2023 Kia Niro Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Forward collision avoidance, electrical system, and powertrain issues are among the causes of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Kia’s all-new 2023 Niro is the first of the second generation. Available in what the automaker calls “three flavors” – a hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and all-electric (EV) variants – it has been redesigned from the ground up, and promises “to meet and exceed the expectations of eco-minded consumers.” But not all purchasers of the 2023 Kia Niro are happy with their investment. They are reporting forward collision avoidance issues, electrical problems, transmission failure, and loss of propulsion when turning.

Click on other model years to view more problems: 2019   2020   2022

Most Common Problems with the 2023 Kia Niro

As of July 2023, the 2023 Kia Niro has been on the road for less than a year, and consumer complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) are mounting up. There’s no one stand-out problem, but rather a plethora of different complaints, including several disturbing safety issues.

Components and systems singled out by unhappy owners include the electrical system, forward collision avoidance, the fuel/propulsion system, and the powertrain. There are also several complaints labeled as “unknown or other” issues. These include a complaint that the sunroof suddenly popped and broke for no apparent reason. Another reports nearly hitting a pedestrian because the “dash is textured.” In direct sunlight the texture makes it difficult to see through the reflection on the windshield. “It is so dangerous!”

There is also a recall for the 2023 Kia Niro, including the PHEV, due to an electrical system problem that results in a blank LCD screen display. The problem is that a blank instrument cluster won’t show critical information like tire pressure, warning messages, and warning lights, which increases the risk of a crash. And it’s not just the Niro that’s affected. So too are the 2023 Kia Soul, Sportage, and Telluride vehicles. In total, NHTSA campaign number 23V298000 states that 108,936 vehicles are potentially affected.

2023 Kia Niro Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Air Bags
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Fuel/propulsion System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Vehicle Speed Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Service Brakes
Electrical System:propulsion System:charging:cable/cord:accessory

Problems with Forward Collision Avoidance Issues

An especially alarming complaint was filed with the NHTSA in July 2023 as a forward collision avoidance and electrical system problem. It states that multiple components and systems are failing in a “brand new” 2023 Kia Niro. These include the brakes, adaptive cruise control, and the “smart” stop-and-go cruise control and electrical systems.

Complaining that the car is “brand new,” the owner states that “auto cruise control works great when the car is moving, but when utilizing ‘stop and go,’ the car stops way less than 1/2 a car length from the car in front. A dangerous distance anywhere in my opinion. Changing the following distance does not change this stopping distance behavior.

“The dealership/s have been no help, with most of the techs describing the stop-and-go feature as not stopping. It’s the older models that have had this type of ACC, where the driver has to stop the car. So, if they can’t understand the issue, there is no way to get them to correct the issue.”

Ultimately, the complaint says, this is a “huge safety problem for a brand new car.”

Another owner states that there are major problems with “smart cruise control” in Wisconsin when it rains or snows. The vehicle stops and “says” that the radar is blocked and it is going to disable the use of it as well as the use of regenerative braking.

“So, if you are driving, doing (70+) the speed limit on the interstate, all of a sudden it will terminate without any warning. Now, all of a sudden the car behind you is in your truck space, so you have to accelerate extremely to avoid getting hit. This is an extreme safety hazard.”

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Electrical System Problems

Apart from the electrical system complaint above, there are several others filed as “unknown or other” issues that appear to be caused by the electrical system.

One owner states that the main screen goes blank randomly. It also randomly switches between android auto and normal. “This disrupts navigation and other functions and is both distracting and disruptive to driving, which is dangerous.” The response from the dealership was that “there is no fix from Kia at this point,” and the owner was advised to file a complaint.

Another owner also experienced problems with the navigation system.

“While approaching an intersection light that was turning red, I suddenly heard the car beeping rapidly, and all the red warning lights on the dashboard behind the wheel went off, and the vehicle stalled. Luckily the intersection light was red, so everyone was coming to a halt. I do remember the dashboard becoming blank, like there was no power. I had to turn the car’s power-on button several times before I could shift into Drive. In the meantime, the traffic light turned green, and I was still trying to switch the car to Drive mode. Finally it did and we drove the next 4 hours without issues.”

When the car stalled it was running in hybrid mode, and there wasn’t much charge in the battery. But, the complaint states, it could have been very different if the car had been traveling at higher speeds on a highway. They would’ve been at “high risk of being in an accident, and someone could have gotten hurt for sure.”

A Kia dealer scanned all the systems and found a history code that “means the car lost communication with navigation.” The worry is that “they could not repeat the incident and have no idea why it happened.”

Powertrain Problems

If you can’t shift the gears of your vehicle into Drive, you’re not going to be going anywhere. This is what happened to the owner of a new 2023 Niro with only 1,300 miles on the clock.

According to the complaint, while attempting to shift into Drive, “the transmission failed to shift to the intended gear.” The failure was intermittent, but the owner took it to the dealership anyway. “However, the dealer was unable to duplicate the failure.”

Problems with the Fuel/Propulsion System

A complaint regarding the fuel/propulsion system is also reportedly intermittent. “While slowing down (without bringing it to a full stop) to make a left turn, (the) car dies, (and) loses all propulsion power – it just coasts. First it happened intermittently, then more often. First it happened at low speed, but later even at highway speed. After bringing it to a Park position and restarting (the) car it will run fine … until (there is) another incident.”

What to do if your 2023 Kia Niro is a lemon?

Not every problem 2023 Kia Niro owners experience means that their vehicles are lemons. But if you’re convinced that yours is, Lemberg Law will gladly evaluate your issue free of charge.

Every year, auto manufacturers are forced to buy back, replace, or pay cash settlements to thousands of lemon owners. On top of that, Kia is forced, by the law, to pay the legal cost of lemon law cases. So, you won’t have to foot the bill.

All you need to do is call our Helpline or fill out a contact form right now and we’ll do what we can to help you.

Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

See more posts from Sergei Lemberg

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