Kia's popular vehicle model, the Soul, has faced multiple recalls in the United States this year. Unfortunately, the trend continues with the announcement of a new recall affecting 6,262 units of the 2015-2019 Soul EV models.
According to Kia's recall notice issued in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the issue revolves around the potential for the vehicle to move when left unattended without the parking brake manually engaged, even if it is placed in the “Park” position. This concern stems from the intermittent failure of the parking pawl responsible for engaging the parking gear due to damage sustained in the parking mechanism of the Gear Drive Unit (GDU).
The affected vehicles were manufactured between July 15, 2014, and September 28, 2018. This recall marks the fifth for the Kia Soul in the United States this year.
A timeline of the issue reveals that Kia has been addressing it since July 2020. Initially, the problem was thought to be confined to 2015-2016 models, leading Kia to instruct its dealers to update the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) software for the electronic parking brake. This update ensured that the parking brake would automatically activate when the vehicle was turned off.
However, in June of this year, the NHTSA's Office of Defect Investigation received a report of the issue occurring in a 2017 Soul EV. This prompted Kia to initiate an investigation into the matter. Subsequent analysis and testing revealed that the problem could be replicated, albeit intermittently, in various Soul EV models.
As a result, Kia's North American Safety Office was able to reproduce the vehicle movement issue in several instances. They later conducted extensive testing on affected models and identified 12 unintended vehicle movement incidents in the field.
Owners of the impacted Soul EVs are set to be notified starting from December 22. They will be requested to take their vehicles to a Kia dealership for an update to the ECU software for the electronic parking brake, addressing the issue at hand.