat and potentially cause a fire. The Main Relay is located in the Power Relay Assembly under the rear seat.
However, the automaker has found some vehicles marked as repaired under the original recall still have the damaged part installed. Kia first heard of the problem in June when a dealer identified the source of the burning smell to be a melted Power Relay Assembly. It contacted Kia about this issue. Automaker records show the car was repaired in the first recall in 2019, but still has the original parts.
Kia will identify three more vehicles in the coming months that were marked as repaired but installed the defective parts. This prompted the automaker to randomly audit four previously recalled vehicles that had completed repairs. The company found that all four Niro’s installed replacement parts, and none showed signs of connection issues. However, the automaker will find its fifth affected car in October, prompting it to issue a second recall for that model.
Kia is expected to send the owner’s notice by January 9, 2023. The dealer will inspect the Power Relay Assembly and replace it or the Main Relay. Repairs are free of charge.
This isn’t the first time Kia has issued a second recall for a model this year. The automaker had to recall certain 2008-2009 Sportage crossovers due to the potential fire risk, which Kia and its sister Hyundai recently faced. In September, Kia issued a recall for the Sorento and Sportage for flammable circuit boards. In August, Kia recalled the Telluride due to trailer wiring module issues.