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Kia has BLINKED on the IVT issue.

They have a silent recall underway. Rather than a true recall, they have a new TSB where the dealer tests every IVT (Soul, Seltos or Forte) manufactured before a certain date (tens if not hundreds of thousands of vehicles) to see (1) whether any transmission codes have been thrown, (2) then attempt a reflash of the transmission logic (the blown trannys look to be a software mistake), (3) retest the transmission to confirm the new programming took and (4), if the reflash fails you get a new transmission.

Mine's being tested now. I am typing this from the dealer service center's waiting room. For those who suspected the failures thus far reported were the tip of the iceberg and pointed to a bigger issue - YOU WERE 100% RIGHT! For those Kia apologists who made excuses for Kia and unconvincingly attempted to play down the situation, YOU WERE DEAD WRONG!

:)

When you next have you IVT equipped Soul, Forte or Seltos services MAKE SURE THEY ARE AWARE OF AND PERFORM THE TSB TEST!

You can get a copy of the new TSB in this thread:


Given the scope of the TSB (tens if not hundreds of thousands of units), HH it looks like the "Kia executive" that took your call lied to you when she claimed Kia knew of no issue with the IVTs. As PT Barnum is reported to have said, "There's one born every minute..."
 

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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.
Really? I guess you missed Kia's "silent recall" of virtually every single IVT manufactured up until just before the TSB date. They have identified the reason for the high number of failed IVTs to a software error. The protocol is to secretly test every IVT that comes in for service to see if there are codes and/or metal in the fluid, then re-flash the ttranny computer and if either there's metal in the mix or the reflash fails, provide a new transmission.

You can review the massive scope TSB here:


It's kind of chickenshit to be honest. They should notify owners to bring in their vehicles for testing - you're not legally obligated to service your vehicle at the dealerships, so some customers will ignorantly drive along on a defective IVT. Instead they are trying to keep their screw up iquiet. The TSB even has "shhhhh...don't notify your customers" language.
 

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Okay my vehicle service (Kia specified 15k mile service - normal duty cycle) is done. They also implemented the new transmission logic update/transmission replacement TSB. I asked to talk to the service tech and they arranged it. He confirmed looking at my printout of the TSB (he did ask me where I found it - duh, the internet of course - since customers aren't supposed to have access to TSBs unless the dealer is advised by Kia to notify customers) that in the flowchart my vehicle threw no transmission codes, and was updated in software successfully (the flowchart path that goes down and then straight to the right without having to inspect for metal debris and without having to replace the transmission).

First off, the transmission does behave slightly differently after the update. It's a bit noisier in normal operation and a bit more noisy than before in sport mode. The fake gear changes are still there, but maybe not quite as crisp and distinct, but still no dying cow CVT moaning, thank heavens.

Second given that the issue seems to be caused by defective transmission logic software/firmware (based on some references to the effect in the TSB and based on the fix procedure flowchart) it seems the error caused excess wear on the IVTs causing in some cases catastrophic failure, in other cases to damage but not (yet) failure (IVTs with thrown codes and metal debris), and in other cases (like mine - no codes so no check for debris; successful reflash/update) no obvious damage. But that's just it. I've been driving on an out of spec transmission for 15000 miles. Even if mine hadn't yet thrown codes and accumulated metallic debris from excess wear, is it really in as good a shape and will it have the longevity it would have had, had in not been driven for 15k miles on the defective software?
 

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Update, Took the Soul EX in for my second service 10,000 miles and all is good. They did the update on the IVT so I will let you know how everything is doing on my next service at 15,000mi.
 

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Astrotraveler: Any specifics on wear? Which components, etc?

What is IVT fluid change interval? Honda CRV is every 25K in one manual I read.

I have been very skeptical of CVT or IVT, but it may be inevitable, although not on high torque applications, such as a truck.
 

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Astrotraveler: Any specifics on wear? Which components, etc?

What is IVT fluid change interval? Honda CRV is every 25K in one manual I read.

I have been very skeptical of CVT or IVT, but it may be inevitable, although not on high torque applications, such as a truck.
Hi Doc.

You can view the entire TSB in the other transmission thread that I linked to a few posts up in this thread, but here are the error codes the tech must check for in deciding whether to check for metal debris or simply go on to the transmission software update attempt:

P0730 – Incorrect Gear Ratio
P0731 – Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio
P0741 – Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Performance or Stuck Off
P0867 – Transmission fluid pressure

To my eye these all look like symptoms of advanced mechanical wear headed toward failure, not things that are directly related to software bugs, so I'm not really sure what the bug is specifically but it causes the transmission to behave in a manner that causes physical damage to the unit, resulting in it throwing these codes and creating metal bits from failing components in the fluid.

I'll also keep an eye on my fuel economy to see if the new transmission programming alters that.
 

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My first Kia was a 2011 Forte EX. It required an oil change at 1000 miles. The Dealership’s service department has reasonable prices and I had all services done by the dealership. I traded it in when I bought my Soul EX in early March this year. In late June I hit 1000 miles and took the car in to get an oil and filter change. (I know the owners manual says 7000 miles, but it doesn’t hurt to get rid of possible Junk in the engine.) At that time they told Me about the software upsdate and recommended it be done, I said to do it and they did. Took about 20 minutes. They could not tell me was it was about though. They said Kia didn’t tell them, but did tell them to do it on the cars with IVT’s As they come in for service.
 

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Hi Doc.

You can view the entire TSB in the other transmission thread that I linked to a few posts up in this thread, but here are the error codes the tech must check for in deciding whether to check for metal debris or simply go on to the transmission software update attempt:

P0730 – Incorrect Gear Ratio
P0731 – Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio
P0741 – Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Performance or Stuck Off
P0867 – Transmission fluid pressure

To my eye these all look like symptoms of advanced mechanical wear headed toward failure, not things that are directly related to software bugs, so I'm not really sure what the bug is specifically but it causes the transmission to behave in a manner that causes physical damage to the unit, resulting in it throwing these codes and creating metal bits from failing components in the fluid.

I'll also keep an eye on my fuel economy to see if the new transmission programming alters that.
Good info. Thank you for the details. Always interested in learning more.
Did not know IVT had a torque converter!
Incorrect ratio would result in higher or lower engine revs, which may cause a problem with belt and/or sheaves???

My only direct experience with CVT is on my Can-Am Ryker, which is a dry unit.
Transmission (forward/reverse) is a separate oil lubricated unit
Primary clutch (driver), centrifugal operated, with overrunning bearing for engine braking.
Secondary clutch (driven), which is spring loaded to open/close to match primary operation.
Drive belt ($220), with recommended change interval of only 12,000 miles.

Performance is excellent for 82 HP, as the engine is seldom under about 4,000 RPMs.

Heat is an issue. The Ryker has two air filters (same type, size): One for engine and one for CVT, which must have a large volume of air, as the CVT filter is getting dirty 3X faster than the engine. Probably replace at ~5,000 miles.
 

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...In late June I hit 1000 miles and took the car in to get an oil and filter change. (I know the owners manual says 7000 miles, but it doesn’t hurt to get rid of possible Junk in the engine.)
I very much agree.
Most motorcycles have an early first oil change.
The Ryker severice intervals are 7500 miles.
I changed the oil at 1200: Partly to remove any debris and junk did accumulate on both the engine oil magnetic drain and transmission magnetic. Almost nothing on the final drive.
The other reason was to change from 5W40 rated (by BRP/Can-AM) only to 104F, to 10W50 for southern Nevada ridinig.

I did the same for the Soul, changing from 5W20 to 5W30 pure synthetic at just under 3,000 miles.
 

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My wife was kind enough to take our Soul S into the dealer for an oil change since I had over 26k miles and they went ahead and did the flash update and told her all was good without her asking. To me it is taken care of and I have had worse vehicles and KIA is addressing the issue. If not do we all riot and burn down all of the dealerships? Just asking.
 

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The 2020 Soul Owners Manual has a suggested IVT Transmission Fluid replacement at 60,000 miles for "Severe Usage Conditions" (I've attached the KIA maintenance schedules to this post). I'm probably gonna have the IVT fluid flush/replacement much sooner (maybe around 30,000 miles) even though I baby my car. As the KIA IVT design is heavily based on the Subaru "chain type" CVT (which has been around for years), I have read about many Subaru techs suggesting early transmission fluid replacement for better longevity. Some have reported the Subaru CVTs lasting over 300,000 miles! I think spending a little extra money for this crucial maintenance would be well worth it. I had my IVT software update done 2 weeks ago on my Soul LX (6,200 miles on the odometer) and it runs great with no noticeable difference from new. I feel much more confident about the IVT now that KIA is addressing the issue and I hope all this is a software glitch. If the IVT has a underlying mechanical/design defect then it's another story.
 

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Thanks Astro for the good intel & detective work.

I'm a firm believer in arming yourself with a printed out TSB before going into a service appointment for an issue you've researched or suspect being the problem. They can't blow you off and are often more attentive because your knowledge is power.

You can find all TSBs and Recalls at places like safercar.gov. NHTSA requires them to be posted for the public. They are often found under the heading Manufacturers Communications.

2020 KIA SOUL SUV FWD
 

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So I have a couple hundred new miles on the car after the IVT reprogramming (per the TSB).

Here's what I've noticed: (1) fuel economy is ever so slightly worse, at least for my typical driving cycle of mostly open freeway with some stop and go through suburban towns - call it about 1 mpg worse on the trip computer, and (2) tip in throttle response in both "Normal" and "Sport" modes is sharper and more immediate - meaning launch is a bit more aggressive than it was under the old programming. That's it. At least so far.

I have another 700 mile 1-way trip at the end of the month which will give me a chance to verify the mpg drop on a long, high speed, interstate trip (south down California's I-5 from the Bay Area to the Palm Springs area).
 

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I just had the IVT re-flash done this morning, along with the electric steering re-flash. The tech (Kia Master Tech, who I know and trust) said there were no codes. Mileage is 4,505. I drove home (about 5 miles) and really noticed no difference. I will update after I've had a chance to put a few hundred miles on it.
 

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We drove a 100-mile loop today on mostly hilly 2-lane back-roads with about 15 miles of interstate plus some stop/go city driving. Went to put flowers at two different cemeteries - my parents at the WV National Veterans' Cemetery and a good friend who passed away at just 59 in my hometown nearby.

I could not tell any difference before/after the re-flash. I'm a pretty conservative driver, though. I did kick it down about 3/4 throttle coming up an on-ramp and it accelerated just fine. Smooth "shifts" and transitions. Averaged 36 MPG, so it did not seem to affect mileage.

It may have just been my imagination since I have not driven this car much the past few months, but after the steering re-flash, it seemed like the steering MIGHT have been just a SLIGHT BIT heavier - which is a good thing. I always thought the steering was a little bit over-assisted. Maybe I'm just getting used to it, but it felt properly weighted and had good feel on the curvy back-roads.
 

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We drove a 100-mile loop today on mostly hilly 2-lane back-roads with about 15 miles of interstate plus some stop/go city driving. Went to put flowers at two different cemeteries - my parents at the WV National Veterans' Cemetery and a good friend who passed away at just 59 in my hometown nearby.

I could not tell any difference before/after the re-flash. I'm a pretty conservative driver, though. I did kick it down about 3/4 throttle coming up an on-ramp and it accelerated just fine. Smooth "shifts" and transitions. Averaged 36 MPG, so it did not seem to affect mileage.

It may have just been my imagination since I have not driven this car much the past few months, but after the steering re-flash, it seemed like the steering MIGHT have been just a SLIGHT BIT heavier - which is a good thing. I always thought the steering was a little bit over-assisted. Maybe I'm just getting used to it, but it felt properly weighted and had good feel on the curvy back-roads.
You're a good son!

Does the 2020 have the adjustable steering weight like Gen 2 had (IE: comfort, normal and sport)?
 

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On my last trip to my dealer, just a few weeks ago, we discussed the IVT updates, and he assured me that I didn't need it (yet). He also told me that if anyone refuses to get the IVT update, and there is a tranny failure, the cost of the replacement IVT will be on the owner/driver.
So if they ever offer me an update, I'll take it gladly! I definitely don't have the money for a new transmission!

Cheers Mates!
FLH :cool:
 

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On my last trip to my dealer, just a few weeks ago, we discussed the IVT updates, and he assured me that I didn't need it (yet). He also told me that if anyone refuses to get the IVT update, and there is a tranny failure, the cost of the replacement IVT will be on the owner/driver.
So if they ever offer me an update, I'll take it gladly! I definitely don't have the money for a new transmission!

Cheers Mates!
FLH :cool:
Your dealer is a ninny. Probably doesn't have all the techs trained to do a major reprogramming. There is no"yet" for this TSB. Per the TSB itself if the vehicle is in range - and yours is as are all other IVT equipped Kias (Fortes, Souls and even the new Seltoses) manufactured prior to the TSB date are identified as needing the service in the TSB. They are supposed to automatically perform the TSB when you take the vehicle in for normal service.

I strongly recommend taking a printout of the TSB into your dealer and tell them to perform the service because your vehicle meets the lone condition - it has an IVT - and if they don't find a dealer capable of reading and understanding the TSB and actually performing the service.

Their failure to offer you the update shows that they have no clue as to what is going on.
 
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