Notes: Look past the horrible hamster advertising campaign and you'll find a vehicle that is comfortable to drive, roomy and reliable. Just don't expect to set any MPG records on the highway (a side effect of driving a car shaped like a lunchbox).


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,515 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2011 Kia Soul drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Kia Soul Owner Comments

problem #6

Sep 122015


  • 36,000 miles


A bad bearing, caused air pressure in left tire to inflate to a dangerous psi, that could blow tire, causing an accident at high speed and death. The vehicle was being used to drive 525 miles, from dallas to Kansas City, mo. Driving conditions were dry, with 85 deg outside temp. After driving 200 miles, the left tire heated up to a dangerous 45psi, causing the tire indicator light came on. We stopped to check tire and air pressure, found dangerous psi and released air to safe 32psi. After 150 miles, the left tire again re-inflated to dangerous 44psi again. We immediately pulled into walmart, replaced two front tires, thinking it was a worn left tire, but tire was graded at a #4, half wear. Both new tires were at proper inflation. After 175 miles, light came on again, driving on turnpike, at 65mph. Air psi was 46psi on the left tire, again. We removed 14 pds of air and drove 50 miles home. After taking it to a certified Kia service garage, they said it was the bearing and replaced the left bearing, at no charge, saying it was under warranty. The vehicle was not in an accident nor was the bearing damaged in any service repair process, indicating only reason for failure of bearing as poor manufacturing and/or installation. Bearing is either made with inferior material or not properly lubed/packed.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #5

Jan 022015


  • miles
I took my Kia Soul in for a oil change and transmission oil change. The mechanic let me know that the axle shaft on the right side of vehicle was leaking and needs to be replaced. He was unable to locate thr part because my vehicle is a new model and that part in not in circulation yet. I called the dealer and he wanted to charge me $650 to install the new axel. This is ridiculous why this part is already wore out and the Kia dealer reported that they will not cover the parts and labor because my vehicle is over the 60,00 mile warranty. I just want to know if other vehicles that year have the same problem.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #4

Apr 022012


  • 7,500 miles
On numerous occasions (approx 10 during last 2.5 ) after my 2011 Kia Soul passed 1-yr mark, rpms will suddenly increase w/no pressure on accelerator. Usually occurs during repeated light intermittent braking/light acceleration during slow & go rush hr traffic, speed range approx 8-15mph. While just creeping for a couple miles at 8-10mph, rpms suddenly increase & stick at almost 2000rpm - much like a "stuck throttle" in the old days when a tap on accelerator would release it. Tap on Soul accelerator does not "kick down" the rpms, remain stuck at higher rpms. This pulls car forward with no accelerator applied & brake firmly depressed. Can only be remedied by turning car off. Ok when start up again. Reported 2-3 times to dealership service, they find nothing. Very unnerving, feels like Toyota uncontrolled acceleration problem that was blamed on floor mats. Kia floor mat not out of position when this occurs. I now dread/try to avoid slow&go rush hr driving for fear the problem will recur.

- Novato, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 012014

Soul 4-cyl

  • 34,800 miles


My Soul is a five speed, I was stopped at a stop light, in first gear ready to start accelerating, when I realized, my car was reversing instead of going forward. I could not get it out of reverse, no matter what gear I shifted to. Other family drove my car as well, and had the same issue. Every gear is reverse, it is not always happening, but it happens every once in awhile. Had to have it towed to where I bought it, because I could not get into first to move it.

- Painesville, OH, USA

problem #2

Jan 202013

Soul 4-cyl

  • 22,791 miles
The clutch and fly wheel wore out on the car at 22K miles. This is extremely early for a clutch to fail. The clutch failed on a busy highway (I-81) and I was forced to pull over in an unsafe location. I have driven manual transmissions for many years and have never had a clutch fail at such a low mileage.

- Arlington, VA, USA

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problem #1

Dec 292012


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Soul. The contact stated that while driving 75 mph with the cruise control activated, the vehicle began to loose power. The vehicle resumed normal operation once the cruise control function was disengaged. The failure recurred with the illumination of the check engine light. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the transmission fluid needed to be drained and replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 40,000.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

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