Kia is recalling the Niro hybrid and plug-in hybrid for a potential short circuit that can lead to an engine fire, the NHTSA disclosed Monday. The recall encompasses 121,411 Niro hatchbacks from the 2017-2022 model years (the Niro PHEV is from model year 2018-2022).

The bulk of the recall applies to the standard Niro hybrid. But every Niro plug-in hybrid made from the model years 2018-2022 was recalled, accounting for 16,504 units or 13.6% of the recall. The same applies to every Niro hybrid in the recall period, but Kia estimates that only 1% of the recalled vehicles are defective.

Fluid can contaminate the circuit board that communicates with the 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. If the circuit board on the hydraulic clutch actuator becomes contaminated, it can short and cause a fire. Drivers may be indicated of the error with a HEV warning light in the instrument cluster.

Kia acknowledged 10 reports of localized melting of the circuit board, but no vehicle fires.

The Kia Niro hybrid launched in 2017, followed the next year by the Niro plug-in hybrid. It was redesigned for 2023 and has a different actuator. The second generation Kia Niro is not included in the recall.

Kia urges owners to take their Niro into a Kia service center for inspection, with notifications arriving by mail as early as Sept. 26. Dealers will replaced the actuator or install a new fuse with a different capacity to lessen the chance of engine fire. All work will be covered by Kia at no cost to owners. Also, reimbursement for work already completed for this issue at the expense of owners will be provided.

For more info, contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542 or visit Kia’s recall site.

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