Engine Light (Thermostat) - No Fix - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Engine Light (Thermostat) - No Fix

Hi,



I wanted to post this in hopes that someone else might be having this issue.



I've got a 2017 Niro EX (approx. 17k miles), that had an engine light/verbal alert this fall. I brought it in and the dealer found that a thermostat needed replacement. About 4 weeks later, same thing - engine light, thermostat. The dealer said that there are 2 thermostats, and they only replaced one the first time. 2 weeks after that...same thing. This time the dealer (who have been great, btw) said that they were going to have KIA handle the issue, and their service technicians worked with KIA to figure out the issue. a week later, they said that the problem cannot be fixed at this time, and that KIA will likely need to create a patch in the software/firmware to fix the issue. I'm told that nothing is actually wrong with the vehicle, and that seems to be the case. I have no issues with driving it. It does take some time to heat up some times, but I live far north in the US, so not a surprise.



When I picked up the car, the dealership said that KIA had them run a series of tests on the vehicle, and they found that turning the climate control off before turning the car off was the only way not to recreate the issue. This is all well and good for an older car, but the fact that I have a car under warranty that I'm expecting the engine light to fire at any moment is quite frustrating. I don't have a diagnostic tool, and would rather not buy one to check on a newer (warrantied) car, just to see if it is a thermostat code or something different that might need attention. Furthermore, if I'm honest if/when I sell this vehicle, it might lower the value or be a hard sell when I reveal that there is a engine light mystery that isn't solved.



FYI - KIA has not reached out to me letting me know that they'll keep me in the loop if/when they create a fix in a future system update.



Anyone else have these repeated thermostat codes? I can't imagine that KIA will actually work on an update to fix an isolated incident.



Love the car though, I plan on looking into the Niro EV when it comes out!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 06:20 PM
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Clearly this sounds like a Lemon Law issue. If the dealer doesn't work with you quickly on getting a new car you should call a lawyer.

Gene Daytona Beach Beach, Fl.
2018 Kia Niro LX 7/11/18-
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 11:56 PM
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I haven't experienced this issue, but I sympathize and I know where you are coming from when you state that once the check engine light comes on, you have no way of knowing if it's about the issue they told you not to worry about, or some new, unrelated, issue that maybe you should be concerned about. I've been in that situation before.


While your situation is clearly annoying, concerning, and as you pointed out, problematic if you wanted to sell the car soon (before the issue is resolved), I'm not sure that I agree with FlNiro that it rises to the level of a lemon law kind of issue. But I can imagine how it could. I guess I see both sides of the fence on this.


Have you tried to run the onboard diagnostics when the engine light comes on? If so, what does it tell you? Perhaps that could give you a little peace of mind if it can reassure you that the only issue is the one that they told you not to worry about (assuming you believe that guidance).



In other cars where I've experienced a check engine light kind of issue, I know that some of those issues will self-resolve and the check engine light will turn off automatically if the car goes through one or two full cycles with no negative input from the sensor that originally turned the light on. I don't recall the specific details of a "full cycle" but I vaguely recall that it has to do with letting the car cool off (as it would if you parked it over night) and then starting it and driving it and letting it reach normal operating temperature. So while you're in the situation of being forced to put up with this, perhaps if the check engine light comes on because you shut down with climate control still enabled, you can get it to turn off by being more diligent in turning it off on the following one or two days, before you shut the car off. Not that you should have to do this, especially for a car under warranty, but just that it might make the current situation a bit more tolerable if this works, until such time as your dealer can provide a better solution.


If I was confronted with what you have described, I think I would begin by sending a written complaint to Kia Corporate, via registered mail. Hopefully that will get their attention, but failing that, it will put you in a better position to bring a lemon law kind of complaint if this escalates to that kind of situation.


Please let us know how this works out for you.

2018 Niro PHEV Gravity Blue
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 09:16 AM
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Not knowing how the lemon law reads in your state. I would only say that generally the lemon law applies after 3 repair attempts to repair the same problem fails. For Kia to actually say that they do not know how to fix your problem I would think would defiantly make this a lemon law case.
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Gene Daytona Beach Beach, Fl.
2018 Kia Niro LX 7/11/18-
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 11:01 AM
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Agree with possibly persuing as a lemon. That’ll either light a fire under Kia or get you the options for a new vehicle.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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I've definitely looked into the lemon law. While the number of times that they have worked on an issue seems to only apply to 'mission critical' components like brakes and drive train, there is a clause that states that if the vehicle is being serviced and unable to operate for 30 days (cumulative) for the first two years, then the lemon law applies. Currently, my Niro has been out of service for about 12-15 days since purchase. I consider myself to be honest, but I'm also resourceful and concerned about my investment in a brand new vehicle. If the light comes on again, I might take it to a different dealership, as my current service center will probably run diagnostics, clear the code, and send me on my way ( having record of already breifing me on the issue).

All that being said, I just hope the engine light doesn't come back on for this, and I'll definitely be writing KIA asking to log this issue.

Thanks, everyone for responding. Hoping that some others might have this issue. Not that misery loves company, but it might warrant action on Kia's part.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 08:06 AM
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In almost every case the check engine light indicates a malfunction that effects the emission system of the vehicle. If Kia can't fix it I would be very surprised if it weren't lemon eligible.

Depending on where you live, your state attorney general's office may have info on how to go about detailing a lemon law case. For example, in Maryland, here's what they say to do:

Your Rights Under Maryland's Lemon Law

Looks like it's not limited to drive train problems, but the requirements differ based on the exact details.

I think the most important thing is to document everything. Keep all repair orders and communications you've had. Even if the vehicle is beyond the lemon law mileage limit I think you may have a case if you documented that the problem started within that limit.

Good luck.

Jim
Southern Maryland
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Update:


Called KIA reiterating what the service center told me (no fix, turn off the air before shutdown, hope for a software update). I was received by the customer support technician in a way that really surprised me...they were not all that nice. I was basically told that I could get a second opinion via a referral from them, and she seemed really confused about the software update. She kept saying that there wasn't one (which I know), and I kept telling her that the service center didn't say that there was, but that it could only be fixed by an update (hypothetically). All and all, I ended up apologizing to her because she got worked up about me wanting to know what I'm supposed to do while waiting for the light to go on again. I mentioned the lemon law, and it was like a bomb went off. She immediately started off on a script about lemon law clauses and I was like, wait. I'm saying that I don't want to invoke it. I want the issue confidently resolved, and to be given some sense that KIA is actually concerned about my issue. I didn't get that. Frankly, the call soured my impression of KIA, and I can only hope that the team that this issue is escalated to will do a better job of handling my case. Sheeesh. What a mess..


I truly don't want to have to go the lemon law route. I can't imagine that it will be a pleasant outcome.


Oh, and she also told me that everyone, in any car, should always turn the heat/AC completely off every single time that they turn off the car. I asked if that was in the manual, and she got offended. I've never heard of that. Maybe in older cars, having the A/C on at start might degrade something, but I can't imagine this to actually be the case with today's cars. She actually said that it was something that she's known all of her life...I mean, I know I can be wrong/ignorant, but I've never heard that. I guess everyone with an automatic starter is doing it wrong...
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 02:54 PM
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Hey don't feel bad. I never heard of that for the A/C also. I almost never turn off the A/C when shutting the car off. In the old days when I had an old car that would run on a little when turning it off (dieseling I think is the correct term) I would actually intentionally leave the A/C on so the little bit of drag from the A/C compressor would help prevent it.

Don't take offense but you seem like too nice a guy. If you continue to have problems perhaps you should consult with a Lemon Law lawyer and let them take care of everything. You paid hard earned money for a new car and that's what you should have...A new car with no problems, hassle or headaches.

Gene Daytona Beach Beach, Fl.
2018 Kia Niro LX 7/11/18-
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 09:04 PM
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There is a cogent argument for turning off the AC a few blocks before you stop while keeping the fan running. This reduces moisture in the system that could get smelly. Almost impossible to get rid of the smell in cars so affected. I seldom run my AC so this is a pretty easy policy for me. But few drivers do this, and this worst case appears to affect only a few cars.

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