Kia Recalls Niro Hybrid Electric Vehicles Due to Potential of Rear Seat Fires
a problem with a relay located under the seat can lead to overheating
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Kia Niro hybrid electric vehicles. The Main Relay within the Power Relay Assembly (PRA) may have inadequate connections between its contacts, causing increased electrical resistance.
What's the problem?
In about 27,030 of these vehicles, increased electrical resistance in the Main Relay can overheat the rear seat, increasing the risk of a fire. Illumination of the HEV warning light while driving and/or inability to start the vehicle may occur.
Kia has been investigating this issue since March 2018 after a report of a "thermal event" that occurred in the rear seat area. Only in September was Kia able to duplicate the condition and made the decision to conduct a safety recall. There have been three (3) known warranty PRA replacement claims that mention burn or heat damage and one (1) complaint of a rear seat fire.
Based on both supplier and vehicle production records, the recalled components were installed in some vehicles produced through September 11, 2017.
What happens next?
Kia will notify owners and dealers will inspect the PRA for damage. If no damage is found, the main relay will be replaced. If damage is found, the PRA will be replaced. These repairs will be performed free of charge.
The recall is expected to begin November 23, 2018. Owners may contact Kia customer service at (800) 333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC168.