2019 Kia Soul Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Structure, fuel system and brake issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Everyone wants to experience fun on the road, which is why some customers turn to the 2019 Kia Soul. The newer models claim to be “outgoing and adventurous,” but our research shows nothing enjoyable coming out of the complaints. In fact, this model seems to suffer from a poorly-built structure, defective fuel system, faulty visibility and malfunctioning service brakes.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2020   2021   2022   2023

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

The 2019 Kia Soul is known as a budget-friendly option, but it shouldn’t sacrifice a solid build to keep the costs down. Yet, that’s precisely what seems to have occurred.

Here is one Edmunds review that talks about some of the troubles. “After owning several Toyota products I decided to try Kia- what a disappointment-ride is rough, seats are small and uncomfortable- biggest complaint is with the paint- chips extremely easy-brought up to service manager only to hear -I’m sorry- not feeling much soul—- update— sold my Kia Soul- front of car was severely chipped up by stones- ride was just to choppy for me.”

It turns out that this is just the beginning. Service Bulletin #TSBBOD187_R1 shows that Kia is instructing technicians to apply sealant to the driver’s and passenger’s side bulkhead to protect against water intrusion into the cabin. This isn’t something customers should be worried about while driving in the rain. After all, if owners wanted an Amphicar, that’s what they would have bought.

2019 Kia Soul Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Engine
22
Unknown Or Other
9
Air Bags
7
Electrical System
5
Fuel/propulsion System
4
Seat Belts
4
Service Brakes
4
Structure:body
3
Visibility/wiper
3
Engine And Engine Cooling
2

Problems with the Fuel System

While the engine is a vital component of the vehicle, it is nothing without a properly running fuel system. Again, it’s clear that the Soul can’t provide these basic necessities to users.

Here’s one NHTSA complaint to consider. “The vehicle stalls and no response when gas pedal is depressed. After about 4 or 5 seconds, the engine responds to gas pedal. This happens at speeds of less than 5 mph when turning or in stop and go traffic. When turning across oncoming traffic and it happens, then it is a safety problem.”

While no one wants to think about this problem happening to them, it’s more important to look at this communication. Kia Service Bulletin #SC182_OWNR states that there was a safety evaluation campaign done to determine if a low pressure gasoline fuel line connector was leading to an increased risk of fire. So, not only do drivers have to wonder if they can pull out in traffic, they must also consider the possibility of the vehicle exploding.

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Problems with the Brakes

Just as important as moving in a vehicle is the skill of stopping. Having properly working brakes makes this possible, but this is also another system that the Soul can’t seem to get right.

Here’s yet another NHTSA complaint. “I can be stopped on the road with the brake pedal pushed all the way and the car still moves forward. At some point at stop lights I put my car in Park so it won’t move forward. This has happened a lot since I have bought the car in October of 2018.”

The company declined to issue any bulletins about this problem, but there are multiple complaints across the internet. It seems that the Soul is more of a Jekyll and Hyde than we know. Sometimes it propels itself forward and other times it won’t move at all.

Problems with the Visibility

With all of the other complaints, it would seem nothing else could go wrong with the Kia Soul, but that’s not the case.

Just take a look at this NHTSA comment. “Front glass panel of sunroof shattered and far right/left corners are caving in.”

So it appears that either water is leaking into the cabin, the car is spontaneously combusting, operating with a mind of its own or causing glass to shatter all around the occupants. Altogether it sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Kia pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
4 COMMENTS
  • Kathy

    I also had a PO420 code and called the dealership and was told that the warranty was only until 50,000 miles and sine I was over that it wouldn’t be covered. However, I just found out today that the actual warranty was 80,000 so the dealership lied to me. Now I have a sensor code, oil has been leaking into the engine and my mechanic said I now need a new engine, but the dealership will not honor the warranty. My kia is a 2019, and everyone needs to stay away from this vehicle. Haven’t driven it in approximately 30 days. I should be 93 miles away from the 100,000 warranty, but then the dealership drove it an additional 13 miles. Dealership is telling me I do not have an oil leak because it isn’t leaking on the ground, however, I have proof that the oil has been leaking in the engine.

  • Mark G

    Purchased my Kia Soul new July 4th 2019. Immediately started intermittently when stopped at lights, the engine would suddenly stay shaking like it was going too die, then go back to normal within 3-4 seconds. Dealer said they could not duplicate the problem. At 90,000 miles, check engine light came on and found code P0420 faulty catalytic converter. I worked in the auto industry for over 20 years. Very rarely do you see a cat going out at that mileage. The dealership wanted $2800 to replace. I went to the parts department where I found out they Kia had superseded the original part with a new part. This means Kia knew there was a problem with the original part and made a new one before a mandatory recall was issued by the government. In essence, sticking it to their customers. I paid for a new part and had it replaced by my mechanic. I then moved 3000 miles away. 20,000 miles later, you guessed it, P0420, cat quits working at high rpm’s. Went through several levels at Kia, they have refused any help at all. Will never buy a Kia product again.

  • ali

    I have issues with my brake system, as stated above, it propels itself forward when the brake is tapped. I called it my parachute because that’s what it feels like when it does it. My check engine light comes on for a few days then goes back off again but it runs rough. It’s throwing the PO420 code as well but now it’s lost it’s power! I was on my way to work this morning and it had no power with acceleration. I was worried because I live in a tourist town and traffic was horrible so I was stopping and going a lot. On my way home tonight, I pressed the gas to get across the intersection and barely made it! It scared me, then I noticed that just barely pressing on it again, my rpms went all the way up to 5! Which has never happened before! Stupid KIA..

  • Zella

    2019 Soul-Catalytic converter…. $1000-$3500 to replace. I’ve had proper oil changes, I’ve had tune ups, and regular up keep services. My check engine light keeps coming on. The code its throwing is P0420 which is catalytic converter. I’ve had the O2 sensor replaced because mechanic said that could be the issue.. KIA says they have issues out of this year with the converter.. No sputtering, it’s rode rough since I got it.. I got it in 2020, but everyone says that’s because of the year it is, that others don’t run like that.. Car did good for about a month after having O2 replaced.. Then the light came back on from driving like 20 miles after being driven for a MONTH! In my opinion.. These cars have way too many kinks that cost an arm and a leg….. OH BTW kia has a 80K mile warranty for the catalytic converter.. I’m at 85k.. I was told I had 100k..

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