2015 Soul EV Battery Replacement

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Active member
Aug 31, 2018
I posted in a couple other threads some issues I was having with my battery. It finally got to the point where it was only charging to less than 50 miles total range. Back in late November 2018 they did a "reset" of the battery control computer. This got me back up to >100 miles per charge but over the next month it dropped back gradually to 46 miles maximum.

Car is in the shop now and just heard today that they authorized a battery replacement. We will pick up a rental car Saturday until the new battery comes in.

Thanks to JejuSoul for his help with my getting the TorquePro hardware and app installed. And also to Kish whose thread had great information concerning the degrading battery symptoms, what might cause them, and his path forward.

If anyone has any questions that might help isolate the problem or help others please let me know and I'll answer them to the best of my ability. On the bright side, we hope to get back a very nice commuting car with 35,000 total miles that should last us a very long time if we take care of it (i.e. no 75MPH driving on 100+ degree days, park it in the garage, etc.)

Hi there - I live in Southern California and have been lurking on this site for awhile. We are the original leasee on our EV 2015 Kia Soul. We love the electric car. Looked forward to the release of the 2019 and just as our lease came to an end in June, 2018 the battery issues started. Had nooooooooo clue about any battery issues because I was just a happy Soul driver and never followed any EV related news. As the dealer “worked” on the 2015 battery we ordered a 2019 (Galpin Kia in San Fernando Valley) because again we love the car, and wanted it in Caribbean Blue only. We also extended the 2015 lease figuring the car would be repaired quickly, we would receive the 2019 in Fall, and it would all work out. We waited...and waited. The dealership closed. Yes, it closed 2 months later and the 2015 was not touched in all that time (although service claimed Kia needed further testing which is why the repair was delayed). So, the 2015 was sent to another dealer - Glendale to have the battery replaced . It is February, 2019 and not only was the “new” order not fulfilled, the 2015 has not been fixed with no ETA in sight. So, for 7 months I have not had a car. In the meantime, I paid all lease payments on a car I did not drive, insurance, registration, and gas for a car we own that is not for commuting. I’ve also spent countless hours driving in non HOV lanes. Corporate is involved and I get “attempt to collect a debt calls” twice weekly because the 6 month lease extension ended from Kia Finance. My total receipts submitted for reimbursement to my Kia case manager totals almost 5K (no joke - gas, lease payments, etc.). But, it can’t be settled till the car is in operating order (and I now know what that really means). So frustrating, but felt great to vent here. I have the original voicemail stating the 2019 was ordered and a verbal confirmation. Of course, that order was “lost” when the dealership closed. So, we will see if Corporate can track down any 2019 Kia EV for us (they can’t but just tell me they are working on it). So, for anyone out there who could make sense of what I wrote, please respond with how long you waited, advice, etc. it would be most appreciated.
Wow, that's got to be the worst case of corporate negligence WRT battery replacement that I have heard of!

Our Soul has been in for 17 days and they can't provide an ETA on the battery replacement. I think based on your post that I'll have them provide a phone number for the corporate HQ so I can talk to them directly.

It's as if Kia has 0 replacement batteries for these cars anywhere. And every time they get a call from a dealer they order 1 that gets hand made and takes months. Totally crazy.

You might want to consider hiring a lawyer to send the corporation a letter. Getting lawyers involved can sometimes lead to quicker action on companies part. It might cost you $1,000 to do that though.

A class action suit seems unlikely since there are only a handful (couple hundred?) of owners who needed battery replacements. No idea how many are currently waiting, or how to notify them all of the action.

Another option to get some social media traction would be to alert one of the online forums that EV enthusiasts hang out at. Electrek just had a big story about the 2020 Soul EV getting 243 mile range. A follow up story linking to your post, with other battery deprived owners chiming in, would attract a lot of negative press for Kia.

I'll shoot the site administrator Fred a link to this later today. He could run a story and solicit input from others who are in the same position. This could turn up the heat on Kia.

Yes. Do make a fuss. Now is a great time to publicize this and try to get this issue sorted. Kia is releasing the new 64kWh Soul EV and will not want attention drawn to the fact that Kia service and customer care for is occasionally appalling.

I recommend focusing on getting the problem resolved. It doesn't matter why the battery failed, they need to fix it and compensate you for all these extra expenses. And hopefully improve the battery replacement wait times for every one else too.
My e-mail to Electrek is below:

I saw the recent article about the 2020 Soul EV with the 243 mile range. Many of us early Soul EV buyers, especially in Southwest climates, are having batteries that fail. While the vehicles have a 10-year 100,000 mile battery warranty, getting timely battery replacements is turning into a complete fiasco in some cases.

My car went in January 30th with a 100% charge to 46 miles. They have no idea when the new batter will arrive. If you head over to the Kia Soul EV forum (linked below), you will find many horror stories from people in warmer climates who have had batteries fail. One forum member responding to my original post has been without their car for something like 6 months. It might make for a good follow up to your 2020 Soul EV story to point out that all isn't peaches and creme in the Kia EV world. A little social media exposure might even go a long way toward lighting a fire under Kia corporate to address the serious battery replacement issue. Forum members Kish and jejuSoul have provided a lot of valuable information along the way.

I believe current speculation is that the battery degradation is due to a combination of high temperature and faster than normal driving. Kia is mum on any of this.

Wow. Your response gave me faith there are compassionate and kind people who are also ethical. Thank you.

I researched the EV Soul initially, and drove in bliss around Southern California for years. As a first time leasee, first time EV driver, and first time Kia customer, I fell in love.

So, when the battery issues began, I believed Kia. Initially, it was an operating system upgrade, than another upgrade, then another this, and another that. And, it’s true that ignorance is bliss. It wasn’t until I again left the dealership with a degraded battery and returned within 10 minutes to be told my driving habits are perhaps an issue OR I was incorrectly charging the vehicle I began to think there was a bigger issue at hand. The idea I did not know how to charge the car was laughable and insulting at the same time. I firmly requested a demonstration on proper charging technique and the technician broke the charger plug door in the dealership parking lot in his attempts to open it. But again, I had faith in Kia when they offered me a rental that day (a gas powered Ford Fusion) while further tests would be conducted and reported to HQ involving driving long and short distances after a full charge for approximately 1 week.

Over 1 month and several phone calls later assuring us that this “EV anomaly” was being handled, and our calls started not to be returned, my husband drove to the dealership (located in another town). He looked at the odometer, and he looked at our repair paperwork at the mileage reading. He looked again to make sure what he saw was right. I will let you guess what he found. He then asked to talk to our Service rep. He learned the rep quit. And that is the abridged version of a much larger story that does not include when we finally got our diagnosis last summer and had to return the rental and be without a car.

And, I believed Kia when they confirmed our order of a 2019 Kia Soul. Due to the issues we were having at that point, it gave me peace of mind we had a back-up EV. Yes, I love the Soul that much we were considering 2.

And, I believed Kia when they called to tell me the dealership was closing in August. Did I mention we also finally got a diagnosis including battery replacement prior to this news?

And I continued to believe this would be resolved when I contacted corporate and was assigned a Case Manager (the first time).

But over a half a year later, this more informed and educated consumer is starting to believe the love I had for Kia was not built on mutual respect. I have paid close to $5000.00 out of my pocket waiting on a battery replacement and Kia will not refund me until the case is closed (which happens when the battery is replaced) .

2 weeks ago, Kia Finance from Newport Beach HQ called to tell me I needed to make a decision on whether I was going to purchase my 2015 Soul (now located at another dealership). I happened to be speaking with Kia Leasing on the other line AGAIN explaining the situation because the lease is now expired and they think I have the car (lease extension was due to battery repairs that were not diagnosed correctly at the time) and merged the conversation. Kia Leasing informed HQ that I legally could buy the vehicle even if I wanted to until the vehicle was grounded (meaning repaired and inspected).

This story again is abridged and began in Spring of 2018. Last week there was still no ETA on the battery.

Thank you again for your compassion. Any insight, personal stories, tips, or advice are welcomed by all.
Service shop says the replacement (text message called it the "part") battery is going in today. Car will be ready for pickup tomorrow. :D