NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2010 Kia Soul

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2010 Kia Soul, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Non-crash Vehicle Fires

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE19004

    • Status:
      PENDING
    • Date Opened: March 29, 2019
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System:Alternator/Generator/Regulator
    Electrical System:Battery
    Electrical System:Battery:Cables
    Electrical System:Ignition
    Electrical System:Ignition:Module
    Electrical System:Ignition:Switch
    Electrical System:Starter Assembly
    Electrical System:Starter Assembly:Relay
    Electrical System:Starter Assembly:Solenoid
    Electrical System:Wiring
    Electrical System:Wiring:Front Underhood
    Electrical System:Wiring:Interior/Under Dash
    Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System:Fan
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System:Hose
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Cooling System:Radiator Assembly
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline:Belts And Associated Pulleys
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline:Turbo-Charger
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Other Fuel Types:Turbo-Charger
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Exhaust System
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Exhaust System:

    Summary: In a letter dated June 11, 2018, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate a safety defect investigation into non-collision related fires on model year (MY) 2011-2014 Kia Optima and Sorento, and Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe vehicles.In a letter dated July 24, 2018, CAS requested that MY 2010-2015 Kia Soul vehicles be added to the petition.CAS stated that there is a higher number of complaints to NHTSA regarding non-crash fires on these vehicles compared to other similar vehicles.The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) had already opened a Recall Query (RQ17-003) on all Kia vehicles equipped with Theta II engines for engine failures that may cause stalling and fires.The query covers most of the petition subject Optima and Sorento vehicles but not any of the subject Soul vehicles.On August 21, 2018, ODI opened a Defect Petition (DP18-003) to evaluate whether to grant or deny the CAS petition.ODI sent Information Request letters to Kia (September and October 2018) requesting information on all engine and non-engine related fires in the petition Kia vehicles.ODI performed extensive analysis on the information obtained from Kia.During the DP18-003 analysis, Kia initiated three additional safety recalls related to engine compartment fires on certain petitioned and non-petitioned vehicles (nearly 500,000 total vehicles: Recalls 18V-907, 19V-101, and 19V-120).Based on ODI-s review of the applicable materials, including responses to Information Requests sent to multiple manufacturers, Vehicle Owner Questionnaires (VOQ), and Early Warning Data, NHTSA has decided to grant the petition.The petition is hereby granted.A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency, and potential safety-related consequences of alleged defects relating to non-collision vehicle fires in the 2011-2014 Kia Optima, 2011-2014 Kia Sorento, and 2010-2015 Kia Soul. While prior recalls of vehicles covered by this PE have primarily related to engine fires, NHTSA-s Preliminary Evaluation is not limited to engine components and may cover additional vehicle systems or components as well.Attached is a list of the reference numbers for the 244 VOQs cited above.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Steering Shaft Separation

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE10030

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: August 12, 2010
    • Date Closed: December 14, 2010
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Steering
    Steering:Column

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is aware of a single complaint on the subject vehicles that alleges the hand wheel became mechanically de-coupled from the road wheels when the intermediate steering shaft universal joint separated from the upper steering column.It appears that the intermediate steering shaft in the complaint vehicle was disassembled and then improperly re-assembled with the universal joint not fully engaged with the upper steering column's splined shaft and the pinch bolt was not secured in the retaining groove when fastened.The component supplier has added additional fool-proofing measures to the assembly process to further reduce the likelihood of improper assembly.Kia inspected a total of 3,695 subject vehicles and steering column assemblies at the component supplier, the vehicle assembly plant in Korea and at US ports in the weeks immediately following the opening of this pursuit and found no evidence of improper assembly.Kia also conducted a service action (SA057) to inspect another 169 subject vehicles (out of 336) manufactured on the same day as the complaint vehicle and a total of 594 subject vehicles (out of 1,747) manufactured during the same week as the complaint vehicle and found no issues to report.An additional 342 subject vehicles outside the scope of the service action were also inspected and again Kia found no evidence of improper assembly.A safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time and further use of agency resources does not appear to be warranted.Accordingly, this investigation is closed.The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.The agency will take further action if warranted by the circumstances.

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