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Kia recalls 147,000 Seltos and Soul vehicles for fire risks, new engines needed - Roadshow (cnet.com)
Kia recalls 147,000 Seltos and Soul vehicles for fire risks, new engines needed
This recall affects the 2020 and 2021 models with the 2.0-liter engines, though one in a hundred will require a new powerplant.
Sean Szymkowski headshot
Sean Szymkowski

April 20, 2021 9:15 a.m. PT


2021 Kia Seltos

You just might get a new engine, Seltos and Soul owners.
Craig Cole/Roadshow
Kia's brand-new Seltos SUV and the funky Soul are the latest cars involved in a fire risk recall. According to documents Kia filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week, the 2020-2021 model year vehicles may feature improperly heat-treated piston rings.
The automaker is recalling 147,249 Soul and Seltos vehicles for the issue, which could cause a fire or cause the engine to stall while driving. Cars equipped with the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-four engine are specifically affected. During manufacturing, the supplier didn't apply the correct heat treatment, which created harder piston oil rings in the affected cars. In turn, the ring may scuff the cylinder bore and increase oil consumption. Eventually, owners may be faced with a seized connecting rod bearing -- not good.

As for the fire risk, oil may leak onto surrounding exhaust components and ignite. Owners may see the oil pressure warning light illuminate if the vehicle experiences this issue. Abnormal noises from the engine and increased oil consumption are also signs of the problem. Kia said it's not aware of any fires or injuries related to the problem and estimates just 1% of the recalled cars are actually affected by the issue.
Still, when a technician inspects each Seltos or Soul and finds an affected car, the vehicle will need a completely new engine. Kia will cover all work and parts at no charge to the customer, but this will be a big job. The brand will also install a new piece of software to better monitor the issue going forward. Owners of affected vehicles will start to receive notices in early June 2021.
 

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I'm not quite sure how the 1 in a hundred makes any sense. That smells very fishy to me.....unless they have several plants that they build them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not quite sure how the 1 in a hundred makes any sense. That smells very fishy to me.....unless they have several plants that they build them.
I believe what he's saying, out of all the cars and engines they've made it affects 1 out of a 100.
 

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So 1 on 100 may have the oil leak and thus fire issue, for which they have some fix.
However the issue re the piston rings scoring the bores means we will all be having a new engine as a pro-active replacement or should we expect to have an argument years and 10k’s of miles down the road to get one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We get two identical threads about this? Great.
I look at several sites on recalls didn't see this recall. This one has came out April 20, 2020 about the piston rings being defective. People will get letters about this recall starting in June 2021.
 

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I’d love to know the details of what the inspection will involve...
I have a feeling it will be something minimal like listening for some certain noise, and if your vehicle is not exhibiting it yet they won’t replace the engine. As many cars may have lower than usual miles due to Covid (such as ours which has only 4K miles on it) I suspect despite the recall a lot of cars will need new engines down the road as even if they aren’t displaying symptoms yet.
I also hold little faith in any kind of warning system based on listening especially as they will presumably be repurposing the existing engine knock sensor which is designed to heaknock, not necessarily this scraping which would be a very different sound...

I also don’t like the idea of having a new engine in a brand new car either. Frankly Kia should buy them back...
 

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I look at several sites on recalls didn't see this recall. This one has came out April 20, 2020 about the piston rings being defective. People will get letters about this recall starting in June 2021.
You misunderstand Soul boots.
 

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I also don’t like the idea of having a new engine in a brand new car either. Frankly Kia should buy them back...
I'm not super mechanical so I'm curious as to what the problem with a new engine is? You have a new one when you buy it.

If they replace my engine with 15-20k on it, isn't that like getting a fresh start?
 

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After reading just about every article online about this recall I’m thinking the most Kia will do is pull the spark plugs and use a borescope to inspect the cylinder walls for scoring caused by these defective oil rings. No scoring, you’re good to go. If the cylinder walls do show signs of damage you’ll probably get a new engine. The new car warranty covers the engine for 100k miles so if by chance they release your car and later it starts screwing up they’ll (hopefully) take care of it.
My 2021 LX 6 speed hasn’t used much oil in the 3400 miles it has on it; I’d estimate a half cup, tops. Those are break in miles that include 1200 miles of 75-80 mph barreling from Tucson to Houston. The engine is quiet both at cold start and warm so I’m going to treat this car like all my others: keep the oil changed and drive.
Time will tell....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They believe if they made the piston rings have less tension, less friction you'd get better gas mileage. Rings were made too brittle, they slowly broke apart. Causing piston slap and premature worn connecting rod bearings.
 

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If you read the NHTSA TSB closely it is only about 1% of the 147,000 vehicles produced during the period about 120,000 of these were Souls the balance Seltos. The problem is caused by a third party supplier.
 

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If you read the NHTSA TSB closely it is only about 1% of the 147,000 vehicles produced during the period about 120,000 of these were Souls the balance Seltos. The problem is caused by a third party supplier.
Shoulda Called Rock Auto....lol
 

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I'm not super mechanical so I'm curious as to what the problem with a new engine is? You have a new one when you buy it.

If they replace my engine with 15-20k on it, isn't that like getting a fresh start?

If you’re keeping the vehicle for over 10 years until it’s effectively used up then sure.
If you plan to sell it at any point a buyer would favor a car with the original engine over one that has been dismantled by a dealer. It’s just the way it is.
The point being, the car will take a knock to its residual value.
If you had high miles and a low residual and got a new engine good for you. If like me you have extremely low miles and a high residual then you lose out.
 

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If you’re keeping the vehicle for over 10 years until it’s effectively used up then sure.
If you plan to sell it at any point a buyer would favor a car with the original engine over one that has been dismantled by a dealer. It’s just the way it is.
The point being, the car will take a knock to its residual value.
If you had high miles and a low residual and got a new engine good for you. If like me you have extremely low miles and a high residual then you lose out.
Gonna kill our resale for sure. We have had ours for about 16 months and only have 10 k on it.
 
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