Kia Seltos and Soul Recalled Due to Engine Trouble

Piston problems could damage the engine, cause a loss of power, and potentially lead to fire

2021 Kia Seltos Kia

Kia is recalling 147,249 2021 Seltos subcompact SUVs and 2020-2021 Soul wagons to address a problem with the 2.0-liter engine. An inconsistent heat-treating process for the piston oil rings can damage the engine and lead to a loss of power, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.

Owners will be directed in June 2021 to bring their vehicles to their local Kia dealership for inspection, and if necessary, the engine will be replaced.

Further, dealerships will install software to alert the driver of potential damage to the piston oil ring. Owners who paid for related work will be reimbursed by the automaker.

There are four fires potentially related to this problem, according to paperwork filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Kia is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this problem.

The Details

Vehicles Recalled
• 2020-2021 Kia Soul manufactured from Nov. 24, 2018, through Oct. 24, 2020.
• 2021 Kia Seltos manufactured from Nov. 20, 2019, through Oct. 15, 2020.

The problem: The piston oil rings for the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine may not have been properly heat-treated, risking engine damage.

The fix: Dealerships will inspect the engine and add software to alert of a detected problem. In some cases, the engine may be replaced.

How to contact the manufacturer: Owners may contact Kia customer service at 800-333-4542.

NHTSA campaign number: 21V259000. Kia's number for this recall is SC209.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.

If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have any open recalls. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly to see whether your vehicle has had a recall issued.

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2021 Kia Seltos

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Jeff S. Bartlett

A New England native, I have piloted a wide variety of vehicles, from a Segway to an aircraft carrier. All told, I have driven thousands of vehicles—many on race tracks across the globe. Today, that experience and passion are harnessed at the CR Auto Test Center to empower consumers. And if some tires must be sacrificed in the pursuit of truth, so be it. Follow me on Twitter (@JeffSBartlett).