Tapping or Creaking Noise when coasting at low speed

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by wizziwig, Jun 8, 2019.

Do you hear the same noise?

  1. Yes, I hear the same noise

    7 vote(s)
  2. No, I don't hear the noise

    5 vote(s)
  1. wizziwig

    wizziwig Member

    So apparently my dealer thinks this noise is normal for an electric motor and they won't do anything to fix it. The tech said their demo Niro EV makes the exact same sound when driving below 10 mph and letting pure regen slow the car. I wasn't present to verify that claim but it wouldn't surprise me after reading owners complain about it on almost every international e-Niro forum. The above video came from this French forum where about a dozen owners have been dealing with this defect since March with no sign of a permanent solution.

    Just warning any customers considering buying this car from KIA USA. Even if your test drive model doesn't make the noise, there is no guarantee it won't eventually develop this defect like many others. Seems to take different amount of time on each car - maybe depending on where and how you drive it or varying manufacturing tolerances.

    It's interesting that the extremely annoying VESS pedestrian warning moaning starts at about the same time as this knocking noise and drowns it out to some extent - I wonder if KIA did that on purpose? My car has VESS permanently disabled since it's not required by law until next September. If you want to temporarily disable VESS and don't have the off button like European Niros, then just pull fuse labeled "Module 4" inside the cabin fuse box. Location shown in owner manual.

    Attached is what it sounds like now at 4000 miles. Even worse than when I started this thread. It now does it on any regen level (0 though 3). All I have to do is drive around a flat parking lot without using the friction brakes - just tap accelerator to 10mph and let regen slow you down. At higher speeds, the slow knocking speeds up and becomes a constant rumbling/droning noise instead.

    Attached Files:

    • clip.mp4
      File size:
      657.7 KB
  2. Howard Ablat

    Howard Ablat New Member

    I have this sound on my brand new kia niro ev with only 300+ miles. It sometimes sound like I'm driving next to a motorcycle at certain speeds. It gets really annoying. Does the sound eventually go away?
  3. Case

    Case New Member

    No. if anything it only gets worse.
  4. wizziwig

    wizziwig Member

    I'm at about 4500 miles.

    Unfortunately the sound will continue to get worse, eventually spreading to higher speeds where it speeds up to produce a sort of droning, buzzing, or rumbling sound that is always there is the background. For me, it's worst in the 30-40 mph range after the drivetrain has been warmed up through a long drive. The slow tapping noise below 10 mph has also gone from only being present during deceleration to also there when slowly accelerating.

    Agreed that it often sounds like a moped under my hood. :(

    If KIA's goal was to build a "Stealth EV", this sure does the job. Not only does it look like a regular gasoline car, it almost sounds like one. :p

    If you're interested in following this topic, there are more active discussions in the UK forum here. That post also links to other international forums with similar threads. You can use desktop Chrome browser to translate.
  5. wizziwig

    wizziwig Member

    Hilarious video. The relevant bits start at time offset 5:30. Looks like this owner was lucky enough to reject the car under some kind of lemon law and get his money back to buy a Tesla. At least it looks like KIA in Europe is fully aware of the "ticking motor" problem with many of these cars.

    Andre Laurence likes this.
  6. mf989

    mf989 New Member

    800 miles on mine, built 08/2019. Starting to think I hear the clicking. Ugh.
  7. wizziwig

    wizziwig Member

    That's disappointing to hear but not unexpected. I've seen no evidence on any of the international forums that KIA ever found a permanent solution to the problem so new cars are still likely being produced that will eventually develop the motor/gearbox rattle. If you want to be sure, try temporarily removing module 4 fuse, as I explained earlier in the thread. Diagnosis or recording is much easier without the VESS audio whine in the background.
  8. ITown

    ITown New Member

    My 2 cents - unless the noise is really disruptive (not a quiet rattle), it's probably not worth taking it in for a fix until there's evidence that Kia can reliably solve the issue. The power train warranty is good for 10 years so you aren't going to be screwed if you wait a year to get it dealt with.
  9. mf989

    mf989 New Member

    About 1300 miles on the ODO, less than 2 months old, and Kia is planning to replace my motor for this noise. However, there are no motors available in North America with no lead time for stock.

    I’m a week into being without my vehicle, 3 more until I start pursuing the lemon law buy-back!!!
  10. MartyDow

    MartyDow Member

    6500 miles; I hear nothing except typical windup under heavy acceleration...
  11. Wow. Seems many people have had this problem, but not all. I am only at 400 miles, so far so good (fingers crossed).

    mf989, how can you tell the build date? According to this decoder, all I can tell is what order it rolled off the production line from which plant. Is there a place I can look up which numbers were produced when at each plant?
  12. mf989

    mf989 New Member

    The vehicle date is above the VIN in drivers side door sil.

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