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I've reviewed the TSBs for the 2020 Kia Soul and found one specific to a automatic transmission replacement:
So, Kia has identified a specific issue with a transmission other than a CVT. So, out of the thousands of 2020 Kia Souls produced, and the lion's share likely equipped with a CVT, Kia is supposedly, if you follow the logic in this thread, so inundated with a "huge" numbers of failures that they've issued zero TBSs to address it.
Does that make sense?
The logic of this thread is that there have been a number of transmission failures of the IVT reported on this forum, on the NHTSA website and on other forums and consumer protection/automotive complaint sites, and that only Kia (and not anyone you'd reach by phone as a consumer, and probably not anyone who speaks English as a first language) knows how many transmissions they've had to replace.

The issue affects IVT transmissions in both Souls and Fortes. The issue affects vehicles with early and much more recent build dates. The issue is potentially dangerous (sudden deceleration with no brake lights) and even potentially deadly.

Seems like something anyone who owns an IVT or is considering buying a vehicle equipped with one (Forte, Soul, Seltos) would reasonably want to be aware of and take into consideration when choosing a new vehicle. Had the data we have now been available when I purchased, I might have gone GT-Line Turbo to avoid potential IVT hassles. But it wasn't, so I didn't, and now am doing the next best thing - being aware of symptoms that foreshadow IVT transmission failure. So far I'm good. My co-worker who bought a 2020 Soul S for his daughter after seeing and driving my EX isn't so lucky. He and his daughter drove her Soul to southern California to tour universities before the COVID shut-down, and suffered rev spiking using cruise control. Me mentioned it to me when they got back. I sent him to our dealer. New transmission.
 

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A couple of points. First off, you don't know who I spoke to so at Kia of America or the fact that she was the person in a position to answer my queries. And, for the record, she is not, as you refer to her, "my friend." Of course I noted the the relevant number of CVT problems but, unlike you, I don't consider a total to date of 53 NHTSA complaints including powertrain and various other problems to be "huge" out of the thousands of 2020 Souls on the road. I note that there are currently, for example, class action suits for the VW transmissions, among others, VW Transmission Lawsuit Won't Be Dismissed so I don't see the disporportionate argument in your comment as being accurate.
As an aside, I don't have to call the airlines on reported 737 NG defects when I can link to a relevant source instead: StackPath
Name the person. What was her name, title and what department within the organization does she work for. Was she based in the US or Korea? Anyone who has ever worked for a multi-national corporation knows that you don't get to anyone senior by calling the front desk. Just sayin'.

What's a "normal" number of NHTSA complaints for a given model and year in your opinion? State it as a number of complaints per number of units produced ratio if you like.

Independent of whether 53 is a lot of complaints or not (the 2019 Forte with 95k units sold in the US had 40 NHTSA complaints; the 2020 Soul YTD has sold just 26k units (COVID impacted) and will clearly sell fewer than 95k units in 2020, and with just 26k units already has 53 complaints, half of which are failed IVTs) when half of all the myriad things a consumer could complain about are the same thing, that's also "disproportionate". "Normal" would be many different complaints about many different systems with no one flavor of complaint predominating. When one flavor of complaint predominates it often relates to a defect in design, though not always.
 

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Now we're moving in the right direction and having a lively discussion with this thread, really want to know what's up with these IVT's. There must be a common denominator for the failures... computer/sensors?, material failure?, assembly QC? I love my 2020 KIA Soul. I think ownership of these cars is a far more emotional than other cars. My Soul reminds me of my 1985 BMW 318i... lightweight, a bit "raw", distinctive styling, and very cool. That being said this IVT is also in the KIA Seltos, Rio, Forte and the Hyundai Venue, Kona, Accent and Sonata... mostly large volume models... this IVT can't suck that bad, but I guess time will tell. I think I just convinced myself and now feel better about the IVT. :)
 

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Just got off the phone with the service advisors of two Kia dealerships, no reported CVT failures for 2020 Soul's in their service bays. Expecting a call back from a third in about an hour.
 

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So, here are three data points:
No reported CVT failures for 2020 Kia Souls at their service bays at the following dealerships:
1. Downtown LA Kia Motors
2. Kirby Kia of Ventura
3. Kia of Valencia.
One service advisor stated he has heard of a TSB for a software update for some CVT equipped Kia's but it is VIN specific.
Perhaps other posters can do the same thing and call several dealerships, post and name the dealerships and the results.
 

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The logic of this thread is that there have been a number of transmission failures of the IVT reported on this forum, on the NHTSA website and on other forums and consumer protection/automotive complaint sites, and that only Kia (and not anyone you'd reach by phone as a consumer, and probably not anyone who speaks English as a first language) knows how many transmissions they've had to replace.

The issue affects IVT transmissions in both Souls and Fortes. The issue affects vehicles with early and much more recent build dates. The issue is potentially dangerous (sudden deceleration with no brake lights) and even potentially deadly.

Seems like something anyone who owns an IVT or is considering buying a vehicle equipped with one (Forte, Soul, Seltos) would reasonably want to be aware of and take into consideration when choosing a new vehicle. Had the data we have now been available when I purchased, I might have gone GT-Line Turbo to avoid potential IVT hassles. But it wasn't, so I didn't, and now am doing the next best thing - being aware of symptoms that foreshadow IVT transmission failure. So far I'm good. My co-worker who bought a 2020 Soul S for his daughter after seeing and driving my EX isn't so lucky. He and his daughter drove her Soul to southern California to tour universities before the COVID shut-down, and suffered rev spiking using cruise control. Me mentioned it to me when they got back. I sent him to our dealer. New transmission.
Spot on Astro. These engines are mass produced, on a production line (thanks Henry Ford). That's good for pricing & productivity. However it can be a double edged sword if there is an undetected problem in the line (eg: blocked oil flow channel, metal shards etc). Then that defect is reproduced, over and over.

The point being that, like cockroaches, if there's one, there are going to be more. So if there's one bad transmission, there is bound to be many more (depending on how soon they were aware of the problem). 53 (or whatever the amount is) is probably the tip of the iceberg.
 
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Spot on Astro. These engines are mass produced, on a production line (thanks Henry Ford). That's good for pricing & productivity. However it can be a double edged sword if there is an undetected problem in the line (eg: blocked oil flow channel, metal shards etc).

The point being that, like cockroaches, if there's one, there are going to be more. So if there's one bad transmission, there is bound to be many more (depending on how soon they were aware of the problem). 53 (or whatever the amount is) is probably the tip of the iceberg.
Spot on Geo, 2014 Titanium Stick: "like cockroaches, if there's one, there are going to be more. So if there's one bad transmission, there is bound to be many more..."
"Probably the tip of the iceberg"
 

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Several months ago, I was walking through a Hyundai dealership and noticed the sticker on the Elantra said the engine and IVT transmission (along with the entire car) were made in Mexico. This is the same 2.0 and IVT combo as in the Soul. The window sticker on my '20 Soul LX (as well as all of the '20 Souls to the best of my knowledge) are completely made in Korea - engine, IVT trans, and the entire vehicle.

I wonder how the failure rate of the Mexican vs Korean made IVTs compares? Is it a design flaw, or is it perhaps a local supplier? It could be something as simple as an internal bolt or a gasket not up to specs that is made by a local sub-contractor.

When I was at the Kia dealer for an oil change in January, the head technician (a very talented and honest guy!) told me they have changed out 4 IVT transmissions on the '19 Fortes (made in Mexico alongside the Elantras), but none so far on the new Souls. But, the Fortes have been out for a year longer.

My '20 Soul LX has been sitting in the garage the past 4 months, with only a 70-mile loop every 2 weeks to take flowers to my parents at the cemetery. Only 4,500 miles on it now.

Time will tell.
 

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Been following this discussion with interest. The only people in Kia that will know the failure numbers are those that analyze the claims data and those that are made aware of systemic issues, ie, if an issue becomes too prevalent, it will be run up the chain. It won't be people we can reach on the phone and if Kia has an issue with these transmissions, they will keep it under wraps until they identify the underlying issue, which can take time (I used to implement the systems that track warranty claims and I remember having conversations to this extent) and then they will quietly implement an engineering revision. We'll never know if it's a systemic issue unless they perceive a safety problem and then might issue a recall, especially if they think the government will come after them if they don't. Based on reports of losing power on the freeway, I think a recall could happen, but again, it just depends on numbers.

Sent from my SM-T720 using Tapatalk
 

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Keep in mind that some dealer techs may also be including Forte IVT's replaced on brand new cars (before customers even took delivery). The Forte TSB is dated from November 2018 so KIA clearly was aware of a bad IVT component or assembly procedure very early on. Here is the relevant text from the KIA Forte TSB #TRA080:
“This bulletin provides the procedure to replace the Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) assembly in certain 2019MY Forte (BDm) vehicles, produced from July 24, 2018 through August 7, 2018, which may exhibit a malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) ON with DTC P073000 and P073100. Follow the procedure in this bulletin to replace the IVT assembly. Kia is requesting the completion of this Service Action on all affected vehicles including dealer stock, prior to delivery. Before conducting the procedure, verify that the vehicle is included in the list of affected VINs.
 

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In speaking to the individual at Kia of America as well as to some of the service advisors, one thing is now quite clear to me, the TSB and or a recall, is, according to them, "VIN SPECIFIC", so they are not generalizing and/or including IVT failures from certain Fortes or Hyundai's in with 2020 Kia Souls nor should they. Even in the example of above of Fortes, only certain VIN SPECIFIC vehicles are included in that particular TSB. It does not apply to any other Fortes, Hyundai's or any 2020 Kia Soul.
 

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So on a lark I cruised multiple Kia owners forums for both Soul and Forte, multiple consumer automotive complaint websites, reviewing complaints for both models, and a few reddit forums for these models. There are BUTTLOADS of complaints of failed CVTs now, and most of these forums are US and Canada only. It would be interesting to see what the Korean owner's groups are saying about IVT issues.

There's a Kia video on the IVT in this thread:


Many affected owners were told by the dealer service tech that metal bits were found during transmission inspection. From the video, where would you guess these errant metal bits come from when an IVT catastrophically fails? Is it the chain that frays/disintegrates/sheds components or does the oil pump fail or is it someplace else in the unit?

Also they seem to be swapping transmissions rather than replacing them and then reconditioning the failed units to be put back into service as replacements. There have been many, many, many transmission swaps completed at this point. Anyone yet have TWO transmissions (the original and the reconditioned replacement transmission) fail on them? If we don't see second failures, it would strongly suggest that Kia knows EXACTLY why these failures have occurred and how to prevent them in the future.

Also with the new Seltos hitting the streets now, we should keep an eye on Seltos owner's forums for reports of IVT replacements. If there aren't any that too would suggest that Kia has a handle on the issue and taken steps to prevent future occurrneces.
 

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In speaking to the individual at Kia of America as well as to some of the service advisors, one thing is now quite clear to me, the TSB and or a recall, is, according to them, "VIN SPECIFIC", so they are not generalizing and/or including IVT failures from certain Fortes or Hyundai's in with 2020 Kia Souls nor should they. Even in the example of above of Fortes, only certain VIN SPECIFIC vehicles are included in that particular TSB. It does not apply to any other Fortes, Hyundai's or any 2020 Kia Soul.
Relevant is you ignore linear time and the space-time continuum we're all stuck with in this reality.

Time 1: The 2019 Forte first launches.
Time 2: Very shortly after the launch (weeks), owners have transmission issues.
Time 3: Kia investigates as best the can given the few occurrences, few units in circulation, etc. They investigate because they don't want a missed problem to (1) tank the new Forte launch and (2) ruin the reputation of their new in-house designed IVT on which they are reliant for CAFE compliance.
Time 4: Weeks later Kia engineers on the limited problem data they have come up with a theory on what might be going on and concoct a retro-fix TSB for the few units on lots and in the hands of customers already and going forward make the same change during manufacturing to all yet-to-ship units.
Time 5: Many more Fortes ship with the IVT. Later a new Soul ships with the same IVT. This period spans many months and Transmission failures continue.
Time 6: After this extended production period Kia realizes their early diagnosis based on limited data was wrong since the problem has gotten bigger and affected post-tweak units. Kia goes back to the drawing board and stockpiles replacement IVTs and reconditioned replacement IVTs o buy time to sort it out.
Time 7: Kia's sibling automaker, Hyundai, introduces its first model with the same IVT.

The reason "only certain VINs" of Fortes were included is because at Time 4, when the issue was first diagnosed based on limited field data is that at Time 4 only those vehicles in the specified VIN range actually existed. There were no Souls nor Hyundais, nor Fortes with later VINs in existence to which the TSB could have applied. By the time they figured out the TSB fix didn't work many more IVTs in both Fortes and new Souls had entered distribution and failed leading them to conclude that the TSB fix and similar production changes didn't fix the problems they were seeing.

We're here in Time 7 now, waiting for Kia's "do-over" on diagnosing the problem and ensuring that owners are not forever looking over their shoulders to see if their "next IVT swap" is approaching.

I just hit 12000 miles on my 2020 EX. So far no harbingers of a looming IVT failure: no MILs no bouncing tachometer/random revving in cruise at highway speeds, no sudden decelerations and limp moding. But given the volume of complaints across all web properties with Kia related forums, I am watching over my shoulder and will do so unless and until we see he volume of new reports lessen rather than grow.
 

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According to the NHTSA complaints specific the the 2020 Kia Soul transmission are the same as they were back in May 2020: 28. And a couple of those were engine problems and not IVT issues.
The limited number above appears to be line with what Kia and several dealerships are telling me as of last week.
 

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That's because the dealerships use the same NHTSA site to reference complaints since those are lower than actual numbers (according the majority owner of KIA-America that I had dinner with last night).

Greg
 

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That's because the dealerships use the same NHTSA site to reference complaints since those are lower than actual numbers (according the majority owner of KIA-America that I had dinner with last night).

Greg
I called dealerships as previously noted and queried their service advisors about CVT failures specific to their own service bays.
 

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Was having some problems with my IVT (hesitation and odd shifting). Took it to KIA to have them check it out. Originally they said it was normal but I figured okay, I'll just drive it until it fails, I know what a failing transmission feels like as I've had more than my fair share go on previous vehicles. While I was there, decided to have them perform an oil change since it has almost been a year and they recommended it. Before the oil change was finished one of the servicemen there came and said, "Well,we just heard back from KIA and we're just going to replace it." Gave me a rental car and said it would be about a week. Left my car on a Thursday and they called me on Tuesday morning to say it was ready. Actually a rather painless procedure. Mileage was 3200 when it went.
 

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It would be interesting to know the month/year these cars with IVT failures were built. The information is on then manufacture’s plate on the driver’s door frame.
 

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Just rolled over 16k miles on mine, no issues. I also live in the mountains, so afternoon commute home is pretty demanding of the engine and transmission. Driving to work in the morning the fuel economy is well over 100mpg as I coast down hill, and I finish out my 40 mile commute with mid 50's MPG (as displayed on the dash).

Build date is 02/19, purchased 17 MAY 2019.
 
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