Kia Niro EV Recall: Battery Safety Plugs Could Melt, Cause Fire

Kia is advising owners do not recharge their vehicles in a covered structure until the recall repair has been completed.

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Kia has issued a recall for more than 2,200 model year 2022 Niro EVs due to a risk of the high voltage battery safety plugs overheating and melting, which can cause the vehicles to stall or catch fire, and has advised owners not to charge their vehicle in a garage or other covered structure until a repair is made.

The recall comes after multiple reports of the high voltage battery safety plug melting. Kia first received a dealer report in July 2023 regarding a 2022 Niro EV that shut off while driving and failed to go into ready mode. Upon inspection, the dealer discovered the high voltage battery safety plug had melted. Although Kia conducted a thorough search, no other affected vehicles were initially found.

However, a similar incident was later reported in Portugal, prompting engineers to investigate further. Despite efforts, they could not replicate the problem. Another dealer report soon followed, this time involving a vehicle that wouldn't start due to a melted safety plug. An additional incident was reported involving a drained 12-volt battery, which was again attributed to high electrical resistance at the safety plug's terminal.

Kia engineers suspect the issue may stem from a manufacturing deviation in the Female-Female terminal of the safety plug, though the exact cause remains undetermined.

"Over time, the contact surfaces of the high voltage battery safety plug may develop high electrical resistance. Although the exact cause of this high resistance in the safety plug has not been confirmed, Kia suspects it is due to a supplier deviation in the manufacturing of the Female-Female (F-F) terminal," Kia said.

So far, no crashes or injuries have been reported due to the issue. Kia advises 2022 Niro EV drivers to monitor for the EV Service warning light and to be particularly vigilant for signs of smoke or the smell of melting plastic.

Recall notification letters are expected to be mailed by July 19. Kia dealers will replace the faulty safety plugs.

Affected vehicles were manufactured between July 21 and Dec. 2, 2021.

Niro EV owners can contact Kia at 800-333-4542 and reference recall number SC314 for more information.

Owners of any vehicle can check for open recalls at www.nhtsa.gov/recalls.

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