Kia Niro, Niro Hybrid SUVs Recalled Over Fire Risk
Written by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
Published Aug. 7, 2023
A Kia Niro hydraulic clutch actuator recall has been announced for more than 121,000 SUVs due to a risk of fires in 2017-2022 Kia Niro and 2018-2022 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid vehicles.
Fluid may leak into the printed circuit board inside the hydraulic clutch actuator and cause an engine compartment fire.
In January, Kia learned of a 2020 Kia Niro Hybrid owner who complained about an illuminated hybrid warning light. A dealership found thermal damage to the hydraulic clutch actuator connector and harness.
Another report came in, this time from a 2019 Niro Hybrid with an illuminated warning light and localized melting around the hydraulic clutch actuator connector.
As Kia expanded its investigation of the problem, another incident occurred to a 2018 Niro Hybrid which involved localized melting.
Kia and the supplier found corrosion on the printed circuit boards in the three Niro Hybrids, convincing both companies to hire a third-party engineering firm.
In July, Kia confirmed, "Evidence of fluid contamination on PCB [printed circuit board] potentially from external sources but no evidence of internal leaks or brake fluid on the printed circuit board, 2) contaminated PCB can cause an electrical short circuit, and 3) PCB short circuit can lead to a fire as confirmed by duplication testing."
Kia expects to mail Niro hydraulic clutch actuator recall letters Sept. 29. Kia dealerships will replace the hydraulic clutch actuators as necessary, and install new fuses.
The new fuse has a different capacity to mitigate the risk of a fire caused by an electrical short-circuit.
"No vehicle fires (three (3) confirmed and seven (7) potentially related but unconfirmed incidents of localized melting). No crashes, injuries or fatalities," Kia said.
Kia Niro and Kia Niro Hybrid owners may contact Kia at 800-333-4542. The Kia Niro hydraulic clutch actuator recall number is SC276.