Clunking Vibration type sound

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by blakehaas, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    The dealers don't seem to have a lot of autonomy here - they can only follow the instructions they get from Hyundai. When they changed the gearbox, it was probably because this is the guidance that they got from Hyundai.

    And if Hyundai isn't really sure as to what the right fix is (or they are waiting to see if the ones they have replaced already actually solve the problem), then I guess that everyone else goes in the queue. I was hoping that by now they would have a clear understanding of what the real issue was, but I have yet to see any indication of this.
  2. It would be surprising if they don't know by now. Given there isn't an epidemic-level of cases they may be just minimising warranty costs by ignoring it as long as they can, or are still deciding where the blame and liability lies between Mobis (motor) and Hyundai's drivetrain engineering. If there were more catastrophic failures (only one reported in the global FB group so far) such that road safety was compromised there might be regulatory action taken to force their hand.
    It interest me that many complaints anecdotally seem to come from cooler weather regions and the noise appears temperature-dependant. The Kona sells second only to the Model 3 in NZ and I'm certain if there were any such complaints it would be reported in our EV facebook group.
  3. Lots of warranty time left, got to give Hyundai the benefit of the doubt. Replacing the applicable components to this point without a defined resolution is costing them $ on a what so far appears to be a "hit and miss" basis.
    They have been there for me (so far) with any warranty issues so unless something catastrophic occurs, I am willing to wait the course.
  4. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    Excellent point. It's the same reason why I continue to actively participate in all the threads about this topic - despite my motor and noise being fixed many months ago. I fear what will happen when warranty expires and problem comes back. Without a clear explanation of the cause and solution, it's difficult to have long-term confidence in these cars. Motor swaps are ~$10K repair including labor. As your experience and that of other owners shows, even within warranty, it can be a challenge to get noise issues addressed in a timely manner.

    I wouldn't base my statistics around Facebook (or any social media for that matter). I don't use Facebook and I'm sure many other EV owners don't either - especially for their closed private interest groups. If anything, owners are more likely to post on open public forums because these forums show up in google searches about issues.

    If any of the popular news outlets actually posted a story about this issue, we would probably get even more owners checking their cars and posting about it.
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  5. Well, I haven't written them off yet. And am really hoping they come up with a definitive solution. This car has a lot going for it, and would be quite happy to own it for a long time. Right size, I like the looks, few little quirks with the FCA and some other driver assist features (that I can live with), great range, nice seats and interior, lots to love. And oh, my wife likes it. She hasn't even noticed the click, clicking, and I haven't told her.
  6. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    I suspect many owners with the problem don't notice their clicking. I often see people post videos or recordings demonstrating the problem and other owners responding that they don't hear anything in the recording while it's obvious to me. Maybe having owned other much quieter EVs than the Kona/Niro has made me more sensitive to these issues than someone coming from an ICE vehicle. That's why I keep hoping someone runs a story about it to raise awareness.

    Another thing to consider regarding warranties. How long are we expecting KIA/Hyundai to stock spare motors for these cars? The companies have announced new dedicated BEV platforms coming next year. This could be the last model year for these cars before they are discontinued.
  7. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    Car manufacturers are required to supply parts for 10 years. After that, you might be out of luck. If they continue to use the same motor/gearbox then it wouldn't be a problem.

    It remains to be seen what they do when the new BEV platforms become available. To some extent it will depend on whether the new platforms will be less expensive to manufacture, and whether it is cheaper than the Kona/Niro. If they do stop making Kona, it won't be for lack of demand.
  8. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    Considering how difficult it is to get parts now (some people in Europe waited 3 months for a motor!), I would hate to think how rare the parts will become once they stop model production. I'm sure they will continue to produce the ICE versions of the Niro/Kona so no issues with the shared parts. More of a concern about the EV specific components on such a limited production model.

    Forgot to respond to this earlier. The Kona was actually the second case of a catastrophic motor failure. The first happened on a eNiro a long time ago. I had trouble finding the link again since most of the activity about these cars is on non-english forums. From what I recall, this one failed during a dealer test drive where the drive axle/shaft broke (difficult to know exact details due to language barrier). Prior to the failure, the car produced the clicking noise we're familiar with for a long time but continued to be used for test drives due to limited supply. Brief mention of it here. Same incident was also described on another Dutch forum but can't find the exact post.

    In that thread, owners also describe their motor replacement experience which matches what I saw elsewhere. New motor revision with some kind of reinforced plate to mate the gearbox to motor. This ends up requiring longer bolts and drive shaft.

    I will say that the quantity of posts complaining about this issue on various international forums has declined in the past few months. Not sure if this means newer cars are less frequently affected, warmer temperatures, or simply a side effect of nobody driving anywhere due to virus lockdown.

    Unfortunately, no decline in reports of dead 12V batteries. If anything those have actually increased.
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  9. I would agree the warmer temps definitely have had an affect, as I can only make mine tap at will first thing in the morning while in reverse (about 10 to 12 degrees ambient C at that time). The rest of the time it is now silent.
    I am also not a big fan of having the inside of my car hosed down with alcohol, so I am waiting for both the software update and tapping noise investigation until things settle down.
    KiwiME likes this.

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