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2020 Kia Niro Eco Hybrid
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This is kind of a long one, so I'll do my best to keep it concise. Some of it is for the purposes of keeping track of the saga of my Niro, as well as maybe getting other's experiences. There are three Kia dealerships involved in this, I'll call them Vision Kia 1, Vision Kia 2 and Dorschel Kia. I leased said 2020 Kia Niro Hybrid in March 2021, it had 11 miles on it, and currently has just over 1K miles.

- 16 May (Sunday), drove to visit my mom an hour-ish drive away. Car was fine on the drive there. Stopped at her house for a bit, then drove two miles away for an event. Pulling into the parking lot the check engine light (yellow, not blinking) came on, followed by the yellow HEV warning and triangle light. Parked car, shut it off, gave it a few minutes, turned it back on. Check engine light is still on but the check HEV triangle is gone. Shut car back off, it sits for a few hours while we attend event. Call husband, we decide it should be safe to get us back home, but pick a route that will take us past a Kia dealership should I need it. We hooked the car up to the OBDII later that night and it came back with zero codes.

- 17 May (Monday), I call Vision Kia 1, the dealership I leased the car from, and leave a message for the service department. Before taking my kid to school, I checked the HEV vent, made sure it was clear and wiped it with a dry cloth. While driving son to school, check engine light goes off, and no check HEV warning. Service department calls me back and informs me that they have no certified hybrid technicians, all their mechanics are undergoing training. Kind of floored by this, because this info was not given to me when we leased the car...and we were introduced to the service manager. Vision Kia 1 wants me to take vehicle to Vision Kia 2, obviously...it's their "sister" store. I explain that currently the light has gone off and the car is behaving, but I will keep that in mind if further issues arise. I'm miffed at the prospect of having to take the car 45 minutes away.

- 18 May (Tuesday), get in vehicle to take kid to school and the check engine light comes back on, followed by the HEV warning and light. Get kid to school, go home and find there is a Dorschel Kia about a mile from my house. Much better option I think, because I can just drop the car off and walk back home. Call them and they're like..."oh, we can get you in the beginning of July". ????? I book the appointment just to have it on the books while I mull over the other options. Aside from military drills, I work from home, so I decide to make minimal use of the car over the next week.

- 24 May (Monday), get in the car to take son to school. About a mile from the house, the engine surges and I get the RED "turn car off, check HEV system" warning. I do this, start it back up in an attempt to hopefully loop around and get it back to the house so my son can grab the bus. It does it again and I decide just to pull over and park it. Call husband at work and ask him to come get child and take him to school.
Utilize the roadside assistance via my car insurance and the plan is to have it towed to Dorschel Kia, a mile from the house, thinking that's the best option. I sit by the side of the road, melting in said for for two hours waiting for the tow truck. I call Dorschel and let them know it's coming and am told they "work tow-ins into the schedule, but it might be two weeks to look at it." While I'm waiting, I reach out to the person who sold me the car from Vision Kia 1. Tell him that when I called their service department the first time they said they couldn't work on the vehicle, that my insurance only tows within 5 miles, and that it was going to Dorschel Kia. He was apparently not aware Vision Kia 1 weren't certified to work on hybrids. Again, they want me to get the car to Vision Kia 2, and "we MIGHT be able to get you a loaner if you took it to a Vision Kia." I ended up calling Vision Kia 2 who tried to encourage me to bring it to them and they'd be able to "hopefully" look at it within a week but had no loaners available and probably wouldn't for 3-4 weeks. That did me absolutely zero good, and even if I did have it towed there...I'd be stuck 45 minutes away. He basically wanted me to just have the tow truck coming to get it turn around and drive it to them, and me to pay out of pocket. At this point I'm just like...no, you know what, it's going to Dorschel and I'll figure something else out.
Tow truck shows up finally, and we realize that in the two hours I sat by the side of the road with the hazards on, the car is now completely disabled and won't start. Yay.

Once the car is safely dropped off and I ping about them at least being able to charge it enough to get the window back up, I walk home and start trying to figure out alternate vehicle options. Dorschel doesn't do loaners, but I can "walk down to Enterprise and rent a vehicle." First plan is to take the project car in and see what it might need to make it road legal and drivable...then we'd have two of our own vehicles to drive while the Kia sits at the shop for an indefinite amount of time. That ends up being a no-go when it turns out it would be around $2500-$3000 to fix it. So I start looking at other options. I call Kia consumer affairs who tells me I can rent a vehicle for $35 a day, on my dime, and as long as the repair is covered under my warranty, I can file for reimbursement with Dorschel when ever I get my car back. Considering I don't know what's wrong with the car, or how long they might have it...paying out of pocket for a rental when I LEASE the car, and am also still paying for is...not what I wanted to hear. I can't exactly afford to pay for a rental out of pocket if it turns out they might have my car for months. I've heard some horror stories from others who've been in similar situations thanks to COVID. And of course, if I went this route before knowing what the issue was, knowing my luck they'd come back and tell me because I drove the car with the light on that I voided my warranty.
So basically at this point, we're down to one legal vehicle. My husband has been carefully making his way to work with the Hummer, and I have the Fusion to be able to run errands and be available for child duties during the day.

Fast forward to this past Monday ( 7 June), the two week mark. I've heard nothing back so I call Dorschel. Lady at the desk can't see any info and says an advisor will contact me. I get a vague text message later stating "we've ordered the parts, but there's no ETA on them, so I've reached out to our parts department." What parts? What exactly is the issue? No one's contacted me and said they even LOOKED at the vehicle other than jumping it so they could get the window up and get it inside. About an hour after that I'm finally told that they ordered a new high voltage battery. Apparently the one in the vehicle had some kind of a short that was "sending the electrical system in the car wild." And that's where we sit as of Monday. No ETA on when the battery will arrive, or when I might see my Kia again.

- Danielle
 
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