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Imagine it. I would mess with it. Unless I couldn't hear it with my windows open. Not only do I not enjoy unnecessary noise, I don't enjoy people having to turn and look at me either.
 

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Found some relevant info on the Ioniq forum:

I'll pretty sure the external ones all come from that front speaker. Its a really difficult to grab the connector through the grill, but you can see it from the front of the car. Its right below and behind the license plate.

And:

There's one problem...the electric variants of the Ioniq (mine) don't have a grill. :laugh:

And:

Well that'll make it difficult!

To pull the front bumper skin off there are 16 bolts (4 under the hood and 6 on the bottom of the car, 3 in each wheel well) and 2 pins in each wheel well. Undo those, pull the bumper 4 inches straight forward and then undo the bumper electrical connector underneath the front left headlight. The skin should now be free. The VESS speaker should now be the most prominent thing sitting front and center on the crash bumper. You can unplug it from there :). I would recommend heat shrinking the connectors, possibly with some rubber eraser stuffed in them to keep the connections from getting full of dirt and water.

You could also try to reach up from underneath the car. Hyundai stuck a massive flat floor splitter piece up there that would need to come off first, though. 6 bolts in the front, I can't find how many exist around the sides. That panel should just drop off easily though.
 

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2019 Kia Niro Touring HEV
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There's such a wide variety of descriptions concerning this here, one wonders if there might be that large a difference from one car to another. Can't see why there would be, but still.
 

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Model year versus current law in different countries directly affect such descriptions. There was a partial change in model year 2019 for VESS, and in 2020 all EVs sold in the US are required to make noise up to 18 miles an hour. Yes, that includes HEVs.
 

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Like most 2018/2019 Niro owners, I find the backup warning sound so subtle that I had forgotten about it and don't notice it any more. When I back out of my garage, the proximity sensors are making a lot more racket than the backup alert makes, even if I have the window down.

But I recall reading something on this topic shortly after I purchased my Niro and thinking "thank God I bought my car before the new law went into effect". Some corroboration here: U.S. finalizes long-delayed 'quiet cars' rule, extending deadline and here: Electric vehicle warning sounds - Wikipedia

I suspect that the sound is much louder in the 2020 Niro because of the new law. Also, I think the speaker is in the back of the car for the backup sound (although the VESS sound seems to come from the front when moving forward).

If you mess with the speaker, there's a potential liability concern. Imagine being parked in a crowded parking lot with a huge pickup truck next to you blocking your view. You back out and hit a pedestrian who was not paying attention and didn't hear any audible sound from your car while backing up.

If I had to deal with this, I probably wouldn't unplug it outright, would probably instead try to find a way to make it quieter (stuff a sock in it or something). Of course, if you do hit a pedestrian, you're probably in an even worse situation from a liability perspective if someone actually inspects the speaker and finds that you've tampered with it (more plausible to just unplug it and say that you didn't know the wire "fell out"). But if you find a way to reduce the decibels to a tolerable level without eliminating the sound completely, then maybe that would be sufficient to prevent the pedestrian accident and also satisfy your neighbor's concerns.
 

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If you mess with the speaker, there's a potential liability concern. Imagine being parked in a crowded parking lot with a huge pickup truck next to you blocking your view. You back out and hit a pedestrian who was not paying attention and didn't hear any audible sound from your car while backing up.
Of course. However if you injure a pedestrian, you are already at fault most of the time. Personally, I only park in lots so I can drive off without reversing - part of the whole let's save energy thing, also why I'm willing to walk from farther away from a shop - less distance driven, safer to leave, and health benefits too (as long as no one hits you while walking). But every modern car comes with a back up camera which is wide angle. So if you just edge your back end an inch past the surrounding cars, you can easily see everyone approaching on foot, even kids. Really there can be little excuse.

I think the law is silly, however NHTSA claims some 2,400 injuries will be avoided. I'm a serious bicyclist and serious pedestrian injuries do result from bicycle/pedestrian impacts (and cyclist injuries too). Can you imagine such a law applied to bicycles? What about joggers hitting senior citizens? Skaters? I like big brother looking out for us, but this is silly. If it is quiet enough, car tires are easy to hear even at 2 mph. When it is not, even mandated dB levels of VESS will not be enough.
 

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I too prefer to park in a way that allows me to drive forward when I leave. Usually I can find a spot that allows that, but not always (especially during Christmas shopping season or, in my most recent experience, while grocery shopping on July 3rd.).

I still haven't gotten the backup camera down. I was trying to train myself to use it in combination with looking over my shoulder, but in recent months I see to have reverted to old habits of just looking over my shoulder. I wonder what Driver Ed classes might be training these days in terms of how to incorporate the camera into your routine (these things didn't exist when I was taking Driver Ed).

I disagree with your point about "if you just edge your back end an inch past the surrounding cars, you can easily see everyone approaching on foot" That has not been my experience when a big truck or SUV is parked 18 inches away from my side door.

The law requiring backup camers is perhaps silly: not sure I agree with that one, although even with my uncertainty about how to best use it, there are times when I really appreciate it. I recall reading something from Consumer Reports claiming that they were an instrumental force in getting the law passed. One more reason that I'm having doubts about CR and no longer hold them in the high esteem that I once did years ago.
 

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This is likely a subjective thing as to how loud their speakers are. I think it's a bit abnormal but I have barely had the Niro for one day. I have never owned an electric or even a hybrid vehicle before and can't say that I have ever heard another persons back up alarm besides a utility truck or something....then again, here in Indiana, hybrids aren't too crazy common yet. We still think rolling coal out of a 2 foot wide exhaust on a pickup truck is cool.... so maybe I just have never noticed.

That being said, I'm not used to it so it seems loud to me but not so loud that it will do anything other than turn a few heads which is kind of the idea. I have already gotten some strange looks from some folks when I was backing up earlier today. Can't wait to be made fun of at work tomorrow 🤣
 

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Congratulations on your purchase AlgaeKiller! Did you purchase an HEV or a PHEV?

I suspect that it's more than a subjective thing. I live on a quiet street and I imagine that if I was backing out of my garage during other people's sleeping hours and my backup alert sound was significantly louder than it is in my 2018 PHEV, people might complain. On the other hand, if anyone ever complained about the sound from 2018 PHEV, I'd probably think they were an insomniac because my car is so quiet in that respect. But I suspect that the 2020 Niros might be a lot louder due to the recent change in regulations.

If your work colleagues make fun of your purchase decision, well: they might have a point depending on their/your perspective. The Niro doesn't rival a Tesla, or a 'vette, or an F250, or a 67 Chevy SS, or a 68 Mustang or a lot of other cars: it's not trying to be any of those things. But it is exceptional at what it is trying to be, which is a highly efficient car, with arguably more creature comfort and better driver visibility than the nearest competitor (Toyota Prius).

I take my PHEV out about three times a week. Sometimes I drive all day in it, but usually I'm just going for a few miles. I haven't put gas in it since last August (about 10 months ago). I don't have to pay extra for electricity because I purchased a house with solar panels that provide more than the house consumes. So for the most part, I've been driving on sunshine for the last 10 months. My current fuel consumption rating is over 170 MPG (it ignores the input from my solar panels, but since I can't control that cost, it's appropriate for me),

And then there's the pollution factor. I live in a part of the USA that has some of the worst air pollution. My Niro, driving on sunshine, almost never contributes to that problem.

If your work colleagues laugh at you, ask them how much they plan to spend on gas in the next 10 months. And then ask them how much crap will go into their lungs in the next 10 months because there are still a huge number of gas powered vehicles on the road. And then maybe point out to them that they could avoid both of their own contributions to those expenses (both financial and heath-wise).
 

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I disagree with your point about "if you just edge your back end an inch past the surrounding cars, you can easily see everyone approaching on foot" That has not been my experience when a big truck or SUV is parked 18 inches away from my side door.
Could be a semi you parked next to. As long as your camera is an inch out past them, you have a clear view of the traffic lane. Your mirror view continues to be obstructed by vehicles on your sides of course. In fact, it may even be safer to back up than go forward as going forward more of your car has to be in the traffic lane until your eyes can see the traffic lane (the hood has to clear tall vehicles on your sides first).
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I just bought a '20 kia niro PHEV and the backup sound is super loud, I didn't realize how bad it was until I got home. My neighbors complained so I'm going to see about disabling it, this seems like a silly hack and there should just be some volume adjustment options.
Any luck?
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Did a check again with my 2019 Niro HEV: with windows down, radio off and engine not running, I can barely hear the beep-beep-beep backup alarm. My wife couldn't hear it, but then she didn't want to shut up about not hearing it, either. ;-)
Sounds like this is a 2020 issue...
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I can hear it from inside the car, but it's not loud at all. The seat belt chime is far louder. And if my window is down while I am backing into the garage, it just isn't that loud. I've also been standing in the garage when my wife has backed it in, and it least for mine it's just not obtrusive. Yes, you hear it. But again, it's like a low seat belt chime. It isn't loud at all.

And the pedestrian alert when moving forward is also very low key. It's more of a Sci-Fi electronic whirring sound, and again just loud enough to be heard without being annoying. Unless they've changed both the sound and the volume level from my '19, I can't imagine why anyone would bother messing with it.
This apparently is a 2020 issue.
 

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Yes, I have a 2020, the speaker behind the "grill" is making the BEEP BEEP sound, it's way too loud and from the wrong end of the car.

I'm taking measures.
 

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You can access the VESS control module in front passenger glove box area and access the connector that runs to the VESS Speaker.
You can disconnect PIN #6 from the VESS Module to disable the speaker. This will save you the hassle of disassembling the front bumper to reach the VESS Speaker.
There is also option to put a resistor in line with PIN #6 to reduce the volume.

If you do disable it, just remember you may run into insurance issue if you do get into an accident with a pedestrian. It is required by law to have that VESS sound to warn pedestrians.

attached are images of the VESS location, PIN layout and speaker.
VESS_Location.PNG VESS_Speaker.PNG VESS_Module.PNG
 

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Thanks, yes I have the 2019 manual, which I figure is the same for my 2020, and on other forums have indicated I will probably put a SPDT center off switch in place with a resistor (to be determined) on one leg.

So, full volume, completely off and reduced volume is my goal.

Interestingly, the "running sound" seems to be from the same speaker...

Greg
 

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They must have really cranked the volume on the 2020. It just isn't that loud on my '19 at all. And the backup alert does seem to come from the rear of the car. Maybe it's just playing mind games with me.
 

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SPDT sounds like very good option. Full volume, off, and reduce volume should work with the SPDT.
 

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They must have really cranked the volume on the 2020. It just isn't that loud on my '19 at all. And the backup alert does seem to come from the rear of the car. Maybe it's just playing mind games with me.
Yeah the backup is very loud on the 2020 version. I had friend stand in front and the rear when i put in reverse, and he said the "beeping" was coming from the front of the car.
 

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it must be newly mandated law that started with 2020 model year? my neighbor just bough a new 2020 CRV hybrid and that thing is "loud" when in low speed and running on electric.
 
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