Over 147,000 New 2021 Kia Seltos and Kia Soul Models Recalled for Potentially Dangerous Engine Fires

Recalls happen for many reasons. Anything from faulty clear coats to spontaneous combustion can be grounds for a recall. As of now, 147,249 2021 Kia Seltos and 2020-2021 Kia Soul units were called back to the dealership to deal with an engine failure issue that can potentially lead to fires. These recalls are aimed at addressing a problem with the 2.0-liter engines. 

A yellow 2021 Kia Seltos parked on a city bridge
2021 Kia Seltos | Kia

Why is there a Kia Soul and Kia Seltos recall? 

According to Consumer Reports, 147,249 2021 Kia Seltos and 2020-2021 Kia Souls are being recalled due to an intermittent problem with the heat-treating process for the piston oil rings. This issue can lead to engine damage, ultimately killing the engine and increasing danger for drivers. 

So far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has filed paperwork on four separate fires potentially related to this oil ring issue. According to Consumer Reports, Kia has not linked this issue to fires as of now. 

The recently recalled 2021 Kia Soul driving on a gravel road
2021 Kia Soul | Kia

Consumer Reports says that by June 2021, owners of 2021 Kia Seltos and 2020-2021 Kia Souls will be told to bring their vehicles to the dealership to address the problem. 

Kia says that dealers will attempt to fix the issue with the piston oil rings directly. However, the engine itself may be replaced if the damage has already been done. Although recalls are never fun, getting a new engine in your 2020 Kia Soul might not be such a bad thing. 

Consumer Reports also mentions that dealers will also install software that will alert drivers of any potential piston oil ring failure in the future. For any owner that has already paid for work connected to this recall, reimbursements are available for such work.

2021 Kia Seltos and Kia Soul recall details 

The 2021 Kia Seltos is a sub-compact SUV that follows a long line of wallet-friendly offerings from the Korean brand. The 2021 Kia Seltos comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder as the base power plant. The turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder comes with the up-trim models. The 2.0-liter, which it shares with the 2020-2021 Kia Soul, is where the problem lies. 

The 2021 Kia Seltos in mud
2021 Kia Seltos | Kia

RELATED: What the 2021 Kia Soul Has in Common With the Porsche 911

For 2021 Kia Seltos made between Nov. 20, 2019, through Oct. 15, 2020, and 2020-2021 Kia Soul units made between Nov. 24, 2018, through Oct. 24, 2020, these models will most likely see damage from these improperly heat-treated engines. 

Owners may contact Kia customer service at 800-333-4542.

How to know if your car has an open recall? 

Knowing exactly when your car was produced can be confusing. Luckily, there are some tools to help with this. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website has tools to help you figure out if your Kia Soul or any other car has an open recall. 

A red 2021 Kia Soul driving
2021 Kia Soul | Kia

If you plug your car’s 17-digit VIN code into the VIN tool, it will tell you if there is an issue with your specific model. This is useful for newer cars, of course, but even with older models. Recalls on older vehicles don’t always make the news, making it worthwhile to regularly check on your ride on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.