Hybrids & Electrics

Over 3,000 Kia Soul EVs Are Being Recalled Because of a Rolling Hazard

Cars are designed to roll, but not when they’re in park. Yet the 2015-2016 Kia Soul EV is doing just that. Now Kia is issuing a recall to repair this potentially deadly problem for the Soul EV.

Some might wonder if this heralds back to the days when Kia was considered a joke in the auto industry, or if Kia will continue to rise from the ashes. Car Complaints doesn’t think it’s that severe, however. Here’s what we found out and what you can do if you have one of the affected Kia Soul EVs.

The 2015 Kia Soul EV

The Kia Soul seemed to come out of nowhere and was an instant hit with drivers. Then came the Kia Soul EV, which is the new ‘it’ car in Europe and Asia. The latest model hasn’t hit American soil yet, but there are a lot of Kia fans who can’t wait for it to get here.

So, what’s so great about this car? Is there more to its sweet charms besides a cute body and an electric engine? As it turns out, there is.

The 2015 Kia Soul EV didn’t have the most powerful engine available on the market, but it was more than adequate for zipping around the city streets. The small electric engine came with 109 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. It also allowed the Soul EV to go 93 miles between charges. 

Where did it all go wrong?

RELATED: The 2020 Kia Soul is Punching Above Its Weight Class

On July 11, 2020, Car Complaints posted an article about how the 2015-2016 Kia Soul will soon be facing a recall. Car Complaints stated, “A Kia Soul EV (electric vehicle) recall has been ordered for more than 3,700 SUVs because of unintentional rollaway dangers. Kia says the 2015-2016 Kia Soul EV parking mechanisms may become damaged if drivers move the gear shifters into the PARK positions before the vehicles come to complete stops. This can allow the Soul EV to roll even though the shift lever indicates the EV is in PARK.”

How this recall came to be is actually rather interesting. A Kia Soul EV driver reported in April that their Soul rolled into a pole after being put in park. They naturally took it to a dealership to be examined, and the dealer couldn’t find a problem. But rather than assuring the driver it was all in their imagination, the dealer actually did their job. 

He took to the internet to find out if anyone else was having this issue, and it turns out 11 other drivers had filed complaints. That’s not a lot by any means, but it was enough to convince the dealer that there was indeed a problem, even if they couldn’t replicate it themselves.

Kia’s engineers also decided to do their job and began to check into this mysterious problem. They discovered that the issue had to do with damage to the parking mechanism. At this point, most other automakers would have tried to ignore the problem, like the way the Takata airbag recall was handled, but Kia jumped on it. Kia’s swiftness to act just shows why the Korean automaker is garnering worldwide attention now. 

What do you need to do?

Kia is issuing an official recall beginning August 7, 2020. If you have one of the affected models, you can bring your car into your local dealership then. 

The repair doesn’t sound like it will be a big deal. Kia plans to update the electronic control unit software for the electronic parking brake logic. This will enable the brakes to automatically activate when the POWER button turns off, and the shifter is in PARK.

If you believe you have one of the affected models and have questions, contact Kia at 800-333-4542 and ask about recall number SC191. Since it’s a recall, you won’t have to worry about breaking out your wallet, so don’t wait until you notice a problem. You’re 2015-2016 Kia Soul EV may never have an issue, but why wait to find out?