NHTSA to Probe Kia EV6 After Claimed Power Loss

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is launching an investigation into the Kia EV6 after 11 complaints were filed regarding sudden power losses. 

The relevant document states that 2022 model year vehicles saw owners noting “a loud pop noise followed by a warning displayed in their dashboard and immediately experience a loss of motive power that ranges from a reduction to a complete loss of motive power.” However, interviews showed a wide range of time intervals between the vehicle issuing a warning message and the subsequent power loss. 

According to Automotive News, the NHTSA will be conducting a Preliminary Evaluation (PE) to determine the cause of the issue and estimate how many Kia EV6 electric compact crossovers might be affected. 

From Automotive News

The agency said there is a "strong correlation" between the loss of motive power and failure of the Integrated Control Charging Unit that powers the vehicle batteries.
NHTSA has opened a preliminary evaluation to assess the scope and severity of the potential safety defect, which could affect nearly 20,000 Kia EV6 electric compact crossovers.
A Kia spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The 2022 EV6 is the first dedicated EV that Kia has rolled out as part of its effort to debut eight EVs by 2029. This year through June, Kia has sold 8,328 of the electric compact crossovers, according to Automotive News data.

Complaints mimic what has already been seen on the mechanically similar Hyundai Ioniq 5, which the NHTSA is also investigating after receiving 30 reports of power loss. These typically included some mention of a loud popping sound followed by the vehicle issuing a warning and the eventual decline of motive power. 

"To address the concern, Hyundai is launching a service campaign in July that will update the affected vehicle's software and replace the ICCU if necessary," explained Hyundai. "We value our cooperative relationship with NHTSA and have engaged in frequent, open and transparent dialogue with the agency on this topic."

It’s likely the EV6 issue will be resolved in a similar manner, once the cause has been determined, with cooperation from the manufacturer. No formal recall requests have been issued to either company just yet. But the investigations have not yet moved into that phase.

[Image: Kia]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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4 of 32 comments
  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Jul 11, 2023

    "We value our cooperative relationship with NHTSA and have engaged in frequent, open and transparent dialogue with the agency on this topic."

    The typical politically correct, "please don't sue us" PR flack response.

    • See 1 previous
    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jul 13, 2023

      I suspect the issue is the cooling loop for the motor and switching power supply, not the battery.

      Early Ioniq 1s had this issue, and their batteries are air cooled. My 19 Ioniq EV has been fine, though.

  • Rebecca Rebecca on Jul 14, 2023

    I had that happen to me very recently in my 2020 Bolt EV although I don’t recall a loud popping noise—only a sensation of a small bump (or the car hiccuping), then warning lights coming on, then losing all motive power. It is not a pleasant sensation to be driving in traffic going 70+ mph and have that happen! Luckily, I was in the rightmost lane and could navigate to the shoulder, but what if I hadn’t been? The dealer tried 3 times to fix the car (in communication with GM engineers each time). The third time they replaced the wiring harness and say it is now repaired. I’m waiting now for GM to reunite me with the car as it happened miles from home and in another state. Can you tell me how I can write to the NHTSA in case they are interested?

  • Kcflyer hang in there Lexus. Keep making the IS with the V8 and sooner or later I will buy a new one :)
  • 1995 SC I'll take Mystichrome. And a different car
  • Wolfwagen I wish I could afford one of these except that stupid short master. Has no one learned from the Hummer H2 SUT?
  • 1995 SC Any Tom Petty album
  • Wolfwagen Another Democratic green energy boondoggle. Have they even paid for the clean up at Solyndra yet? I wish some investigative journalist would follow the damm money to see how much is going into the pockets of the DNC and Politicians and donors