$10,000 to fix a Kia Connect problem?

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New member
Aug 14, 2023
This is a Canadian 2020 Kia Soul EV. It came with a five year subscription to Kia Connect Canada.

Since June 2nd the vehicle has not been able to make a connection with Kia Connect.

I've been back and forth with Kia Connect support about this for awhile now. Their final reply was to take it to a dealer (which it is going in this Friday). I've been in touch with the dealer about the issue for a couple of weeks, asking them to deal with Kia Connect support.

Today I received an email from the dealer:

"I reached out to [edit: 'Kia support' ] who forwarded me a copy of the conversation with Kia Connect, your account is active and works on their end. You tried the head unit reset that they requested which didn’t fix the issue, Kia connect is not seeing any DIM-A transactions coming from the Soul. They believe the modem in the head unit has failed and would need to be replaced that’s why you were referred back down to me. I just checked pricing for the head unit and it does retail for just over $10,000, going to an aftermarket unit would not be viable due to the specific coding and modules needed for the Kia connectivity. The warranty for the audio unit is unfortunately only 3 years/60,000kms, the Soul’s warranty did expire 09/21/2022.

I’m sorry the news is not good in regards to the Soul’s Kia Connect"

Any suggestions on how/why the modem seems to have failed? And how to avoid paying $10,000CAD just to have Kia Connect?

First of all there must be some way of testing the modem.

Second there must be a way of replacing the modem, if necessary, rather than replacing the entire head unit.

And finally, why is Kia not standing by their product claiming the head unit is out of warranty when they included 5 years of Kia Connect with the vehicle?

The rest of the head unit works fine, except of course NAV and voice cannot connect to Kia.
I admire your calm demeanour. Being quoted $10K for a radio replacement is absolutely ridiculous. I have been quoted similar prices for a new gear box from my KIA dealer (more, actually). They are saying they don't want to fix it. Someone should start a class action against them for failure to provide replacement parts (effectively).

I had some success buying my part online from this site, you might check there for the part:

I'm not that calm. Closer to terrified. Sorry about the gear box issue.

As you noted, the $10,000 price stated by the dealer is crazy. I can buy a very high end cell phone for a tenth the cost and the cell phone can do everything the "Head Unit" can do plus a lot more.

Perhaps someone on a forum will come up with the argument I need to get Kia to warranty the modem.

If after all is said and done, and I can't get Kia to warranty the modem, I am hoping some very techy person on a car forum will be able to point me to a practical solution like how to replace just the modem and not the whole head unit.

Thank for your interest and reply.
hate to say it but join the club. 2016-2019 Solu EV with 3 G modems had head units that were outsourced and had a modem built into the headunit as 1 piece of tech. With 3G going away, so was Kia Connect formerly UVO. You might want to look into a crashed car unit from a salvage place. The only cars able to take these would be other Soul 2020.
Thank you for the reply. Your comment about 3G has me thinking that even if I got the modem issue in our 2020 Kia Soul EV fixed it may not matter much. As has already happened in the US, here in Canada 2G and 3G are going and in some cases gone. I have no idea what type of service the modem in the Soul requires and how long it may be available - another issue to research.

I have a very decent Samsung Note 9 cellphone which is 4G and LTE capable here in Canada. However, sometime around early June last year on a trip to Ohio I found that my cellphone is useless in the US. When the US cell carriers shut down 2G and 3G they must of also dropped frequencies that my phone needs. So even though my contract with my Canadian cell provider says I have US voice, text, and data roaming it doesn't work.

It may be that both my Note 9 and the Soul modem will both soon become useless up here as well due to changes by the Canadian telecom industry. Not a happy prospect. In fact more like depressing. Neither my Note 9 nor our Kia Soul EV were cheap purchases. We spent the money because we thought they would last.. :-(
Kia connect is such a kludgy piece of software that not having it might be better than having it. I really regret not buying a Tesla model Y. I love my 2020 Kia soul but every time I get in it I am annoyed by the software, especially since the "update". My phone doesn't connect until I am half way down the block and often it doesn't recognize commands. Everything is slow.
I have a 2018 Soul EV and the bluetooth also takes FOREVER to connect (half a minute to a minute. Occasionally longer). When I was waiting for my battery to be replaced (which took almost nine months!) I was given a rental to use. It was a gas-powered 2020 Hyundai Sonata. Decent car, but the thing that really surprised me was how fast the bluetooth connected. From the time I started the car until the device was ready to be used was about 5 seconds, at MOST. Usually it was even faster than that.

(Side note: One really annoying thing about that car though, is the "feature" that a lot of new cars have: Stop for more than about 10 seconds and the engine turns off to save gas. Then when you hit the gas the engine starts. Luckily this "feature" can be turned off, which I always did as soon as the car was running.)
People, really complaining about 30 seconds for BT to connect? The issue is Kia's lack of repair supply management. We had a BMS issue with our 2019 that rendered the car a brick. Was out for 6 weeks. Now the battery is potentially a problem.... sorry EVs? I think these are proving worse that ICE vehicles netted out for the world.