Kia Soul EVs were rolling away and into objects even though the shifters were in PARK.

Posted in Investigations

Kia Soul EV Recall Closes Rollaway Investigation
Kia Soul EVs were rolling away and into objects even though the shifters were in PARK.

— A Kia Soul EV recall finally convinced safety regulators to close an investigation into a previous Soul EV recall issued because the cars were rolling away.

Kia recalled 2015-2016 Kia Soul electric vehicles in July 2020 because the vehicles were rolling even though the gear shifters indicated the EVs were in PARK.

Dealers were told to update the electronic control unit software for the electronic parking brake to activate the parking brake when the Soul EV was turned off while the shifter was in PARK.

In September 2023, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into the Kia Soul EV recall due to complaints about 2015-2019 Kia Soul EVs.

One complaint alleged the Soul EV rolled away and hit a fire hydrant, so Kia and NHTSA joined to investigate and inspect the vehicle. The Kia Soul EV rolled forward and backward while in PARK. But the Soul EV did not roll when the electronic parking brake was engaged.

NHTSA learned from Kia about rollaway incidents including one that caused the Soul EV to collide with another vehicle.

Kia says the problem may be caused by the parking mechanism that can be damaged if the gear shifter is moved to PARK before the Soul EV comes to a complete stop.

But safety regulators say it's apparent not all rollaway incidents were caused by damaged parking mechanisms.

"At this time, the root cause of the alleged defect is not yet confirmed." — NHTSA

Kia announced another Kia Soul EV recall in October 2023 which updates the parking brake software that "automatically activates the electronic parking brake when the gear shift lever is in the Park position, regardless of whether the vehicle is powered on or off."

There have been no additional complaints since the October 2023 Kia Soul EV recall, convincing NHTSA to close its rollaway investigation.


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