Car stuck at dealer for 3 months awaiting warranty battery replacement (2017 Soul EV)

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JordanRieger

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2023
Messages
10
Mostly ranting/venting, but if anyone has suggestions on how to expedite this, I'd be grateful.
  • 2017 Kia Soul EV with ~50,000 miles.
  • Battery SOH was tested at 52% by a local dealer in Kamloops, BC.
  • Unfortunately, the car was imported from USA by a previous owner, so Kia Canada won't honor the warranty, and I had to tow it to the closest American Kia dealer, in Bellingham WA (range is way too low to make it between charging stations on that ~200 mile trip.)
  • Bellingham dealer confirmed the diagnosis and submitted a warranty claim to Kia USA for battery replacement, which was accepted.
  • Dealer has been waiting for Kia to send them a replacement battery since then.
That was Oct 28, 2023. It's now been almost 3 months. :(😭
  • Called Kia consumer support. They won't give much info, just said the battery status is "in the USA and awaiting quality checks."
  • They offered to "put in a request to expedite the replacement," to which I said, "Yes, please request that," and they said, "OK, we have submitted that request."
  • Multiple calls back to them asking to speak to a case manager have been stonewalled. "We'll get back to you when the status changes."
 
If it makes you feel better, my 2017 + has also been at the dealer since Nov 28, 2023. It needed a new battery two weeks post BMS replacement. Kia has actually contacted me and updated me throughout. A few weeks ago I received an email that my battery had arrived in the USA and is awaiting QC checks. No word since, however. My local dealer does provide a loaner for the battery replacement. Originally I was given a brand new (200 mi) Kia Forte GT. Now I have swapped for an EV6 with 10,000 miles on the odometer.

After picking up the EV6 I walked around the dealer lot and saw a Kia Soul 2019 + in Caribbean blue and white with only 19,400 miles. Within just two days I ended up with a second Soul EV. I plan to sell my 2017 + when it's back from the shop with a new battery.
 
Thanks for sharing.

The dealer mentioned that mine is one of 4 other Soul EVs sitting on his lot that have been waiting for new batteries for months!

Kia should be handling this better. It's not hard for them to estimate how many batteries they're going to need. They know how many cars they sold each year, they know how many have needed battery replacement, they can plot that line of degradation and get a pretty accurate prediction. Those batteries should already be in production/quality checks.

Cynically I would say they don't care because the warranty doesn't specify a maximum wait period, so there is little incentive for them to provide prompt replacement, other than disgruntled customers.
 
The issue is the same here. Walking around the back lot of the service center you will see more Soul EVs parked than ever in your life. All with long waits for a battery. The actual battery install takes about 3 hours. Being this is my second battery replacement, I was already expecting this. However, if I hadn't received a loaner vehicle I would be a lot less understanding.

Kia is supposedly paying $40 /day for me to have that vehicle. I feel like they would want to minimize that cost.
 
What I actually did, because I feared the battery replacement could take a long time (though not THIS long) is I bought a shitbox 2002 Corolla off Facebook Marketplace the same day I towed the car down to the States. It's been great so far, even came with winter tires! So I don't technically need a loaner, but it would be nice to have that cash if I'm entitled to it. Does anyone know if the Kia Warranty includes courtesy car coverage? Or is that something the dealer service center usually provides, using the funds they get paid from Kia to do the work?
 
Thanks for sharing.

The dealer mentioned that mine is one of 4 other Soul EVs sitting on his lot that have been waiting for new batteries for months!

Kia should be handling this better. It's not hard for them to estimate how many batteries they're going to need. They know how many cars they sold each year, they know how many have needed battery replacement, they can plot that line of degradation and get a pretty accurate prediction. Those batteries should already be in production/quality checks.

Cynically I would say they don't care because the warranty doesn't specify a maximum wait period, so there is little incentive for them to provide prompt replacement, other than disgruntled customers.
I am a little surprised there hasn't - yet - been a class action lawsuit; maybe the relatively low numbers involved in the recall (under 3K) make it not worthwhile for an attorney🤷
 
When my 2016 Soul EV needed a battery replacement in June of 2020 @ 164,000 km (so only 6K from out of warranty), KIA had it from June 2nd, 2020 until I picked it up in mid September. And AFAIK they took the battery pack apart at the dealer and swapped out individual cells themselves, from what they described. It was a total sh*t-show in terms of how they operate their service depts. The original service manager was fired 2 weeks after they received the car, the new one was "interesting" to deal with. Of course, ti was during COVID as well, so things were dynamic to say the least.
 
The issue is the same here. Walking around the back lot of the service center you will see more Soul EVs parked than ever in your life. All with long waits for a battery. The actual battery install takes about 3 hours. Being this is my second battery replacement, I was already expecting this. However, if I hadn't received a loaner vehicle I would be a lot less understanding.

Kia is supposedly paying $40 /day for me to have that vehicle. I feel like they would want to minimize that cost.
Same: My 2015 is in for battery replacement, too. 2nd time in 4 or 5 years. It's been at the dealer for about 2 months now. The national Kia customer service rep keeps me updated with status but latest was that the battery pack replacement is still in Korea on back order. In the meantime, they are paying for a rental and lucky me, when I went in to Enterprise to pick out one, they had a very nice Volvo EV with almost 200 mile range that they gave me because it was under the $40 per day Kia is willing to pay. But feel sorry for those not so lucky. Hopefully, Kia will have those battery packs stateside soon.
 
It's pretty nice but I don't like the driver's seat, I just can't get it comfortable. The Soul, on the other hand, is perfect. Looking forward to getting it back. But I must say the Volvo is a very attractive car. My wife loves how it looks. It is a fill-size SUV so it is kind of big. A lot bigger than my Soul.
 
Hi @JordanRieger, when my battery was replaced I didn't get anything that I didn't push for firmly but politely. After waiting a couple of months (still driving on my depreciated battery), I got a loaner because the "SOUL no longer meets my daily needs." and I rejected the offering of a compact sedan by saying I was turning in a midsize SUV with leather seats, so expected something equivalent. That brought back a new Jeep Cherokee, which we took on a long vacation and then traded for a (cheaper to them) Niro EV rental to avoid paying a gas bill (I opted to not submit for gas reimbursement on over 3000 miles of driving that they undoubtedly had GPS tracking available for). There was only one EV in the rental fleet, so I requested notification when it became available while negotiating up to the Cherokee. Go for it, as EVery pressure to increase the supply of replacement battery packs also increases the odds that they'll sell replacement packs for non-warranty service, and at a reasonable price!
 
Thanks @jray3. Still zero updates from Kia despite calling them every couple weeks. I'm waiting for my case manager, Linda, to actually call me back. Hopefully she will at least offer me some compensation for a rental, or a loaner.
 
The case manager never called me back yesterday despite the agent saying she would. (That's the second time she's failed to return my call.) At what point should I consider legal action based on Kia not honoring their warranty? Or at least a sternly worded letter from a lawyer?

Suppose my car continues to languish dead, 200 miles away, for another 3 months, and Kia gives me zero compensation for a rental/courtesy car. Is that really honoring the warranty? If the warranty repair took 1 month, fine. But 3, almost 4 months now? Come on, Kia, you can do better.

Kia is producing 10,000+ EVs per month. It's not like they're incapable of getting a replacement battery. They just haven't put enough money and effort into doing it in a timely fashion.
 
I recently had my 2016 tested by Kia Vancouver (Canada) for a deprecated battery (in September, and they put in the order to have a new battery made/sent/etc) in the meantime they had started the work order and let me have the car back while the battery was in progress. Was actually pretty good since I still had a car to putter around in while I waited for the battery. It arrived in December and they did the switch in about 1.5 hours, was very quick, and most likely the newer E400 cells since I ended up with slightly more range despite it being the dead of winter by then…
 
When I was waiting for my replacement battery to arrive (you're lucky: mine took almost nine months!) my case manager from Kia said that the way they did it was they built batteries as needed (replacement specifically for the Soul since their other EVs use a different battery) in South Korea and then when they reached a certain number of them they would ship all of them at once since the shipping cost is quite high as you can imagine. I had the bad luck of needing a new one during covid, so that definitely contributed to the long wait time. In their defense, though, my local Kia dealership paid for a rental car for the entire time I was waiting. I'm sure they didn't think it would take this long when they promised the rental (a gas 2020 Hyundai Sonata). The final rental cost, which I didn't have to pay, was just over $11,000US!
 
I don't think they'll ever get fixed. It's a discontinued line; why spend developer time on it?

Anyone go down the "buy it from me" path? This is what they sent me, in case you want to go down that path. OR, they could give me a great trade in incentive.
 

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I'm at over 5 months waiting without my car now. :cry::mad: The case manager, Linda, emailed me back around month 4 in response to my request for compensation for the little beater Toyota I bought for $2500. She said they could consider it after the repair is complete and I submit my bill of sale. Doesn't do me much good now.

@FLKiaEV Nine months is outrageous! Covid messed up their supply chain, I'm sure, but still! The issue for me is that I didn't know about the rental compensation, and $40 USD/day wouldn't come close to covering me anyway, so I did the practical thing and bought a beater. But where is the compensation for driving a beater for 5+ months? More broadly, if their strategy for these replacement batteries is accurate to what you wrote, it's still outrageous, because a) they should be estimating in advance how many batteries they'll need, making them, and shipping them and b) they should at the very least provide an estimate. By the way, for my battery, their system has said it's "in USA and awaiting quality checks" for the last 4 months 😑
 
Yeah, something funny (or not, for us) going on there, I spoke to a minion who looked up my case and he said the battery was in, and then the service manager came on and said it was an error and the battery was NOT in yet. I sent an email to ClassAction.org a few days ago to see if they think there is a suit there. Waiting for a response but not holding my breath.
 
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