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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, purchased my 2020 Niro LXS HEV in March and currently at ~3400 miles. No issues at all to report for the first 3300 miles, but I have since run into a cluster of symptoms that my dealer wasn't able to initially diagnose. In order:
  • Last week: At speed, clutch slipped briefly while accelerating (likely between 3rd and 4th)
  • Friday: Reversing into parallel parking, warning lights for Check Engine, ECS Off and Blind Spot Collision Warning lit up. Message to Check Blind Spot Collision Warning system.
    • On restart, only Check Engine light remained
  • Tuesday: Check Engine light turned off
  • Wednesday morning: Drove to dealership, everything ran fine. Dealer checked code and found CAN errors between ICE and computer (I think). Couldn't replicate any symptoms, reset system and cleared codes. Drove home from dealership without issue.
  • Wednesday afternoon Part 1: Drove to get food. 3 miles in, acceleration went to 0, coast only in EV. Gas pedal didn't increase speed or invoke ICE. Coasted to parking lot and turned car off an on. Drove normally afterward, no warning lights at all. Made it to restaurant.
  • Wednesday afternoon Part 2: Driving home from restaurant. Acceleration went to 0 again, coast only. Braking from coast to full stop but didn't restart, gas pedal, EV and ICE responded normally after stop. No warning lights. Made it home
I'll contact the dealer again in the morning, but wanted to see if any other HEV or PHEV owners have experienced the same or similar issues. Having errors pop up across all of these different systems, and the physical symptoms being related to both the ICE and transmission make me wonder if there's a CPU communication issue, like an intermittent cut.

Any ideas?
 

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Glad your dealer got on it and figured it out. Hope they're right. Please keep us updated on how you make out.
 

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Good to know, my wife has mentioned this a couple times where she hit the gas and nothing happened or it appeared to not have any acceleration. So far I've been thinking user error (accidentally turning off vehicle, no foot on brake, etc.) which is easy to do with it in electric mode and you can't hear if it's on or off sometimes!
 

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Good to know, my wife has mentioned this a couple times where she hit the gas and nothing happened or it appeared to not have any acceleration. So far I've been thinking user error (accidentally turning off vehicle, no foot on brake, etc.) which is easy to do with it in electric mode and you can't hear if it's on or off sometimes!
There is a hill hold feature that can delay a takeoff better part of a full (and scary) second. Activated by a firm press of the brakes while stopped. It is overcome by taking your foot slightly off the brake at a stop and "crawling" a few inches before stopping with a light touch on the brakes.

Initially when this happened, I simply hit the gas a second early to compensate if I needed to cross a road briskly (also scary). Took me a few months perhaps to figure out what was going on and adjust what I did at a stop. After the first year of ownership, like many hybrid owners the car itself changed my behavior and I appear to no longer need quick takeoffs. Can't remember the last one.

So those were my three phases of dealing with this "feature". Turns out not to be a bug. If your wife is accustomed to cars immediately moving when the pedal is pushed (which is of course expected and normal), well good luck with changing your wife's behavior (have you ever been successful)? But trying this for yourself will help you demonstrate it to your wife: press hard on the brakes, and try an immediate launch (in a safe place). Then try the crawl, light touch, and immediate launch to see the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welp, here's the update.

TCM replaced, dealership cleared all codes and released the car back to me.

Made it home, then it all started again a few hours later. Same loss of acceleration, same warning lights (now with Check Hybrid System). Couldn't drive it more than four blocks without it happening.

So it's at the dealer again, third time for the same issue. Next update Monday. Getting close to two weeks. I now know the following:
  • This dealership knows very little about the Niro and hybrid systems in general.
  • Automotive service is facing the same staffing crunch as every other industry.
  • Good luck scoring a loaner vehicle. Everyone has reduced their standby fleet.
  • Never call Kia Roadside Assistance for a tow unless you're willing to wait 4 hours.
I'll see what Monday brings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good to know, my wife has mentioned this a couple times where she hit the gas and nothing happened or it appeared to not have any acceleration. So far I've been thinking user error (accidentally turning off vehicle, no foot on brake, etc.) which is easy to do with it in electric mode and you can't hear if it's on or off sometimes!
Yeah, I definitely had to retrain myself. In ECO mode, I need a heavier foot than my last car, but I've learned to ease back and embrace the gentler acceleration. And yes, it's easy to not notice you're in ACC mode - that's happened to me a few times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There is a hill hold feature that can delay a takeoff better part of a full (and scary) second. Activated by a firm press of the brakes while stopped. It is overcome by taking your foot slightly off the brake at a stop and "crawling" a few inches before stopping with a light touch on the brakes.

Initially when this happened, I simply hit the gas a second early to compensate if I needed to cross a road briskly (also scary). Took me a few months perhaps to figure out what was going on and adjust what I did at a stop. After the first year of ownership, like many hybrid owners the car itself changed my behavior and I appear to no longer need quick takeoffs. Can't remember the last one.

So those were my three phases of dealing with this "feature". Turns out not to be a bug. If your wife is accustomed to cars immediately moving when the pedal is pushed (which is of course expected and normal), well good luck with changing your wife's behavior (have you ever been successful)? But trying this for yourself will help you demonstrate it to your wife: press hard on the brakes, and try an immediate launch (in a safe place). Then try the crawl, light touch, and immediate launch to see the difference.
Great tip on the hill hold! I hadn't heard of that yet. You don't realize things like this exist when you've driven dumpy manual transmissions for the last 20 years.
 

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Great tip on the hill hold! I hadn't heard of that yet. You don't realize things like this exist when you've driven dumpy manual transmissions for the last 20 years.
I've only driven manuals for 45 years until the Niro. However, based on the number of surprised owners here, I can only assume other manufacturer's hill hold features work differently. This one could endanger your life in my opinion.
 

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I've only driven manuals for 45 years until the Niro. However, based on the number of surprised owners here, I can only assume other manufacturer's hill hold features work differently. This one could endanger your life in my opinion.
I don't see that at all with the hill hold function on mine. It releases immediately when I press the accelerator, and there's almost no feeling of it holding then suddenly releasing. I don't know if the calibration changed between model years. Other than the fact the car isn't rolling on a hill, I really don't even notice it working. I can in no way see how someone's life would be "endangered" by using it.
 

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I don't see that at all with the hill hold function on mine. It releases immediately when I press the accelerator, and there's almost no feeling of it holding then suddenly releasing. I don't know if the calibration changed between model years. Other than the fact the car isn't rolling on a hill, I really don't even notice it working. I can in no way see how someone's life would be "endangered" by using it.
Agreed, I've never even noticed the hill hold in my '18. It's certainly never been a cause for concern in over 50k miles.
 

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Wishing you good luck. Our 2019 HEV, purchased new, has around 13,000 miles, and in the last 6 weeks has spent 32 days at the dealer for a very similar problem. First it lost most of its forward power, then It suddenly wouldn't go into reverse at all. Flooring the gas pedal did absolutely nothing. The dealer had it for 5 days ad told us all was fixed. Two weeks later the exact same problem recurred. The dealer kept it for 27 days and returned it yesterday. The paperwork says the "actuator assembly gear" had to be replaced. We'll see how long it works before another failure.
 
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