2012 Kia Soul steering NHTSA complaints: Steering

NHTSA — Steering Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,473 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Kia Soul Owner Comments

problem #10

Mar 012016


  • miles


I have 80000 miles on my 2012 Kia Soul and the steering column is very noisy and seems to be on the verge of disintegrating and leaving me without the ability to steer the car. The dealership admitted that there is a problem with it but refuse to fix it since it out out of warranty.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #9

Oct 012016


  • 85,000 miles
Defective steering flexible coupler. Caused my steering wheel to loosen up.

- Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA

problem #8

Oct 012016


  • miles
Steering is making a banging noise and seems to be getting loose. Getting worse by the day. This is most profound when vehicle is standing still and you turn steering wheel slightly from left to right.

- Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA

problem #7

Jan 232014


  • miles


I purchased the vehicle in December and every so often the gauges and the lights in the dash will not work. The vehicle failed to shift into gear. I had contacted the dealer from whom I purchase the vehicle, I then took it to their repair shop. The gentleman (mechanic) was unable to determine the cause. I then called the dealership and requested another vehicle, of course they refused. In a matter of days, the dash materials began to work again. Unfortunately, 20 days later, the same thing happened again. None of the lights and gauges in the dash work, and the vehicle will not go into drive. I am simply unhappy with the matter, because they are charging me nearly $20,000. For the vehicle.

- Jackson, TN, USA

problem #6

Jul 112012


  • 4,000 miles
This is a recurring issue which Kia can't identify or troubleshoot. It has been in the Kia garage half a dozen times and still hasn't been fixed. The issue happens when the vehicle is initially started. The status lights in the dash all light up and go out one by one when systems are confirmed good, except the electronic assist steering and electronic stability control lights stay lit. The electronic assist power steering does not work as it is impossible to turn the wheel even if the vehicle is put into gear and driven forward or backwards. You have to turn the ignition off and restart the vehicle to reset everything and then it is fine. Kia was called out to a parking lot at one point while the systems failed and they hooked up their diagnostics to the port and were unable to communicate with the vehicles computer system in order to diagnose the problem. I have been told to track this issue and there is nothing that can be done until the system totally fails and refuses to reset. Diagnostics does not pickup the error when it occurs and the vehicles internal computer does not register the failure either.

- Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #5

Dec 012012

Soul 4-cyl

  • 2,432 miles
The contact owns a 20012 Kia Soul. The contact stated that the steering wheel seized when the engine was started. The engine had to be restarted several times in order for the contact to be able to unlock the steering wheel. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, who replaced the steering column however the failure was not corrected. The manufacture was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 2,432 and the current mileage is 6,100 updated 11/12/13

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #4

Mar 192013

Soul 4-cyl

  • 8,572 miles


Steering wheel locking at speed very dangerous is unsafe to drive vehicle.

- Coral Springs Florida, FL, USA

problem #3

Dec 032012

Soul 4-cyl

  • 14,522 miles
We traveled from Tennessee to Florida and the steering kept locking-up on the Kia Soul. We went to galeana Kia in ft. Myers, fl and told them that "when driving on the highway steering wheel just locks going straight and has to have applied pressure to turn right or left?. galeana Kia did this on 12/4/2012: Verify intermittent P/S assist inop. Remove P/S column & assist unit. Applied stabilant 22 to all connectors. Remove control wiring harness. Remove ipm module. Remove & test hecu. Found stripped bolt in ground gng10 loose ground. Remove & rethreaded ground clean paint. Notified TL. On the return trip back to Tennessee, the steering started locking-up again. On 12/28/2012, we took the car the rusty wallace Kia, and complained again about the steering. They kept the car for two days and returned to car to us and told us to drive it and call them if we still had the problem. On 1/17/2013, the steering started locking up again " more often. On 1/21/2013, the steering is still locking up and I call rusty wallace Kia to take it in for more service. I have contacted Kia headquarters ([xxx]) about this steering problem and have case #[xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Kodak, TN, USA

problem #2

Dec 222011


  • miles
2012 Kia Soul. Consumer states power steering failure the consumer stated the first time the power steering failed, the dealer was able to find an error code of 300 electrical and they replaced the steering motor. On Jan 13, 2012 as the consumer was pulling out of his driveway, he discovered the power steering failed again. He stopped, turned off the ignition and waited five seconds and then turned it back on. It appeared to work fine after that. On Jan. 201, 12, as the consumer was exiting a parking lot, the power steering failed again. He stopped, turned off the ignition and waited 10 seconds and then turned it back on again. It appeared to work fine afterwards.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #1

Mar 062012

Soul 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
I bought a brand new Kia Soul in Nov of 2011. Within 200 miles of ownership, the electronic stability control malfunction and falsely activated. The ESC not only falsely activated but remained activated. The steering wheel was locked up and could only be turned if considerable force was applied to it. I carefully pulled over the to side of the road. I turned off my vehicle then started it back up hoping the ESC would turn off. It did not. I ended up having to get the vehicle towed to my dealer. The Kia dealer service shop ultimately had to replace the entire steering column to "fix" the problem. About two months later I was driving down the interstate and attempted to do a lane change. Again the electronic stability control falsely activated and caused me to collide with the vehicle directly in front of me. When the ESC activated, the steering wheel locked up and caused a sudden loss of control, resulting in the accident. These are just 2 of many incidents I have experienced.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

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