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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone, we're in the US. I've been a lurker since we bought our 2019 Kia Niro EX HEV (Hybrid) with tech package, brand new on November 23, 2019. Now that the car is inoperable I've become a poster.

Our Niro has 13,750 miles now, and we've loved it until about 8 weeks ago. That's when it wouldn't start for the first time. We learned about the battery reset button and all was well...until it happened again about a week later. It's now happened six times in two months.

One week ago my wife reported "it doesn't want to go", meaning there was a severe lack of engine power. Two days later it refused to recognize reverse gear. I put it in reverse and floored the gas pedal – nothing. No response at all. The engine failure light is on.

It's at the dealer now. He says he'll contact us some time later this week.

How does this happen to a brand-new car, lightly used (99.9 % in the city) with under 14,000 miles? I've owned cars for 50 years, and this is without a doubt the most exasperating experience ever. Next time I'll think twice before trying an automotive brand I've never used before.
 

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I wouldn't worry. Since it sounds like a repeatable problem the dealer will have no problem fixing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
charlesH, thank you for the support! I keep telling myself that these things happen, and all will be well soon; but I also think that I have two top priorities in a car: safety and reliability. We feel very safe in our Niro because of the tech package, but we're not safe at all if the car is unreliable. We specifically went for a brand-new car to get one as reliable as possible – and ended up learning we bought the opposite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After four days, the dealer is now stonewalling. "Your technician isn't in today; we can't tell you anything about your car."
Time to call the KIA Consumer Assistance Center. We're hoping they'll help; so far we've received NO assistance or info at all from the dealer. We're supposed to be given a rental car - that hasn't happened either.
 

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it sounds an awful lot like the main fuse is blown. The biggest problem with the Kia Niro is not the actual car itself, but the dealer network and how they are steadfast refusing to move into the 21'st century of auto mobile that will be electric based. The hybrid is half the step there. My guess is that they think if they give sub par service then people will equate that to electric is unreliable and therefor stick with ICE powered vehicles.

Ive had a couple of check engine lights that have hit my car. But I have the lucky side of a really good dealership who actually stands behind their vehicle. Both times they have gone well beyond what one would expect and given the best service you can imagine. I can accept that cars can break down. I can't accept if the dealership doesn't look after you if it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Roadkill401, I hear you. The dealer connection should be of paramount importance to the manufacturer, because the dealer is the link between the product and the public.
Everyone we've spoken with at our dealer has been aggressive and condescending. When my wife called the dealer today she was told they hadn't had enough time to look at the car yet. When she asked how long it takes to plug in an ODBII and read the codes, the phone rep started reading to her: "Dear...customer...we...are..so..sorry...that...you...are...upset..." My wife interrupted and said "I just want to know what's wrong with my car"; the rep then began reading word-for-word the complaint we dictated when we brought it in: "Multiple use of battery reset button, won't move in Reverse gear..." My wife stopped her and said she's going to call the KIA US nationwide Customer Service rep, and was then told we'll have the car back tomorrow.
When we had the car towed in, there were about 5 or 6 other customers in the service area. Every one of them was upset and complaining, and each of their service reps was spouting inane and implausible excuses. It was laughable until it happened to us. For example, our rep told is it's OK that we have to use the battery reset button a lot, because the battery isn't really dead, just temporarily disconnected. I replied that I'm aware of how the 12-volt battery works; and pointed out that there was no problem for the first 16 months we owned the car, and also that we've had to use the reset button 6 times in the last 2 months. When I added that that's an indication of a power drain that wasn't happening during the first 16 months of ownership and is now an issue, he changed the subject.
Since we were at 14,000 miles we decided to get the 15,000 mile service done while the car is there. My wife had a coupon, issued by the dealer, for $30 off the cost of the oil change for our new car's 15,000 mile service. She pulled out the coupon and our service rep said "Oh, that only covers fossil oil, not synthetic." I said "Don't all new KIAs require synthetic oil?" The rep told me" Oh, no not at all." I said "Which KIAs don't?" He said "Some of the Fortes don't." I Googled KIA Forte oil, and confirmed that every new KIA Forte requires synthetic oil. I told that to the service rep and he claimed that's a lie, there are some new Fortes that require fossil oil. I asked why we were sent a coupon for oil we can't use, and he changed the subject again. In my opinion this is Scam City.
My Dad was in the auto industry for 40 years and I grew up around many dealerships. I've never seen a dealer at odds with its customers the way this one is; and that makes me angry at KIA for allowing this to happen. We live in Los Angeles, the dealership is huge, and everyone there has a nasty attitude.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We got our Niro back yesterday at 6 PM – it took 4 1/2 days. They told us "there was a loose connection near the transmission, from the factory." So far, the car seems back to normal – a huge relief. We LOVE our Niro!

But this dealer...the worst ever. Seems they have a policy that no one can talk to the customer about their car other than the service rep who took the initial report. So if that rep decides to take a day off (as our rep did on Monday) the customer is out of luck until the rep returns. My wife was so incensed, especially when they kept her on hold for over ONE HOUR yesterday, then shunted her to voicemail. During the 4 1/2 days, none of her voicemails was ever returned.

Needless to say, we won't be going back to this dealer for service in the future.

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Here are portions of comments about our dealer from six different reviewers at Cars.com – there are many more in the same vein:

"Expect to walk out in worse shape than when you walk in, you may walk in optimistically but you will walk out agitated and demeaned. I caution anyone considering using this dealership for service."

"Dishonest."

"...the people who work here are hustlers."

"AVOID THIS PLACE AT ALL COST. TOTAL SCAM. UNETHICAL TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE This is the worse service I have received in getting a car."

"Horrible mistake shopping Kia at **** Kia. I would not go back even if my maintenance was free. What a scam."

"Worst buying experience."
 

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What's the name of these scumbags ? So far I've been pretty happy with our dealer but We've only had a check engine light issue . I live in Canada so I can't really say if that makes a difference, although I've heard of some pretty shady tactics used here too , not at Kia but at mostly used car dealers .
 

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Don't let the dealer push you around. Instead of waiting on the phone you should have drove over to talk to the general manager in the showroom in a raised but calm voice. That will get things taken care of. No dealer wants somebody mad at their service dept. in the showroom.
 
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