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Hi all,

I was able to remove the modem from my 2020 Niro EV - here's how I did it. I saw some others asking about this but no answers, so I hope this is helpful. It's actually not as difficult as I had expected. This is for the non-navigation head unit. According to schematics, Kia sold a version of this head unit without UVO, which just seems to lack the board we are removing anyway.

Fully removing the modem board also disables the satellite radio (it's on the same board) and the FM/AM radio (the head unit really wants to initialize satellite radio before it will let you control FM/AM). I don't care about any of those, so it's fine with me. Otherwise the car is fine with it, USB media is fine, etc. I didn't test any phone connections.

The modem and satellite radio look relatively independent, so it might be possible to identify the power to the modem and cut some traces to preserve radio 馃

Anyway, here is the procedure. You need to access the screws on the left and right side of the head unit to remove it, then remove the modem from the head unit.

Preparation

Disconnect the 12V battery positive terminal to shut off the car.

Right fascia

The glossy black fascia is separable from everything else - which was a surprise to me. The trick is to find the notch just to the side of the head unit and start prying there:

Automotive design Car Steering wheel Steering part Automotive exterior


There are no screws, all retention clips. Be very gentle, try to get as close to the next clip as you can to pry; the fascia is pretty thin compared to the strength of the clips. It's not all that difficult.

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Left fascia

There's a notch on this side too, and the panel should pull free the same way. (I actually went the long way around from panel below the steering column to the gauge cluster trim before I realized this piece was removable this way, but this should be a lot simpler.)

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Remove head unit

Remove the two screws to the left of the head unit.

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Remove the two screws to the right of the head unit.

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The head unit will pull free. This took more force than I expected. Then, disconnect all the cables from the head unit. The various antenna cables are all color coded, so don't worry about keeping track of which is which.

If you don't want to fully remove the modem board, gray and red are the two LTE antennas. Yellow is satellite radio. Connector "C", the rectangular connector on the top board (barely visible in this picture), seems to have the CAN bus, a "wake up" signal, and "MTS key".

Computer cooling Circuit component Computer Passive circuit component Computer hardware


Disassemble the head unit

Remove the four screws on the top panel of the head unit and remove the panel.

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Remove the screws from the back panel and remove the panel. You do not need to remove the ground lug screw. Note that the two screws near the rubber bumper are longer when reassembling.

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The top board is the modem/satellite radio board. Remove the screws holding the board down, then gently lift the board.

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Finally, with the modem board free, reassemble everything in reverse and reconnect the 12V battery.

Computer Passive circuit component Circuit component Personal computer Engineering


Success!

Congratulations! The UVO indicator won't show up on the dashboard any more. Other UVO things still appear in Settings but it generally just acts like UVO isn't activated.
 

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Whereas we have no proof, and simply based on what pretty much every other company is doing... Kia is probably accumulating heavy dossiers on each car with UVO. The data included would be:

(1) Original purchaser, address, cash/lease/credit, and depending on which of these, a heavy load of personal financial information
(2) Mileage driven on workdays and on weekends
(3) Current address where car spends nights
(4) Current address where car spends days
(5) Each address visited
(6) Vacations or other long trips (including work trips)
(7) Restaurants frequently visited

This detailed profile would be a valuable sale to all kinds of data brokers and first parties such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon, some of which we know attempt to cross-compile with other sources, including cellular, etc., to put together a perfect profile of you, your interests, income, etc.

Commercial interests aside, we know that the US government massively purchases the sort of data Kia probably collects because while the government is forbidden from getting this data from, say, Kia, without a warrant, the US government can (and freely does) purchase it all the time. The ACLU explains:


I for one, would like to do this mod.
 

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2019 NIRO PHEV EX
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You do know every car in the US has a black box recorder in it which records your driving behavior and immediately saves this information for law enforcement and insurance accident reconstruction specialist when you have a wreck. It is invaluable for accident reconstruction and to determine fault. All cars must have this equipment.

Also, if the Government or law enforcement want any of the information you mentioned they can just subpoena your cell phone data and get the same information.

A cars modem can help in emergencies and help locate a stolen vehicle - it is a welcome asset to most people.
 

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Well, I hope you don't use a smart phone, or any phone with GPS or access to the internet. Never log in to your email, facebook, twitter or any other social media. They got you there too. In fact, just never use a computer that has internet connectivity as your ISP will share your data. Time to go back to an old CRT television with rabbit ears for reception and make sure you never drive through a populated area that has any sort of cameras around. Can never be too careful with who is watching.

Honestly, if you are removing this modem as a means of stopping Kia from selling your data it is rather silly unless you are Edward Snowden.
 

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I have nothing to hide, I don't mind that my data is gathered. There's paranoia, then there's PARANOIA.
 
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Worked for a small company where one of the owners was super paranoid about government reading emails. He had everyone get hush email account and sent private emails through that account. (None of the information i received was private or of any concern to me (or the government)....

I assume the government is listening and knows what I am doing....
 

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Niro HEV, 2020, Dynamic Link, KIA Connect, EPB, StdGen5W
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Hmmm, I drive every day minimal 1 time to my golf club (3,5 km from home) and I have the Niro with Kia Connect now more then one year, but I never got advertising about golf equipment and I also got never advertising about things for my apartment ... something must go wrong by KIA with my data ...
 
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