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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know my car religiously inside and out. If theres something out of sorts I know right away, as I take good care of it keeping it clean and tidy. I noticed over the summer there was a small yellow dot neat the sunroof on the headliner. I called kia and made note of it, and they told me to follow up with a dealership in my area. I went to a dealer close to my work so they could check it out and see if it was something they could just clean off or something more serious like a leaking sunroof. Mind you the dot wasnt big but it was yellow so I figured something either got wet and bled through, or something was wrong with the headliner itself, and I for sure would have noticed something like this if it wasnt new. So I take my vehicle in to the dealer who will remain nameless at this time. They told me they would have someone take a look at it and see if they could clean it. I come back to the dealer to pick up my car later that afternoon, and to my surprise my headliner is MUCH worse than when I left it earlier. The person who tried to "repair" my headliner basically just rubbed the spot until it disappeared and called it a day. The headliner as you all know is a waffle weave kinda pattern. My headliner now has a big fuzzy discolored spot where the "professional" "fixed" the original problem. I expressed my concern to one of the service writers and he said sorry its probably just still setting up, and if you arent satisfied we can certainly see if we can have it replaced under warranty, but you have to wait a month until out regional manager comes out to approve or disapprove. Needless to say I was NOT happy.

So today I called their service manager who I tried to contact on friday, but it was friday and I wasnt expecting a super fast call back. The service manager get in touch with me today and I explain to him I feel the quality of work is unacceptable and that I want it taken care of, not by their people because I obviously dont trust them after seeing what they call "factory matched repair" Our conversation began to get a little heated, as he kept trying to press the issue that the headliner was already ruined when I brought it in, and that they simply tried to fix it, and I explained they only made it worse. He then gave me a holier than thou attitude and began to tell me that I am wrong and they can replace it under warranty but I will have to wait until a regional person approves it. I then explained to him that, if their vendor ruined my headliner, and they utilize this vendor, why would they make Kia pay for the screw up of that vendor. (In my opinion this seems shady and a bit on the fraudulent side) He then got very loud and began to tell me that hes been doing this for so long and he knows how it works, and that he was trying to make it right, but he obviously cant satisfy me. I told him that I dont trust their ability to replace my headliner after seeing their choice in judgement regarding the repairs, and what if then they do further damage to my vehicle scratching and possibly cracking my dash and pillars. He then proceeded to tell me he wasnt getting anywhere with me and that I better take it back to the dealer I bought it from and let them deal with it, I then calmly apologized for wasting his time and hung up the phone. Needless to say I AM FURIOUS! Can anyone have some input as to what the next step should be to resolve my issue? Honestly I want them to pay for me to have it replaced by a professional and not the people they have working for them, they screwed it up, they should pay to have it fixed, not pass the bill to kia!

Here are some pics of the "repair" and what the other side looks like, which is what the other side should look like, I feel like an idiot not taking a before picture, but that shouldnt make a difference seeing how bad this thing looks.
IMAG0042.jpg IMAG0043(1).jpg IMAG0044.jpg
 

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Call Kia customer care on that original case number and file a complaint with dealer. Tell them there is no reason to have to wait for a regional manager especially waiting on a month. Take good pics and document everything and who you spoke with. Call the owner of the dealership where the service manager works and file a complaint with the owners as well
 

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I'm conflicted on this one. Yes, the "repair" is laughable, but they offered to fix it under warranty if you could just wait a month. Worthy of a complaint to the service manager? Sure. Worthy of a "heated conversation"? No way, IMO. Don't sweat the small stuff (especially when the small stuff could be fixed in a month....).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm conflicted on this one. Yes, the "repair" is laughable, but they offered to fix it under warranty if you could just wait a month. Worthy of a complaint to the service manager? Sure. Worthy of a "heated conversation"? No way, IMO. Don't sweat the small stuff (especially when the small stuff could be fixed in a month....).
I should have clarified, the regional guy can say yes or no, so then if I do wait a month and he says nope sorry, then what?
 

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Fragile paint, fragile door panels, fragile head liners...sheesh these cars are fragile!
Find me any other < $20k car whose headliner wouldn't fray from such a "repair". I won't hold my breath :)

I should have clarified, the regional guy can say yes or no, so then if I do wait a month and he says nope sorry, then what?
Then you get angry and have a "heated conversation". However, sounds like you've already burned that bridge :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Find me any other < $20k car whose headliner wouldn't fray from such a "repair". I won't hold my breath :)



Then you get angry and have a "heated conversation". However, sounds like you've already burned that bridge :)
I didnt get heated the service manager did, I tried to keep my cool which I did, he just seemed to have a **** and bull excuse for why he allowed it to happen. Im frustrated because if he thougt it was already ruined when I brought it in why would he try to repair it instead of calling it a warranty claim and replacing it like he said when I spoke to him? See where Im getting a little bothered?

Does anyone else have any suggestions as to what route I should take to sold this issue? Clearly Im not gonna just live with my headliner being ruined in a car thats less than a year old
 

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Personally and I could be wrong here...I think the responsibility to replace the head liner rests squarely on shoulders of the dealership that tattered it up, as seen in the pictures.
If they had dented a door or fooked up a fender would they need to see the "area rep" to resolve it?
Getting "heated" is par for the course when someones personal possessions get damaged, go missing and alike.
It starts with a misplaced word or when someone calls "bull****" and the other party cries "foul"
Trying to put that responsibility on corporate Kia is a mistake and a tactic I.M.O.
Now I'm just a dumb car owner so what do I really know but that's just what seems right to me.
As I like to say..."Don't piss on my Kumhos and tell me it's raining!"
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Personally and I could be wrong here...I think the responsibility to replace the head liner rests squarely on shoulders of the dealership that tattered it up, as seen in the pictures.
If they had dented a door or fooked up a fender would they need to see the "area rep" to resolve it?
Getting "heated" is par for the course when someones personal possessions get damaged, go missing and alike.
It starts with a misplaced word or when someone calls "bull****" and the other party cries "foul"
Trying to put that responsibility on corporate Kia is a mistake and a tactic I.M.O.
Now I'm just a dumb car owner so what do I really know but that's just what seems right to me.
As I like to say..."Don't piss on my Kumhos and tell me it's raining!"
Exactly my point. I dont see it any different than if they did body damage to my car, wouldnt I be able to take it a professional other than them and have them pay the bill? I am not asking for compensation beyond anything other than fixing my headliner correctly, and NOT have them do the work, because clearly they are not skilled in this area of expertise
 

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Exactly my point. I dont see it any different than if they did body damage to my car, wouldnt I be able to take it a professional other than them and have them pay the bill? I am not asking for compensation beyond anything other than fixing my headliner correctly, and NOT have them do the work, because clearly they are not skilled in this area of expertise

Well...If "THEY" did the damage then chances are it will be "them" that you will have to allow to rectify the damage.
Obviously rubbing this type of material was not the thing to do but you sometimes find these things out when it's too late and the damage is done.
Kia mechanics are people too! Not holier than thou and not always more experienced though one would expect them to be.
I do think the dealership is skirting the isse and it's an issue they created though perhaps inadvertently while trying to rectify the original problem of a simple stain.
Clearly this headliner responds better to the blotting technique than the rubbing technique when stains are concerned.
I do think that some of Kias material choices (paint/door panel plastics/head liner fabrics/even tires) could have been better than what they are.
"I paid under 20k" is of little consolation when your paint is chipping, your door panels are scratching or you headliner needs a shave.
F.W.I.W...I paid 10k O.T.D. for my 2 Elantras in 2004 and neither had any of these material issues that our beloved souls have.
Proving that it's not necessarily the price paid that is the benchmark for the quality received.
Something that has kept me in the Hyundai/Kia fold since 1988 with our soul being lucky #7.
 

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I have a thread posted here on a very similar headlliner issue. It was not the dealership that created my problem, but myself. I had no idea that you simply can't clean the cheap interior headliner at all. I used upholstery cleaner that had a soft plastic brush to it. It left the area worse than what I started with. If the material gets the least bit wet, then it frays apart immediately and looks like one of those sweaters in need of a clipping with a trimmer. Lord help anyone who gets anything at all spilled on their headliner, as there is not cleaning it at all as far as I can tell. The material is pure crap and any attempt at all to clean it is a disaster in the making. My wife loves this car, but I have pretty well decided that there is no Kia Soul in my future, nor will I recommend one to anyone else at this point. Cheap materials like this are a real disappointment when they cost the consumer a bundle to replace or repair. Again, this was my own fault, as I had noticed that there was a couple of small dots of grease on the headliner from where I had used the assist strap and must have had some grease to the back of my hand that transferred. Had I have known of the problem worsening in trying to clean the headliner, I'd have left it alone. Unfortunately, you sometimes learn lessons the hard way and the result can't be undone. Inferior parts on a new vehicle do not make for good customer satisfaction/relations and re-sales though. To me, Kia cut corners way too much in this area.
 

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I have a thread posted here on a very similar headlliner issue. It was not the dealership that created my problem, but myself. I had no idea that you simply can't clean the cheap interior headliner at all. I used upholstery cleaner that had a soft plastic brush to it. It left the area worse than what I started with. If the material gets the least bit wet, then it frays apart immediately and looks like one of those sweaters in need of a clipping with a trimmer. Lord help anyone who gets anything at all spilled on their headliner, as there is not cleaning it at all as far as I can tell. The material is pure crap and any attempt at all to clean it is a disaster in the making. My wife loves this car, but I have pretty well decided that there is no Kia Soul in my future, nor will I recommend one to anyone else at this point. Cheap materials like this are a real disappointment when they cost the consumer a bundle to replace or repair. Again, this was my own fault, as I had noticed that there was a couple of small dots of grease on the headliner from where I had used the assist strap and must have had some grease to the back of my hand that transferred. Had I have known of the problem worsening in trying to clean the headliner, I'd have left it alone. Unfortunately, you sometimes learn lessons the hard way and the result can't be undone. Inferior parts on a new vehicle do not make for good customer satisfaction/relations and re-sales though. To me, Kia cut corners way too much in this area.
I share your sentiments both chapter and verse.
A "cute" little car flawed by substandard materials.
I could see if it were the 1st year in production but with 3 years behind it and the R&D work that goes into these vehicles, I can find no valid excuse for such quality of Kia issues.
Like the girl with the "great personality or the girl with the 44 double D's...it will only take you so far!
When "cute" leaves me by the roadside or with chipping paint and rusting body panels or with a headliner that needs a shave or door panels that looked as if they were handled by the american tourister gorilla (1971 American Tourister "Gorilla" Commercial - YouTube) then houston...we have a problem!
 

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Everybody wants a 30K car for less than 20K, sorry, just doesn't happen!
Well...I disagree!
My 10k elantra (purchased new) gave me everything an economy car could give except the high price.
Reliable, efficient (30+mpg), fun to drive, good looking...
After reading about so many fit & finish issues (god only knows about how many we'll never read or see) I must agree with "coupe"
A great little car flawed by cut corners and sub standard materials. (and whats with the gas mileage?)
A bargain is only a bargain when the quality is there and the price tag is not.
This car is packed with features so cutting corners on quality materials only hurts the car, it's owners and Kias reputation.
Perhaps the R&D work was lacking...I don't know.
I do know that my 7 year old elantra suffers no such issues and was a bargain in every sense of the word!
Then again...I have not spent any time rubbing on my headliner.
My paint has held up well, interior doesn't become soiled or damaged easily, great mpgs, rock solid reliable, what's not to love.
All...for a 10k price tag O.T.D.
Had I known I was going to like my elentra this much I would have bought more (I have owned 3) and lined them up in the driveway!
F.W.I.W...MY 91 excel hatch back did have a problem with the rear seats turning color/fading from exposure to sun from the glass hatch.
Hyundai replaced the rear seat covers under warranty THEN replaced the fronts as well so everything would match.
I paid 3995 O.T.D. for that car as I recall.
Now that's service!
F.W.I.W...Why does a better choice in materials (door panels & head liner) necessarily have to be a more expensive choice?
Just because something costs more does not mean it will hold up any better in a particular application.
 

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Maybe my expectations are more reasonable since I only paid $13k for my car. After having it for a bit over a year, I definitely wouldn't pay $20k for a gussied up version.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I spoke with KIA customer service and they are doing a great job following up and documenting this situation. I am suppose to meet with a district manager in the next week or two. I made it very clear my position on why I am making such a big stink over the dealer screwing it up and trying to pass the buck to KIA. So I guess we will see what happens.
 

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If everything gets kicked to corporate kia, why do we need dealerships again?
Oh yes...To sell the vehicles and change the oil!
 
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