I found an easier way to unplug the VESS speaker. On my 2020 Kia Niro Phev I spread the two pieces of plastic under the hood latch with some large deep well sockets or something that will spread it far enough to get your hand in. I could then stick my hand in and push the top of the plug where the clip releases it then unplug it. Do it on a hot day because the plastic will bend easier. NO MORE NOISE POLLUTION!!!
I just got a 2021 Niro EV, same issue, it is crazy loud. I measured mine at 87 db with my apple watch.
I reached out to Kia and they confirmed it cannot be changed yet:
"The alert volume cannot be modified at this time. As the vehicle manufacturer, we value customer feedback and consider this information paramount to our success. We will ensure your input is provided to the appropriate levels within Kia America. This information is collected and reviewed so that we may continue improving vehicle performance and customer satisfaction."
I second the general consensus that we should all reach out to Kia. Hopefully they can do a software update to lower the volume.
It is super easy for me to unplug it with my hands. But it seems unsafe to me since it kills the whirring sound at low speeds too.
I also just submitted a complaint to my states attorney general. They have helped me in the past so maybe they will have some input.