The HUD That Swallowed The FOB

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Active member
Oct 25, 2015
EU - Mediterranean
Hello fellow eSoulers:

I would like to tell the story of "The HUD That Swallowed The FOB" in the hopes that it will help someone avoid a serious problem.

HUD is of course the Heads-Up-Display, and by FOB I am referring to the car's keyfob.

I was in middle of a roadtrip* through Europe visiting close and distant family and friends. I had already driven 2,585km ... read that as "far from home in a foreign country" ... but luckily I speak German. Having arrived to show my brother my 2021 electric KIA Soul, I asked him to sit in the driver's seat while I stood just outside of the car with an open driver's door. Suddenly realizing he needs the FOB inside the car, I reached in and placed it on the curved top of the instrument cluster. Then I asked him to push the Power-On button.

I only later realized what the slightly unusual new noise was while the car went through its boot-up process with the chimes. Within a few seconds my brother commented, "There must be something wrong ... what is that noise ?"

I bent down to look inside and realized in a split second -- while exclaiming "zby#aR&**R@&" -- that the FOB was somehow interfering with the HUD so that it couldn't completely rise up.

Anyway ... to make a long story shorter ... the HUD had swallowed the FOB.

Retracting the HUD via the button next to the steering wheel didn't help ... all efforts to reach the FOB failed. Now what ? It was a Saturday afternoon in Germany. Forget ADAC or any other type of Roadside Assistance ... they wouldn't have a tool that could do the job. The access was simply too tight. It was hard to understand how the thick FOB could fit ... but a careful analysis later showed that the process of the cover opening, before the HUD rises creates a larger than obvious gap.

So ... Monday would be the absolute earliest I could do anything about it.

I tried to reassure my brother it wasn't his fault. Looking for a solution just after it happened my brother found this post.

Similar, but not quite the same ... except that I suddenly worried it could cost me $1,100 to get the FOB back.

What I had on my hands now was
A) A fully working EV, but without the HUD.
B) A FOB permanently in the car, so that anyone could drive off in it, since I can't lock the car without the mechanical spare, which was many miles away in my home country.

To again shorten the story ... finding a KIA Service Center in a "foreign" country that was
1) reputable;
2) would take a "walk-in" with now notice; and not
3) look at me sideways when I told them "My car swallowed the FOB.",

took some doing.

But jump to the results: Euro 127 and just under one hour ... links to pictures at the end.

I hope this helps someone.


:) Leafer

* By the time I got back to my home I had driven 4,817km in 19nights/20days with several 2 or 3 night stays at friends/family. Note: I have the SMALLER (29kWh) battery. My goal was driving 9am-6pm and 500km +/- per day at most. Mission accomplished. :D
A couple of typos above:
1) " Note: I have the SMALLER (29kWh) battery." should of course read 39kWh.
2) A Service Center that "would take a "walk-in" with now notice" ... where "now" should read "no".