definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,811 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.

2012 Kia Soul engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Kia Soul Owner Comments

problem #7

Nov 232016


  • 50,000 miles


This is a standard 6 speed vehicle. Reverse is in the same location as 1st gear. The only difference is that one must pull on a slider control in the shift handle to get into first. Historically, reverse was always the gear farthest away from the driver. I have on multiple occasions thought I was in first but was accidently in reverse. I caught the mistake before there was any accident. As a suggestion, reverse should be in the same location for all cars in America. Actually, the entire gear pattern should be the same for all standard cars in America to prevent an accident.

- Slidell, LA, USA

problem #6

Oct 262016


  • 25,100 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Soul. While stationary, the vehicle would not start when prompted. The failure occurred on more than one occasion. The vehicle was taken to be repaired, but the dealer could not duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 25,100.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #5

Feb 272012


  • 100 miles
My Kia Soul 2012 has a noise at cold start that last 15 to 20 second, it feel like some thing loose. Dealer at sahara, las vegas Nevada had it for three times and 4 days each time and the first time they said was the timing tensioner and they replaced, but noise still there so they have two times more and at the end the said the noise is the oil pump, os if it was the oil pump why they replace the timing tensioner ? the noise still every day in the morning, plus smelling gas by the motor and infest the whole garage, so I took it to dealer at henderson, Nevada cause I found oil leaking by ocv ( oil control valve, so they replace two ocv and still leak oil, so I realized looking deeply that first two injectors are leaking gas, mixing with oil. They asked if oil got on the garage floor and when I said : no yet, so they said can not do any thing. So, the services manager there just put all this information to see if a person from manufacture or some one higher than then can look it up. I think when they replace timing tensioner they did not put right the liquid gasket, cause I see the leaking from that place. I have those problem since I bough the car and I waste my time three times 4 or 5 days each without my car, cause they don't rent cars or even give you one to move.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #4

Jun 142013


  • 36,000 miles


My 2012 Kia Soul caught fire after driving it for approximately 25 minutes. The fire started at the engine compartment and was consistent with a problem with fuel injection. The whole car burned down within about 5 minutes.

- Middletown, NY, USA

problem #3

Mar 142014

Soul 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
The first time that this happened I was driving and was attempting to change lanes and I stepped on the gas pedal to speed up and the car hesitated after a few seconds I had power again. When the car did engage a big thick cloud of white smoke came out of the tailpipe.the second time this happen was on 5/25/2014 my wife was on a ramp trying to get on the interstate going about 30-40mph, there was a vehicle coming so she let off the gas pedal than when there was an opening she stepped on the gas pedal again and there was no power. After several seconds the car finally engaged and accelerated causing a big thick cloud of white smoke come out of the tail pipe.

- Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #2

Aug 312013

Soul 4-cyl

  • 11,230 miles
8-31-13 is the first time I went into the dealership to complain about the car accelerating when I would first start the car up in the garage and then when I was driving it would jerk into another gear. They reset the adaptive learning system. 10-9-13, is the 2nd time I went to dealership with the similar situation, but the car would seem like it was shifting from 1st to 2nd while I was actually driving. They checked transmission fluid levels and they thought it was low (they told me this is nonserviceable area and they had to access the cover which is bolted). They filled the transmission fluid and said to watch and check next time I have an oil change. 10-11-13, on way to work, car was being driven to work (30-45 mph, city driving) when it seemed like it was holding its breath, ,,suddenly downshifted on it's own. Got to office. When leaving for the day, car was jerking as it was shifting from first to 2nd and seemed to not engage properly. Happened a couple of times at speeds less than 40 mph. Then noticed the equivalent of a check engine light came on and stayed on. Called dealership before I got home and asked if I could come in first thing in the morning. Will be taking to dealership in morning. This is similar situation that someone else previously reported to this site on 8-10-13 for Kia Soul 2012.

- Sandy Springs, GA, USA

problem #1

May 182012


  • 14,250 miles
Car had an oil change and was washed then came home. Car's front defroster was noted to be stuck on and white smoke started to billow out from under the hood. Quick check under the car noted a flame that was either coming from the catalytic converter or reflecting in the exhaust from somewhere on the bottom/side of the engine. No fluids were shown to be leaking onto the driveway or were visible. Car then rapidly went up in flames and was a complete loss. Fire department had to put out.

- Milton, DE, USA

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