Is there any way to reduce the OBNOXIOUS reverse warning volume level??

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by SamPenguin, Jul 20, 2020.

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  1. SamPenguin

    SamPenguin New Member

    We just got a 2020 Niro EV a couple of weeks ago. I know some kind of reverse warning backup system is required for pedestrians with EVs in general at this point, but the Niro EV is ridiculous. Our entire neighborhood is woken up each morning with the volume of approximately the same level of a dump truck backing up. No matter where we are we get annoyed looks when the car is in reverse. I've driven several other EVs and none of them had this unbelievably loud volume issue on reverse.

    I've been looking all over for a settings fix or any type of hack or solution... the sales guy at the dealership knew less about the car then I did so no help there. Curious if anyone else here is as embarrassed as we are every time you back the car up and found a way to address it? Ideally we'd just reduce the volume to a reasonable level but at this point I'd disable it completely if I could.
    A Lu likes this.
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  3. Kia Guy

    Kia Guy Active Member

    No, there's no way to reduce the volume.

    EDIT: Yes, also embarassed. I live in a townhouse complex so I am certain I also wake neighbours up.
  4. TheHellYouSay

    TheHellYouSay Member

    Could you back-in when you park to avoid waking people up? I'm sure somebody will figure out where the speaker is and then you can just disarm it. I'll tell you what annoys me are neighbors that put a loud muffler on the family SUV, I get to hear that noise both in forward and reverse. At least we didn't mod our rigs just to annoy other people or as compensation for having a small package.
    Rodriguez likes this.
  5. Speaker behind "grill", lots of work to get to... 2 wires that come from a module behind the glove box.... thinking about putting an on / off / lower volume switch in line.
    A Lu likes this.
  6. Totally annoying VESS, I just unplugged the connector on the front speaker behind the upper bumper cover on my Kona. Honestly I don't see the point of a switch as I am not interested in hearing it under any circumstances.
    A Lu likes this.
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  8. Happy to give you good reasons for a switch. Note I indicated 3 modes:
    1. on at normal volume
    2. on at much lowered volume
    3. off

    OK, first realize that at least in the USA, disabling a safety feature and having an accident can get you sued. If that is not possible in Canada, great, but the rest of the world has a thing called a "lawyer"... enough said.

    So actually disabling it permanently is foolish most modern countries unless you never encounter anyone else on the road. Here they would sue your butt off if someone walked into your car while texting if you had disabled ANY federally-mandated safety features

    option #2 keeps some safety for the dimwits that do indeed not pay attention.

    option #3 is what I would use for my daily commute from my home to my office so I don't have to hear the stupid thing and wake all my neighbors backing out of my driveway.

    So I hope you can see the idea of the switch, which also makes it so the car is functioning right when you take it to the dealer and they don't tear it apart fixing what you modified.

  9. Greg you realize full compliance with these regulations in the US is not required by manufacturers until Sep 1, 2020. Originally it was Sept 1, 2019. The fact that you have VESS in you Niro is purely anticipatory on Kia's part and not yet federally mandated , so I have my doubts a lawyer would get much traction with that one. In Canada, the regulation is also yet to be changed and once they do they are not retroactive, so I break no laws disabling the VESS.
  10. Yes, not federally mandated technically YET, but you disabling the system and having an accident where someone did not hear you would be foolish on your part in my opinion.

    Mandate or not, a good lawyer would tear you to bits by disabling a standard warning mechanism... I won't argue with you, but you could ask some injury lawyers and I would bet you a month's paycheck they would agree with me.

    But do what you want... and please read more carefully next time, I never said it was illegal, I said it would be foolish and a lawyer would eat you up.

    I think it is naive to believe that if something is technically not illegal you CANNOT get sued (as I stated first)... you can get sued over almost anything here in the USA, maybe it's not true in Canada, again the caveat I gave in my FIRST post.

    By the way, if you cannot get sued over something like this in Canada, please let me know, I will move there.

  11. I suppose you can try and sue for anything you like in Canada as well. From the perspective of having lived in both countries I can state that in general Canada is much less litigious than the USA. The likely hood of it happening is very low and the likely hood of success in either country is up for debate as the VESS is not yet an accepted "standard warning mechanism" as you imply. Now if I was to go along with your opinion that I should keep a non required noise generator operational to avoid a lawsuit in the very low probability of a pedestrian related accident, I honestly don't see how your suggestion of putting in a non OEM switch modification that can selectively attenuate or turn the VESS off could make you any less liable in the circumstances you provide. I have to wonder who the lawyers would have more fun with, a vehicle with an unplugged OEM connector or one with an unsanctioned modification/bypass switch?
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
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  13. I would have to agree that the choice between a clear modification, and the unplugged connector would be one to ponder. It would clearly be more difficult to prove that you unplugged the connector, so I would agree with you there for sure.

    In my case I would like to leave the warning on albeit at a much lower level to see if I can live with that obnoxious noise even at a lower level. Also I believe this speaker makes the warning noise that is always present at low speeds. Again I do think I should leave that sound projecting, and I am pretty darn sure that this particular feature has been federally mandated for some time.

    One thing that strikes me as a really stupid implementation is the backup warning sound is produced from the front of the vehicle, all I can figure is that they already had the "spaceship noise" coming from there, so instead of adding another speaker just for the backup sound, they used this speaker and jacked up the volume all out of whack to make up for it being on the "wrong end" of the vehicle.

    By the way, congratulations on living in a much less litigious country. I won't get started on how many lawsuits from people that do stupid things and then want someone to pay for their mistakes we have here in the US and especially California.

    Regards, Greg
  14. Hey, we are affected, too. With insurance, all the CYA regs everybody has incl govts, sign your life away contracts/agreements,...all adds cost to everything.
  15. Greg I think we both agree the provided noise is annoying, and I don't think it would have been unreasonable for Kia and Hyundai to have given us a option with a switch to even temporarily turn it off like they do for the rest of their world market or least wait until its mandatory. It is what it is I guess.

    No need for congratulations, I have a deep affection for both countries , our farm is literally on the Minnesota/Manitoba border and I am privileged to have great close neighbors on both sides. Each country has their respective pro and cons,neither is better or worse just a little different in some ways but mostly the same :)
  16. I agree, the backup volume is just way too loud, so much louder than the normal slow speed warning. But it sure gets noticed, but I think the bystanders think an enormous diesel tractor is backing up ha ha!

    This weekend I will see how to tone it down I hope.

  17. Vector

    Vector New Member

    I've written a complaint about it to Kia, I hope that if everyone does so it will get some attention and a dealer fix. I leased a 2020 Kia Niro EV a couple months ago as well and it REALLY bothers me. All it really needs is a noise reduction, hopefully they could do it in a software fix, from the current 85 decibels or so, down to the required 52 decibels. At the current 85 decibels the backup warning beep is an obnoxious, piercing howl that easily penetrates through the walls of your home and your neighbors.
  18. hmmm... I have the e-niro Launch edition (2019) in the UK the reverse VESS noise is not loud... Infact I never really noticed it inside the cabin... even with the windows open in complete silence its not too loud... (i just checked!)
  19. DerekA

    DerekA New Member

    Is this a new feature in the 2020? I have a 2019 and I don't have a clue what you are referring to...
    Andrew Le likes this.
  20. Jrd

    Jrd New Member

    Yes. Way too loud on 2020!! Greg and I discussing it on too.
    Andrew Le likes this.
  21. Yes, just in 2020 models as far as I can tell.... although you DO have a backup beeping noise outside right?
  22. DerekA

    DerekA New Member

    Nope, just that fake whining sound.
  23. Your car does not beep when you back up? Hmm... it seemed that other people said it does, maybe they were referring to the "you are going to back into something" beep...

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