2021 Kia Seltos Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, engine, and transmission issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

The 2021 Kia Seltos is a crossover that turns heads. In fact, the automaker claims it is “made to do more,” but customers only find that the “more” means additional time at the dealership service department. This vehicle suffers from a defective electrical system, a malfunctioning engine and poor suspension.

Click on other model year to view more problems:   2022

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Kia Seltos

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Engine
46
Power Train
19
Unknown Or Other
19
Electrical System
14
Fuel/propulsion System
5
Service Brakes
4
Vehicle Speed Control
4
Electronic Stability Control
3
Visibility/wiper
3
Seat Belts
3

Most Common Problems with the 2021 Kia Seltos

As complaints about the 2021 Kia Seltos continue to grow, it is clear that the focus of complaints largely remains unchanged. Top contenders – in terms of numbers of complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – are the engine (31), power train, including transmission (19), and the electrical system (11).

Engine problems are varied. But the fact that there is a recall that relates to damaged engines stalling and increasing the risk of a crash and fire, has alerted many 2021 Kia Seltos owners to the possibility of malfunctions. An added problem is that several complaints to the NHTSA since the recall state that their vehicles have the symptoms, but they don’t qualify!

Transmission issues are increasing, with complainants stating that they lose acceleration when transmission fails. There are also reports of losing control of vehicles.

And electrical system problems are varied. Complaints range from the horn of the car being “inoperable and inaudible” to major battery problems caused by faulty electrical components.

Problems with the Electrical System

A properly functioning electrical system can make or break a car. With the Seltos, it’s clear that the engineers didn’t know what they were doing.

Just look at this Edmunds review. “The entertainment system is full of bugs and limited on features. If I do a call with my phone while connected by Bluetooth or Android auto it won’t let me use the hands free option. Once I make a call it will time 2 times then disconnect from The system and can only use phone speaker. But if I turn my phone Bluetooth off and on a few times or unplug my cord and then replug my cord for the android auto, then sometimes it will connect with my phone and allow me to use handsfree. Either way its severe inconvenience.”

Aside from this, Kia did issue a communication about trouble with the electrical system. Service Bulletin #TSB_ELE198 states that there could be trouble with the Blind Spot Collision Warning that requires an update to the software. In this situation, the defect is more than just an inconvenience, but could also lead to trouble on the road. Obviously, this vehicles tagline should be “made to break more.”

Problems with the Engine

While no one expects the Seltos to break world speed records, it should still be equipped with a functioning engine, which it is not.

A recent recall for “Improperly Heat-Treated Piston Oil Rings” (21V259000) was issued for the 2021 Seltos as well as the 2020 & 2021 Kia Soul. The recall states “A damaged engine may stall, increasing the risk of a crash. In addition, oil may leak onto hot exhaust components, increasing the risk of a fire.” A recent complaint logged on the NHTSA website states the following:

“The contact owns a 2021 Kia Seltos. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle was driving very rough and stalled. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer who diagnosed that there was no oil was present in the engine. The contact was informed that the engine needed to be replaced. The engine was replaced, and the failure was remedied. The contact later received a recall notification for the failure that had occurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 24,000.”

Another states:

“21V-259 recall for inconsistent heat treating process for piston oil rings. The dates for use of the recalled piston rings Nov 20,1019 -Oct 15, 2020. My Seltos was in production at the time the damaged oil rings were used. I took my Seltos in for the repair, MY VEHICLE WAS NOT repaired. A vibration test was done and a program update was installed to detect vibration. The vehicle still has the recalled damaged oil rings. The vehicle stalls out, runs rough and continues to worsen. The first engine start up is the worst for engine noise and running rough. I expressed my concerns to the dealership, a vibration test with program software uploaded isn’t a repair. Asked when will then piston rings be replaced? They stated they didn’t know of that any such repair and my car is repaired. Yet it still stalls, continues to runs rough and worsening, oil check has grit feelin it. So I guess I wait till the engine stalls causing a wreck or the vehicle ignites into flames. I’m scared to drive the car and financially stuck with it because no one is willing to do anything more than what’s been done. This is not fair and shouldn’t be an acceptable outcome for a safety recall, as the issue of safety has not been addressed.”

Problems with the Transmission

Complaints to the NHTSA are logged in the Powertrain category. They relate to vehicles losing power, not accelerating adequately, and gear-shifting issues. Here are some examples.

An owner from New Hampshire states:

“When I start up my Seltos after not driving it for hours the engine sputters to the point it almost dies. When I put it in reverse it will either stall or start bucking. And when in Drive the transmission will get stuck in a specific gear until I manually shift it.”

An owner from Indiana states:

“On our way to New York from Indiana when every light on the dash came on. The rpms shot up and down. Was able to coast off the highway IN Corsica IN. Car was towed to (the) nearest Kia dealership in Butler PA. The transmission went out on my car that has roughly 7100 miles on it. Dealership has ordered the transmission for replacement.”

An owner from New York states:

“While driving 50 MPH, the transmission began to rev uncontrollably as the steering wheel started shaking without warning.”

The vehicle began to hesitate upon the depression of the accelerator pedal and stalled without warning. The driver was able to coast the vehicle to a gas station and called the dealer to have the vehicle towed.

“Once the vehicle was towed to the dealer, the vehicle was diagnosed with transmission failure. The dealer and the contact notified the manufacturer of the failure but the manufacturer offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired and remained in the possession of the dealer. The failure mileage was approximately 4,700.”

An owner from Texas states:

“TRANSMISSION FAILURE REQUIRING TRANSMISSION REPLACEMENT. After approximately 17,700 miles the engine surged and the check engine light illuminated. After the vehicle was stopped, the transmission would not go into reverse. Vehicle was towed to (the) Kia dealer service department, Diagnosis was transmission failure requiring complete transmission replacement.”

And there are lots more complaints where these came from.

Problems with the Suspension

Finally, it’s vital to look at the suspension of any vehicle to determine how smooth the ride will be. 

Here’s one more Edmunds review to consider. “First few days I had it I kept hearing a thump noise from the rear passenger side that had me thinking bad shock or spring. Then mysteriously it went away. Rides as if the rear end has been lowered or with front lifted because I can clearly see the front hood, which creates a left turn blind spot. Just for record I’m not a tall person.”

This is another system that Kia doesn’t want to address. Instead, all that customers get from Kia is “more” quiet and plenty of secrets.

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Complaint Data

CategoryVisibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
DateFeb 01, 2023
StateMO
Description
The contact owns a 2021 kia seltos. The contact stated while driving 60 mph, the sunroof shutters independently. The contact stated no warning light was illuminated. The contact called the local dealer and made them aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact took the vehicle to an independent mechanic and made them aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer had not been informed of the failure. The failure mileage was 51,268.
CategoryEngine
DateJan 28, 2023
StateOH
Description
Two weeks after the car was repaired for a misfiring enginer, the car started misfiring again, luckily this time prior to starting to drive on public roads. Car was towed back to dealer and they replaced spark plugs; picked car up from this fix today.
CategoryEngine
DateJan 28, 2023
StateOH
Description
The engine started to misfire which caused sever shaking of the car. This resulted in the car being difficult to drive and inconsistent engine power. The car was inspected by a kia dealer and it recognized the codes upon scanning of the misfire. The kia dealer moved spark plugs between cylinders and said it was fixed.
CategoryEngine
DateJan 17, 2023
StateMN
Description
Re: 11501726 following up from friday january 13, 2023 after submitting my first statement, on saturday january 14, 2023 I went to get an oil change and documents of oil change history. I was advised to go directly to luther kia inver grove heights immediately after my oil change appointment was finished. In the entrance of the kia luther lot my engine failed and locked up. Gravity allowed my car to coast into the first open parking spot within that lot. Monday january 16, 2023 kia luther confirmed the engine will need to be replaced. I was advised to call kia customer care.
CategoryEngine
DateJan 13, 2023
StateMN
Description
While entering a roundabout, the throttle was released and brakes applied. Auto start/ stop light came on. Loud grinding occurred and all light notifications came up on the dashboard. Resulting in the car completely stalling. After putting the car in park it struggled to restart. Once it did, with more loud grinding, the oil was checked by a technician. The oil was almost completely gone. No leaks were present. After replacement of the filter and new oil added, the grinding and whining noises are consistent from the start time, running time till it is shut off.
CategoryEngine
DateJan 11, 2023
StateOH
Description
Excessive oil consumption. Oil level is below the dipstick before 3000 miles since last oil change. This issue can lead to engine seizure and vehicle stopping ing traffic. This issue has been identified and recalled in canada but not yet in the united states.
CategoryElectrical System
DateJan 04, 2023
StateTX
Description
1. October 2022 started noticing when stopped for 15+ sec. Electrical dash/and screen completely restart when transmission would come back on from being in off position. Happened also while releasing seat belt. 2. Horn would malfunction and go to voice command when pressed or not work at all. Very intermittent. 3. Gears not shifting smoothly, car is jolty, not accelerating well, and getting a slight grinding feeling, running rough, missing shifts or not shifting until it revs high. *no warning indicators have illuminated. My dealer suggested doing an "software update" which did not correct the problem and they are unresponsive otherwise. I have had vehicle in 3 times and each time they just weren't prepared or had no plan to remedy. The problem has been confirmed by the dealer and I have also take a video of the issue. It is available for inspection. Safety is a concern considering the electrical issue plus the seat belt and horn. Unsure if the electrical system is reliable during a crash and if my safety belt and airbags are effected.
CategoryEngine
DateJan 04, 2023
StateAZ
Description
The contact's girlfriend owns a 2021 kia seltos. The contact stated that while his girlfriend was driving at an undisclosed speed, the vehicle started to stall while idling. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed and determined that the engine was consuming an abnormal amount of engine oil. The contact was informed that the engine needed to be replaced. There was no warning light illuminated. The contact referenced nhtsa campaign number: 21v259000 (engine). The manufacturer was notified of the failure and the contact was advised to have the vehicle towed to the dealer, but no further assistance was provided. The failure mileage was approximately 22,000.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Firerelated
DateJan 03, 2023
StatePA
Description
On 11/26/22 I was driving down the road my kia seltos showed error messages on the dashboard saying error and then power train off, the car then shut off at 55 mph and smoke filled my cabin, I got the car pulled over and called the fire department, there was no flames just smoke and smelled like electrical. It was then after 2 weeks taken to a dealership where they inspected the car and stated the fire was in the engine and the engine needs to be replaced. After doing research on this car and the issue there were at least 4 other complaints filed with kia america about this issue
CategoryEngine
DateDec 30, 2022
StateSD
Description
The contact owns a 2021 kia seltos. The contact stated that the low oil pressure warning light was illuminated. The contact stated that after every 1000-miles of driving, she had to add 1 quart of engine oil to the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where an oil consumption test was performed. The contact was informed that the piston rings needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and the contact was provided a case number. The failure mileage was approximately 11,000.
CategoryElectrical System
DateDec 29, 2022
StateFL
Description
2021 kia seltos ~50,000 miles. My horn doesn't work. I live in tampa, so definitely need a horn. Also my infotainment center is trash. It works perfect about 30% of the time. The other 70%. Oh well where do I start? It will completely freeze, the screen turns black, when I get a call in, oh boy that's a showdown. It'll freeze, then I have to grab my phone, and answer it. Can't even use the bt (bluetooth) in the car, I've used both android auto, and carplay. It doesn't matter it's still terrible. It's unresponsive to touch about 90% of the time. Absolute trash. I've only had this car for a few months (I'm the second owner), and I can see why that last owners got rid of it. I've had nothing but issues out of this car. If I wasnt screwed by the dealership and payed 20k more than it was worth, I would have done traded the stupid thing in. I'm honestly thinking about trading it in to a tesla, and just transfer all the negative equity over. Yea it'll cost an arm and a leg, but atleast I'd have something I'd like.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateNov 26, 2022
StateFL
Description
My car door flew open while I was driving. Car did not recognize that my door was open. The locking mechanism on the driver side of the vehicle seems to have given out. Cannot close driver side door.
CategoryEngine
DateNov 17, 2022
StateFL
Description
Motor stalled while driving down the road almost causing an accident with my son and wouldn't run again on my brand new kia seltos right under 37,000 miles. Towed the car to the dealership & they said the motor was blown they insist it's my fault because I can't provide a receipt for an oil change in a 10month period. I purchased brand new with and extended premium kia warranty and they won't do anything, sorry we can't help you. They say all they can do is replace the motor while charging me ,600. The motor never had lights flashing with oil pressure, overheating or any alerts it just died while driving down the road.
CategoryElectrical System:horn, Power Train
DateOct 26, 2022
StateIL
Description
The contact owns a 2021 kia seltos. The contact stated that while at a complete stop, the vehicle would stall upon depression of the accelerator pedal as the battery, oil, and check engine warning light illuminated. The contact shifted the vehicle into park(p) and restarted the vehicle and the vehicle drove as needed. The contact took the vehicle to a dealer where a diagnostic test was performed but no failure was found. The contact also stated that the horn intermittently failed to operate as needed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure but provided no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 8,000.
CategoryEngine
DateOct 19, 2022
StateMA
Description
My kia model is excluded from the piston ring recall but is exhibiting similar engine problems. The engine stutters nearly stalls and smells of oil frequently.
CategoryEngine
DateSep 28, 2022
StateNJ
Description
Transmission overheats in stop and go traffic as well as daily driving
CategoryEngine
DateSep 15, 2022
StateIL
Description
My kia seltos 2021 is 47k miles and all ready have a issues whit a misfire on piston at position 4 this is the 2. 0 l version and I call the dealership for see what is the problem because I notice that when is time for oil change it comes only with 4 quarters of dirty oil. And also when star the vehicle in the morning for go to work, it make a strange sound. I hope is nothing bad but kia needs to fix this problem with the engines.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
DateSep 07, 2022
StateKY
Description
Today 9/7/2022 I was driving down a hill going about 55mph, when all of a sudden the car started jerking all of the warning lights on the dashboard came on (abs, acc, aeb, bsw, fcw, ldw, and the lka). So essentially all the cool features. The vehicle then popped up a warning decrease speed immediately. Ever since then the car is like in a limp mode thing where it will not allow me to drive over 35mph. It continually jerks, and shakes. It stutters. Absolutely ridiculous. I haven't even had this car long enough to make the first payment. It feels like the back wheels lock up while driving, I'm not sure if they are but it feels like it. If I weren't in debt 40k on a car that's worth about half that (yes the dealership screwed me over). The guy I purchased from (mind you this is at a kia dealership) he is no help he refuses to answer me. I even called the main store to get ahold of him, and he refuses to talk. The service department refuses to help. I will never buy another kia. This is my first and definitely last. At this point I honestly don't even know where to take it to get it fixed because they're the only kia dealership within about 100mi.
CategoryEngine
DateSep 06, 2022
StateIN
Description
Car is burning oil at an unusal rate. I have taken it back to kia dealer and they keep doing what kia tells them to. Every time is is 1-2 auarts low just after 1000k miles. This car only has 38k miles on it and had under 36k when started taking it to the kia dealer to get investigated. They have done oil consumption test; they have done intake cleaner service and it is still burning oil. Now, they are telling me that they are contacting kia to see what is next step. The car is only 1 year old with 38k miles.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System, Power Train, Service Brakes
DateSep 06, 2022
StateFL
Description
I was driving the car at a speed of approximate 30 mph. As I was slowing down for a traffic light, the car jerked backwards. The car braking system engaged without me touching the brake. When I took the car in for service, I was told they could not duplicate the issue. I took the car in after receiving the recall. I was assured all was well with the car, though I was having issues with the car stalling out at traffic lights. I took the car in for service and was told by the manager that they could not duplicate the problem. I became so frustrated with the car that I insisted the manager get in my car and drive it with me until the problem presented itself again. He did and the car stalled out on him 2x. They kept my car for two weeks and called me to tell me that the car had no oil in it. I told them I got a recent oil change at another kia dealership, so the issue was not my responsibility. No check engine light or oil light ever came on to notify me of any issue. Kia kept my car for over 2 weeks. They installed a camshaft, exhaust, tensioner, rtv gasket, and engine bracket, retimed the engine, replaced the hydraulic tensioner and resealed the timing cover. I continue having problems with the car. It sputters, stalls at traffic lights and sometimes when shifting gears. I have not been able to resolve the issues with the car even after involving a senior administrator, ariston crane, in their consumer affairs department.
CategoryEngine
DateSep 01, 2022
StateNV
Description
I changed the oil of my kia seltos ex (not turbo) at 14,750 miles and was alarmed to discover it was 1. 5 quarts low. I proceeded to check the oil level every few weeks. Here are the results: 16,307: needed to add 1 quart 17,100: needed to add 3/4 quart 18,632: needed to add 3/4 quart 19,348: down 3/4 quart - I changed the oil kia states that burning 1 quart of oil per 1,000 miles is 'normal,' and thus has no plan to address the issue. This was never the case with the hondas and toyotas we have owned. At that rate you would run out of oil between service intervals and the engine would seize. I have read of several such cases on this site. I am recording this oil burning issue here to warn others of this unusual oil burn rate. You need to check your oil regularly and top it off between oil changes. I am also recording this here since my seltos is not included in the current recall, but it is clearly having similar issues. The ntsa needs to expand this recall and get to the bottom of this issue. Kia needs to address this unacceptable oil burning issue in their engines.
CategoryEngine
DateAug 05, 2022
StateOH
Description
The vehicle when stoped at a red light or even a stop sign and you go to accelerate it putters out and we have to turn the vehicle off and then back on again before we can move. This has been happing multiple times in the past few weeks. This is the vehicle my wife uses for work and to haul our children in. To make things worse the engine last night looked like it was smoking when she got home. So I opened the hood and checked the oil level and realized there is no oil. I replaced the oil and drove it to work today to see if anything happens only once did it stall out and made a crazy clicking high scratching noise. But when I arrived at work I checked the oil level and again no oil. I called kia and was informed it's not listed on the recall and the earliest they can get me in is 8/18. Okay all good but this is dangerous to drive and the oil is disappearing it could catch fire. All I got was it not on the recall list. I don't care about that I care about blowing up on the highway!! It's only got 25k miles. So now I have to call around and see who can get me in asap before this vehicle breaks down and I'm really screwed.
CategoryEngine
DateAug 04, 2022
StateNH
Description
When I start up my seltos after not driving it for hours the engine sputters to the point it almost dies. When I put it in reverse it will either stall or start bucking. And when in drive the transmission will get stuck in a specific gear until I manually shift it.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateJul 30, 2022
StateIL
Description
As I pulled into a busy road my car did not accelerate to speed. It got to approximately 20 mph and would not go any faster. The traffic I was pulling into was traveling at high rates of speed. There is a recall on this vehicle stating the same problem. I am being told my engine type is not listed. They are blaming lack of oil changes and low oil. There were no warning lights stating low oil. The car is equipped with such warnings.
CategoryFuel System, Gasoline:fuel Injection System, Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection, Power Train
DateJul 08, 2022
StateIL
Description
The contact owns a 2021 kia seltos. The contact stated while driving 65 mph, an object fell from a vehicle ahead. The contact stated that while attempting to switch lanes, the blind spot detection system returned the vehicle back into the lane and the vehicle struck the object causing damage to the front mid-section of the skid plate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer however, the mechanic was unable to duplicate the failure or determine the cause of the failure. The contact stated that the failure persisted. Additionally, the contact stated that the transmission and fuel injectors had failed three times since owning the vehicle. Both parts were repaired twice under warranty; however, the contact was recently informed that the vehicle was out of warranty. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 10,000.
CategoryPower Train
DateJun 27, 2022
StateIN
Description
On our way to new york from indiana when every light on the dash came on. The rpms shot up and down. Was able to coast off the highway in corsica in. Car was towed to nearest kia dealership in butler pa. The transmission went out on my car that has roughly 7100 miles on it. Dealership has ordered the transmission for replacement.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJun 15, 2022
StateFL
Description
When driving long distance, (over 5 hours) all of the emergency lights and collision warnings appear on the dashboard. The traction control begins to activate on its own. In dry, good conditions with no rain, I believe it's the drivers side front wheel that's engaging traction control while at high speeds of 60-70 miles per hour. The vehicle was dropped off at the dealership and they attempted to replicate the issues but could not, they mentioned that another customer had the same issue, we left it with the dealership for about a week. Our safety was at risk due to the fact that the brakes are engaging sporadically at high speeds.
CategoryPower Train
DateMay 30, 2022
StatePA
Description
Transmission fails at 25,000 miles I have no reverse, transmission failed at highway speed almost lost control of the vehicle. Had no acceleration temporarily when I slowed down, transmission came back into drive but engine was sputtering. When I got home I realized I had no reverse. It's a 2022 kia seltos sx all wheel drive 1. 6 liter turbo model
CategoryEngine
DateMay 19, 2022
StateMD
Description
Engine failure - oil consumption - piston issues - scorched engine at 24k miles noticed knocking from engine - called dealership took it in. Died in the parking lot of dealership. - service tech said engine was super low on oil - but I was 500 miles away from oil change. Dealer started a consumption required by kia - had to drive vehicle in 1000 mile increments and bring it back each time. (risking it dying on the road each time and risking my safety) 1st trip back oil 1 quart low - refilled and started 2nd round 2nd trip back oil 1 1/2 quarts low - kept car - cleaned pistons 3rd trip - almost did not make it back at 800 miles started acting up but dealer had no loaner cars and kia said I would have to rent one and they may reimburse me. Get car into dealership - low again and this time they took the next step and engine was scorched. No warning lights ever went off the car just started making loud knocking noises and performance decreased. Now awaiting a new engine. Not only does a safety recall need to be issued for all kia's (as this is evidently a known problem if you research) kia needs to be required to re-evaluate their process of confirming the issue - 3 times they put my life at risk of the car stopping while driving. Unfortunately all of the paperwork from the dealer is the car which is in the shop awaiting the new engine on back order. Jones kia - belair maryland will have all service records.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Seat Belts
DateMay 09, 2022
StateOH
Description
Let's start off with the minor stuff 1st my passenger seatbelt does not work secondly my hands free my hands free connection on my radio disconnect automatically on its own and won't let me reconnect it I bought a connected about a new phone thinking that was a problem it's not it's the car lastly lastly I was driven down the road lost all power to my car it was all the oil in it I refilled the oil while stopping her again this time with no brakes could have caused a serious accident I took it to kia for repairs the engine has failed
CategoryPower Train
DateMay 09, 2022
StateNY
Description
The contact owns a 2021 kia seltos. The contact stated while driving 50 mph, the transmission began to rev uncontrollably as the steering wheel started shaking without warning. The contact stated that the vehicle began to hesitate upon depression of the accelerator pedal and stalled without warning. The contact was able to coast the vehicle to a gas station and called the dealer to have the vehicle towed. Once the vehicle was towed to the dealer, the vehicle was diagnosed with transmission failure. The dealer and the contact notified the manufacturer of the failure but the manufacturer offer no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired and remained in the possession of the dealer. The failure mileage was approximately 4,700.
CategoryEngine, Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control, Service Brakes
DateMay 06, 2022
StateNJ
Description
2021 kia seltos s - issues 1. The engine was stalled in the road without notice. When I started the engine again, it is vibrating and shaking (05-04-2022) 2. Engine has strange knocking sounds. Car has struggle to move when pressing the pedal accelerator (05-05-2022). 3. Loss power on engine, brake was not working. Car run very slow 4. Engine light is blinking while driving from work to home. When I arrived home, car is not started (laguardia airport new york to home in hazlet nj - 53miles) - (05-05-2022) 5. Car has only 19000miles. 6. Please note, the car has a recall on the piston ring that is not done. Vehicle owner / driver: [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the freedom of information act (foia), 5 u. S. C. 552(b)(6).
CategoryPower Train
DateMay 01, 2022
StateGA
Description
I drove my car less than a mile when the check engine light illuminated on the dashboard and issues with accelerating the vehicle started. The rpm needle moved when I pushed the gas but the car itself did not. Once the car was turned off it started but would not move or rev when the gas was pushed in any gear shift p, r, n, or drive. My car had just hit 17,880 miles when this issue occurred. This would have been a greater safety issue had I been on the road with other cars, there was no warning, or issues in the days previously with my 2021 kia seltos. I've personally only driven it for about 8,000 miles as it was just recently purchased from a hyundai-kia dealership. The car was towed to kia service center and has been serviced for 32 days and counting. The manufacturer and dealership service center initially took majority of the time for diagnosis which included completing an oil change which was due, performing a technical service bulletin, and then a transmission tear down. About a week ago they ordered a clutch actuator. I was advised just recently this did not fix the issue so they're now discussing a transmission replacement.
CategorySeat Belts
DateApr 29, 2022
StateNV
Description
Seatbelt fastened and while driving seat belt light will start flashing and beeping. Sometimes unfastening and refastening turns it off, other times it keeps flashing/beeping. Does not happen every time I am driving
CategoryEngine And Engine Cooling
DateApr 27, 2022
StatePA
Description
The contact leased a 2021 kia seltos. The contact stated that while his son was driving in traffic, he heard an abnormal banging noise and noticed smoke emerging from the engine compartment. The driver was able to pull off the road and exit the vehicle. The vehicle spontaneously caught fire and was engulfed in flames. The fire department was on the scene to extinguish the fire. The driver did not sustain any injuries. There were no police reports filed. The vehicle was towed to an independent lot. The contact called the local dealer but the vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified but no additional assistance was provided. The approximate failure mileage was 21,000. Vin was not available. The contact stated the failure was related to nhtsa campaign number 21v259000 (engine).
CategoryElectrical System:horn
DateApr 11, 2022
StateOH
Description
The contact owns a 2021 kia seltos. The contact stated while driving 60 mph, the horn was inoperable and inaudible. The contact indicated that the failure was discovered while driving on the freeway when a commercial vehicle drove into the contact's lane and the contact was unable to alert the driver. The cause of the failure was not yet determined. The local dealer and manufacturer were notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 42,000.
CategoryEngine
DateMar 29, 2022
StateNY
Description
My 2021 kia seltos lost pick up pulling out of parking lot at work. Limped it to a parking lot and had it towed to kia. Spoke to service guy at kia dealership today. He claims that my oil was low and dirty and needs to be changed every 4000 miles (manual says 7500). I told him this and he said thats only if I use full synthetic... Says it on the sticker in window and receipt. Full synthetic was used. They will change the oil but they feel its an engine issue and since the shop that did my oil change did something wrong (according to them), it wont be covered by warranty. This is a 2021 with about 11000 miles. Oil change was done about 4500 miles ago. He claims that my warranty would not cover this due to low oil. Oh and not one warning light came on. No oil light, no check engine light. I was reading about a recall that I never got a recall letter on because according to vin # my car isn't included regarding improperly heat treated piston oil rings that causes engine damage and excessive oil consumption. Sounds like exactly what is going on with my car. I certainly cant afford a new engine out of pocket and don't believe I did anything that my warranty should be voided over. I need help!
CategoryEngine, Unknown Or Other
DateMar 10, 2022
StateIL
Description
This car was recalled for issues with oil piston rings receiving incorrect "coating" when made. Our car passed inspection to verify the recall issue didn't exist however the car was two quarts of oil low. After going through kia's required oil consumption testing (no oil on ground by the way), we await kia's decision on a full engine replacement on our 2021 car. Before bringing the car in it stalled unexpectedly in various scenarios, on freeway, going up hills, parking, and coming to a stop. Also the engine was making major noises, clicking, sounds like a diesel, and screeching noises when stopping. The safety issue of stopping was explained by service manager as due to lack of oil.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateMar 06, 2022
StateMD
Description
I was coming to a stop sign and I started hearing a knocking sound. My car flashed the check engine sign and then shut off with the battery and engine oil light flashing. It smelled like something was burning. I started drifting back so I had to pull the parking brake, put on my hazards and turn off my car. I tried to start it 2x without it turning over. On the third try, the car started and the lights on the dash resolved except the engine malfunction. I was unable to accelerate above 45 mph on a busy highway and it eventually stalled out again for a second time in the middle of a highway. I was almost rear-ended twice. Same lights came on- engine oil, battery and check engine light. I turned it off and turned it back on- it reluctantly started and was shuttering the whole time. I was able to get it into a parking lot before calling kia road side assistance. I had it towed to the nearest dealership who was supposed to look at it the next day, di d not hear anything back until the 3rd day when I called. I was informed that they would not be able to look at it until the following week. I was able to get it towed to the dealership closest to home, where I purchased the vehicle. They looked at it and informed my that there was no oil in the engine and the the engine would need to be repaired. I never had an oil light come on until the vehicle stalled out. They are saying that because there was no oil in it, I was not keeping up with the maintenance and that it voids the warranty. So now I have to come up with ,200 to replace the engine block. My car only had 25,516 miles on it and had 3 oil changes prior to it shutting down. The last oil change, I was informed that my car was using more oil than it should but that this was not cause for concern. I am beyond frustrated. I have been a loyal kia customer for years and am disheartened for being accused of not caring for my vehicle, despite having provided receipts from oil changes and no am without a car.
CategoryEngine
DateMar 06, 2022
StatePA
Description
car was put into park and the car kept moving,turned car off to stop this has happened 2 times.
CategoryElectrical System
DateFeb 28, 2022
StateSC
Description
For the second time in the past month the car would not start. Appears to be due to a dead battery however the dealership has been unable to locate a problem. Looking online and it appears to be a issue that kia is aware of but not owning up to. This is my wife's car and should she get stranded her personal safety could be at risk. The dealership did admit that there could be something like an electrical component that stays on and is causing the drain but they said it could take a long time to find it or they might never find it. The car has only 8700 miles on it. We recently saw a recall on other kias that are catching fire. Could this be a similar component that is draining our car battery?
CategoryEngine
DateFeb 22, 2022
StateIL
Description
The contact leased a 2021 kia seltos. The contact stated that on three separate occasions, the vehicle stalled with the engine oil warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact stated that with each failure, the oil level was low before the next scheduled oil changed. When the first failure occurred, the contact had taken the vehicle to the dealer and oil was added. After the second failure, the dealer informed that contact that oil was discovered on the spark plugs and that the engine needed to be replaced. The engine was replaced however, the failure occurred for a third time. After the third failure the contact took the vehicle to gary lang kia (1121 state route 31, building 3, mchenry, il 60050) and he was informed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The contact made multiple attempts to reach the manufacturer but had yet to be receive a response. The vehicle had yet to be repaired and remained in the possession of the last dealer. The failure mileage was approximately 6,000. The vin was not available.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine
DateFeb 03, 2022
StateNY
Description
My 2021 kia seltos shut off while I was driving it. This happened once in july 2021, I was at a stop sign and I attributed it to not driving it in a while and the extreme summer heat. But on january 31st, I had turned my car on, I let it “warm up” and then I started to drive. To my surprise, as I was driving my car shut off. It first felt like the gas pedal was hardly working then the car began to slow down and I had no control over the acceleration or breaks. Then, the check engine light, battery light, and oil light all appeared on my dashboard and the car came to a complete stop. And all functions on the car were not functioning. Fortunately, no other cars were around and I wasn't injured. I was able to restart my car and drive back to a driveway with the engine sounding louder than normal and the only the check engine light on. From there, kia towed my car to the dealership, ran a diagnostic check on the engine, checked the sparks plugs, drove it 25 miles. Since the problem didn't occur while they had it, I have been informed “nothing is wrong with my car”. I called kia customer service and was informed that despite the similar claims on this website, no recall or issue had been formally filed for kia to take care of. I questioned what the next steps would be and as of now I am left to continue to drive a car that shut off on me.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Unknown Or Other
DateJan 21, 2022
StateNY
Description
I pulled up to a busy intersection which had a stoplight that had just turned red. As I was waiting there, all of a sudden my car just died. The engine stopped and no electrical was working either. There were no warning lights or messages at all. I tried to start it, but to no avail. The cars shifter was also locked in the drive position. I turned the hazard lights on as I was trying to figure out what was going on. My safety and the safety of my children, who were in the car at the time, was put at risk as drivers behind me were growing impatient as light turned green and I couldn't move. There were no warning lights that went on prior to the car failing, or after I got the car started again. On about my fifth try of trying to start it, the car slowly started up again and I was able to pull into a nearby parking lot.
CategoryElectrical System, Fuel System, Gasoline
DateJan 20, 2022
StatePA
Description
The contact owns a 2021 kia seltos. The contact stated that while stopped, the fuel-saving system would turn off the engine however, whenever the brake pedal was released, the engine failed to immediately restart. The contact then had to turn off and restart the vehicle. The failure had occurred on multiple occasions. The cause of the failure was not yet determined. The local dealer was notified of the failure. The manufacturer was not contacted or notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 2,000.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJan 14, 2022
StateWI
Description
Along with hundreds of others who have had their kias stolen, my 2021 kia seltos s was stolen on january 11th at approximately 3:30 p. M. From a busy walgreens parking lot in milwaukee wisconsin. In under 5 minutes of being in the store, the back passenger small window was smashed and the car was accessed. My two kids backpacks and school laptops and my son's cell phone were in the vehicle as well when it was stolen.
CategoryEngine
DateJan 06, 2022
StateVT
Description
The contact owns a 2021 kia altos. The contact stated that upon taking the vehicle to an independent mechanic several times, he was informed that the vehicle was consuming an excessive amount of engine oil. The contact also stated that the vehicle was making abnormal rattling sounds while driving. There were no warning lights illuminated. The contact received a recall notification for nhtsa campaign number: 21v259000 (engine). The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the contact was informed that the piston-ring noise sensing software would be installed. The contact declined the installation of the software and advised the dealer that the piston rings or the engine should be replaced instead. The recall repair was not completed. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failure but did not provide any assistance and referred the contact to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 45,000. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategorySteering
DateJan 04, 2022
StateWI
Description
Safety system failure. My car was stolen today. Even with a club on the steering wheel. It was gone in minutes. Why do thieves look for kia's? Because they know they can steal them fast. Shame on you for not putting better practices in place to help prevent this, or deter them at least or slow down the process at minimal. My car is a 2021 with less than 5000 mi on it. How am I going to replace this with the money I will need down and the deductible if I need repaired? You should be held somewhtat repsonsible for your lack of theft precautions put in place.
CategoryEngine
DateDec 30, 2021
StateIL
Description
im on my 2nd kia and im so over it. I have a 2021 kia seltos and I took it in for the recall and my scheduled maintenance for july 9th 2021, I scheduled my app a week out and I had been noticing my engine running strange off and on for awhile but its a new car so I thought I was being paranoid until I saw the recall. Then the day before my appointment the check engine light comes on. I checked the oil and it didnt even register on the stick, had my dad also check it to confirm! He added 2 quarts to it just to get me to the next day. Take it in and tell them my light has come on now and that its been running rough. When they call they say nothing, pick up my car they tell me nothing! The notes say the piston oil ring was performed? What was performed? It passed the recall test? What are they looking for? Why was my check engine light on?! And then I read in the notes that the oil was dirty and 3/4 of a quart below fill mark. It also says . I have a maintenance package on a new car.. I take it in when im supposed to and only to kia. It also said cel is not on at this time and ran fault code "p0011- intake timing over advanced" stored as history and that they cleared dtc reset adaptive values and further diag will bbe required if dtc returns.. No one seems concerened why I have a code stored in history or why the light was on one day and off another. It still sounds terrible most of the time and the oil level is magically decreasing and no signs of a leak took it in 10/6/21 and they say they check it out and that nothing is wrong and send me on my way. 12/6/21 go in for oil change multi point inspectionand winterization and they tell me they also need to check a recall... All good again. 12/30/21 driving my car and my check engine light starts flashing while im driving about 55. Its at the shop now! Im beyond stressed and heated over this. I have 2 toddlers I drive around in this car. I need it to be safe and reliable! Im paying way to much for this car to be dealing with
CategoryElectrical System
DateDec 29, 2021
StateMN
Description
The entire electrical system (display, gauges, exterior lights, etc.) resets while driving. This may be a one off or may happen several times in a few minutes. The engine never stops running, which is good as this happened in the interstate. In the dark, this could be dangerous as the headlights and taillights go out for a moment. I am not aware if this is easily replicated or if this poses issues to other systems.
CategoryEngine
DateDec 27, 2021
StateIL
Description
The car shut off completely while driving without warning. The car was restarted and the check engine light turned on.
CategoryElectrical System, Steering, Vehicle Speed Control
DateDec 24, 2021
StateMD
Description
The car sometimes will be locked in park and unable to move. Sometimes the dashboard lights up with all error lights and auto shuts the car off in the middle of driving. Sometimes on the highway, the speed notifier goest to 0mph when I am going atleast 65-70mph.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System, Service Brakes
DateDec 21, 2021
StateNY
Description
July 2021, while my son and daughter were driving the car engine shut off, the brakes, the gas pedal and steering wheel locked. The vehicle was on a slight incline and rolled backwards. My son quickly pulled the emergency brake in order to stop the vehicle from going into the vehicle behind him. The vehicle was restarted and all the problems were gone. We brought the vehicle to the dealer. They checked and found nothing wrong and could not recreate the problem. At the same time the dealer performed the recall 21v259 (letter dated 6/11/2021) which was rectified by performing an engine vibration inspection which passed. At that time we also reported a ticking sound coming from the engine which the dealer stated is a normal noise from the injectors. A ny state inspection was also performed and passed.
CategoryPower Train
DateDec 21, 2021
StateTX
Description
Transmission failure requiring transmission replacement. After approximately 17,700 miles the engine surged and the check engine light illuminated. After the vehicle was stopped, the transmission would no go into reverse. Vehicle was towed to kia dealer service department, diagnosis was transmission failure requiring complete transmission replacement.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateDec 15, 2021
StateCA
Description
I took my car 4 times to the dealer telling them it shut off. N they refused to do more work on the car due to they could not recreate the incident. Means they went ahead and put me in danger.
CategoryPower Train, Unknown Or Other
DateDec 11, 2021
StateCA
Description
My car cutts off while driving especially when I'm turning happening more frequently now it's shuts off all dash lights come on and I have to put it back in park and start it up agian
CategoryPower Train
DateDec 02, 2021
StateNH
Description
Brand new car on dec 2020. Second time with a transmission problem. Was repaired at 6500 miles in june of this year. Dealer replaced it with a re-manufactured one. At 9300 miles I was driving in cruise control at about 70 miles per hour for a couple hours and while going up a long hill the transmission started slipping again and rpms went from 2000 to 4000 while it was trying to shift. The car began to shudder just like back it june so I knew the transmission was going. I slowed down and pulled off highway as the transmission continued to slip and had no power to go above 20 mph. I saw a parking lot up the hill to pull over at to be more safe off the highway and the rpms went up to 6000 and barely moved car then it caught and lurched the car forward and I almost hit the sign in the parking lot. I waited over 3 hours for a tow truck and after car cooled it did move enough to get it near the tow truck to be pulled up on the flatbed. This car needs a beefier transmission or some kind of cooler or warning light to prevent accidents. When is it a lemon and due for recall??
CategoryEngine
DateNov 05, 2021
StateCT
Description
The engine shut off while driving.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateNov 02, 2021
StateWI
Description
My car was stolen. No alarm sounded when window broken in front-passenger side. Car was locked and alarm set. It has come to my attention through various news outlets and via class-action lawsuit filed in milwaukee, wi that there is a security flaw in kia's vehicles dating 2011-present.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateOct 26, 2021
StateNC
Description
21v-259 recall for inconsistent heat treating process for piston oil rings. The dates for use of the recalled piston rings nov 20,1019 -oct 15, 2020. My seltos was in production at the time the damaged oil rings were used. I took my seltos in for the repair, my vehicle was not repaired. A vibration test was done and a program update was installed to detect vibration. The vehicle still has the recalled damaged oil rings. The vehicle stalls out, runs rough and continues to worsen. The first engine start up is the worst for engine noise and running rough. I expressed my concerns to the dealership, a vibration test with program software uploaded isn't a repair. Asked when will then piston rings be replaced? They stated they didn't know of that any such repair and my car is repaired. Yet it still stalls, continues to runs rough and worsening, oil check has grit feelin it. So I guess I wait till the engine stalls causing a wreck or the vehicle ignites into flames. I'm scared to drive the car and financially stuck with it because no one is willing to do anything more than what's been done. This is not fair and shouldn't be an acceptable outcome for a safety recall, as the issue of safety has not been addressed.
CategoryEngine
DateSep 28, 2021
StateWI
Description
My locked kia seltos was stolen from my driveway while I was home. No alarm went off despite a broken window. This is a major problem with kia/hyundai vehicles in milwaukee where thieves are plugging in usb devices that start the car. Kia knows about the issue (look up news reports in milwaukee) but is doing nothing to solve it. No recall! Now I have no car and kia won't compensate me at all.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateSep 27, 2021
StateMA
Description
The contact owns a 2021 kia seltos. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 21v259000 (engine). The contact took the vehicle to the local dealer, where the vehicle was inspected. The contact was informed that the vehicle was okay to drive. The contact stated on 9/26/2021 while starting the vehicle, the check engine warning light was illuminated. The contact called the local dealer and made them aware of the failure. The dealer informed the contact not to drive the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact was unable to reach a representative with the manufacturer. The failure mileage was approximately 7,350.
CategorySeat Belts
DateSep 24, 2021
StateIN
Description
The seatbelt holder clip on the back seat backrest does not retain seat bely when backrest is folded down so the seat belt gets caught in the backrest latch when returning backrest to upright. This causes damage to seatbelt which could compromise it during an accident.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 14, 2021
StateWI
Description
My vehicle was stolen by the milwaukee kia boyz. Found damaged and will take up to 3 months to get parts due to number of kias being stolen. My car was taken at 915 am in my employee parking lot which is an assisted living and memory care community. We have kids scoping our parking lot and targeting cars. This has become a bigger issue than just a car being stolen. This is a personal safety issue as well as a community safety and risk issue
CategoryEngine
DateAug 06, 2021
StateCA
Description
On june 21st I took my car to be inspected for a recall on the engine. I was told it would take 1-2 hours, it took a total of 6. When I picked up the car not one person explained to me what was done, if my car passed the inspection or if work was done. On july 11th my car stalled on a main street with my child in the car. The oil light, check-engine light and battery light all turned on. On july 13th I took my car back to kia where they had it for 5 hours. They told me the car had zero oil in it and accused me of not getting frequent routine oil changes, although I have taken my vehicle for every single one, except for the one needed in about 700 miles. Instead of performing the oil change, they topped off the oil and stated I needed to drive it for another 1000 miles so they can examine it again and do that a total of 3 times. They admitted what my car is experiencing is signs of the recall, but they can not just request that I receive an engine replacement. When I mentioned the risk of the car catching on fire and my concerns, the service associate replied, "that is not likely to happen", as if that is supposed to make me feel better. My vehicle does not drive well and honestly, it is terrifying to drive, but it is my only car. Since leaving the dealer on the 13th, my car has a hard time making it to 40 mph and the rpm sometimes goes to 6 while slowly trying to get to 40 mph. It has stalled again and sounds very loud while running. My gas also gets used extremely fast, a tank used to last me about 2 weeks and now sometimes it barely lasts a week. I have reached out to kia customer service multiple times, but I do not get a response.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJul 29, 2021
StateNM
Description
I purchased the vehicle in march 2021. Within a week I heard a tapping or vibrating noise from rear seat. Most recently while driving less than 10 mph over a speed bump or moving in line at a gas station I hear a grinding crunching kind of sound from the front of the vehicle. While driving on the interstate there's a weird vibration feeling on the gas pedal.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJul 21, 2021
StateWI
Description
Extreme design flaw, and security subpar security measures on this vehicle. My car was stolen last night because kia's have been easy to steal. These design flaws are posing significant safety measures. Not to mention inconvenience to myself and others who have to deal with contacting insurance, getting a rental, and or finding a new car. This needs to be fixed asap. Vehicle theft for kia and hyundai have been up over 2500% since this time last year! Recall your cars and fix it!!!! Because of this I will never lease another kia again.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJul 18, 2021
StateOK
Description
Spontaneously burst into flames. Was completely destroyed. I'll have to send pics if car tomorrow when I can get into the impound.
CategoryEngine
DateJul 01, 2021
StateSC
Description
The contact owns a 2021 kia seltos. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle was driving very rough and stalled. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer who diagnosed that there was no oil was present in the engine. The contact was informed that the engine needed to be replaced. The engine was replaced, and the failure was remedied. The contact later received a recall notification for the failure that had occurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 24,000.
CategoryPower Train:automatic Transmission:control Module:software
DateJun 25, 2021
StateNH
Description
Driving on a busy 4 lane highway where everyone was going over 70mph. Car began to shudder in the transmission and lost most of its power. Rpms went up to 3 or 4 thousand when stepping on gas to pull out out fast traffic and wouldn't go above 35 mph. Had to slowly pull out of traffic with hazards on at 30mph with cars flying by in both sides. Finally got to breakdown lane after a mile and tried to use sport shift mode to try other gears. Car wouldn't go above 30 mph and rpms went up to 4000. Luckily there was a rest area 500 feet off the highway. Pulled in there to look at transmission oil dipstick but couldn't find it. Spent over 2 hours trying to get kia roadside assistance towed to a local kia dealer but none had loaners to give so had to use my aaa to tow it to my dealer where I bought it. Hopefully I will get reimbursed for the tow I had to pay for. Still waiting for my service department to fix it. They tried to drive it and confirmed the transmission is gone. The car only has 6500 miles on it!!!!!! No warning light came on to know problems were present. Very dangerous.... Kia needs to have a transmission oil cooler or a warning light installed so this can't happen again!!!!
CategoryEngine
DateJun 23, 2021
StateIN
Description
The contact owns a 2021 kia seltos. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 21v259000 (engine) however when attempting to schedule the recall repair appointment with the local dealer they were not attempting to schedule the repair appointment in a timely manner. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The local dealer and the manufacturer were made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJun 17, 2021
StateTX
Description
I'm making a complaint because a driver hit the front side of my vehicle on the drivers side, and gave me all there information. No police was called because the damage to my vehicle wasn't bad. So the driver knew it was their fault and gave there information. When it was time to call there insurance company, the driver of the other vehicle change their story and said that my car hit there vehicle and now the insurance company is saying that they are not allowable for the damages. They also noted that since there were no witnesses and no cameras or police report, then it's just “he” says “she” says kind of issue. If this driver knew it wasn't their fault then why did they give all their private information to a total stranger if they didn't cause the accident.
CategoryEngine, Service Brakes, Vehicle Speed Control
DateJun 04, 2021
StateCA
Description
While driving on the local street prior to entering the freeway, the vehicle completely stalled without any notice. Attempted to step on the brake pedal, however, there was no response. Had to use the emergency brake to stop to a safe spot. Had I been driving on the freeway, the end result would have resulted in possibly a fatal crash. While the vehicle stalled, I noticed 3 light indicators were lit: charging system warning light, engine oil pressure warning light, malfunction (engine malfunction) indicator lamp. Keep in mind, all maintenance and services were up to date including oil change, which had been performed at kia dealership service. The gears were then changed from "drive" to "park" and attempted to restart the engine. Engine turned back on without any light indicators on the dashboard and assumed that it might have been a minor electrical issue. Attempted to drive back onto the road and then the engine completely stalled again, however, this time the brake pedals responded. Not to mention, there were consistent rumbling sounds coming from the engine after the initial engine stall. Called kia's roadside services for tow services and after 6 hours, the car was towed to a local kia dealership to valley-hi kia located in victorville, ca. Received a call today from the dealership (june 4th, 2021) this morning and was informed that there was no oil in the vehicle and was charged . 99 for the oil fill. Was told that there was no evidence of oil leakage and was advised to drive the vehicle 75 miles back home to take to a local kia dealership to run an "oil consumption test." texted "stacey keen" at the dealership the article regarding this recall for 2021 kia seltos for a defect in the piston oil ring and asked to speak to the service manager. Current status: did not receive any text or call back from the dealership and was told that I will receive another update this upcoming monday to see if the vehicle will have oil left in the vehicle.
CategoryAir Bags:side/window:curtain:inflator
DateMay 19, 2021
StateTX
Description
Driving on highway, water truck lost its load. 2 thousand gallon water tank slammed into side of kia side airbag did not deploy
CategoryEngine
DateMay 18, 2021
StateOH
Description
The contact owns a 2021 kia seltos. The contact stated that when she took her vehicle in for an oil change, she was informed that there was no oil in the engine. The contact stated that the vehicle was leaking oil and there was a loud knocking sound coming from the engine. The contact stated no warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that nothing needing to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact was relating the issue to nhtsa campaign number: 21v259000 (engine) however, the vin was not included. The manufacturer had not been informed of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 10,122.
CategoryPower Train
DateMay 13, 2021
StateTX
Description
On 05/03/21 approx. 2:40 pm ct I was excelling to enter highway mopac north; austin, tx; when my car became sluggish; I pulled over, to shoulder, ironically tx roadside assitance pulled in behind me - we couldn't determine the issue - I was exiting the next exit driving to jiffy lube on anderson/spicewood; dialogue screen stating issue re: diagnostic computer; gave two options schedule appt. Or call roadside assistance. Turning into jiffy lube, the car became sluggish, the car wouldn't reverse from the jiffy lube bay. Jiffy lube mechanic ran a diagnostic. I contacted kia, provided: p0601 internal control, module memory. Vehicle towed to kia. No information from kia on 05/03/2021. When I called on 05/04/2021 I was informed "there's a recall for the transmission computer"; I mentioned I hadn't received anything; shawn kia service said 'oh, no... We would check it when you come in for service"... Crazy thought I was on my way to denver, co... Humm... Possibility of being stranded on a co pass... Called on 05/05/21 need to get a new computer to see if the problem is my computer; won't be for 2 days; only 1 seltos computer available in the us. 05/10/21 call kia to find out that it wasn't the computer; maybe the clutch, pulling transmission now; don't have a loaner and can't provide any assistance. They should know something by 05/13/21.. No call on wed. 05/13/21; unable to reach shawn in service and ben, gm on 05/13/21. I made 2 calls per day to kia; the system will only allow me to upload only 5 documents; I have screenshots of every call made and received to/from kia.
CategoryPower Train
DateFeb 15, 2021
StateWA
Description
The car is unable to shift into drive or park. It takes releasing the shift lock to make it get into reverse or neutral and a very specific sequence to accidentally get it into park. After trying to parallel park into a spot, the car became stuck in reverse and could not be maneuvered. It was only able to roll downhill in neutral or reverse with power, both of which would have led to a collision. The vehicle was stationary on the city street and blocked traffic, especially problematic during the snow storm. I received the car back from the dealer 3 days prior from a transmission replacement and seems to be a problem in the same vein.
CategoryStructure:body, Unknown Or Other
DateFeb 09, 2021
StateNY
Description
The driver side mirror is distorted. I drove it home from the dealership after having the dealer replace the mirror before we left the lot (we noticed it when before drove off the lot) then just drove and it was still warped. I was scared to switch lanes. The distortion happens when the car is both stationary and in motion, on highway and on the streets.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateFeb 01, 2021
StateKS
Description
The first time I took my car out a rock hit the windshield and chipped it. Before I could make it home the chip had cracked my windshield and spread to beyond repair. The car has under 100 miles on it and already needs a new windshield. Vehicle was moving approx. 65 mph on a 4 lane highway.
CategoryPower Train
DateJan 27, 2021
StateCT
Description
My kia seltos has transmission problems with only a little over 6,000 miles. It needs a new transmission which won't be available until at least february 11th
CategoryPower Train, Vehicle Speed Control
DateJan 24, 2021
StateWA
Description
While driving on the highway, the vehicle failed to accelerate. On a road where the speed limit was 60 mph, the vehicle stopped accelerating at 55 mph suddenly and caused disruption in the traffic until I could cruise to the shoulder in neutral. It was a scary situation where multiple accidents were narrowly avoided. The vehicle was towed to the dealership where the transmission was identified to have a broken transmission with 3000 miles on it.
CategorySuspension, Unknown Or Other
DateDec 19, 2020
StateNY
Description
No matter what speed, car will randomly jerk from left to right, feeling like death wobble. At higher speeds more than 45mph the car will violently jerk from left to right, feeling out of control. Kia dealership on central ave in albany ny usa notified, said the alignment was off and pass rear camber bolt is bent. Stated they did an alignment for the front two and the left rear but not the right rear, problem is not fixed.
CategoryPower Train
DateDec 07, 2020
StateTN
Description
At 5,800 miles, my seltos suddenly stopped accelerating while in motion. Rpms shot up to 7 and 8, and the car would not go above 35 mph. The engine was grinding. I got the car to the dealership and was told the transmission needs to be replaced. I was also told there is no transmission in the country so one has been ordered.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateDec 04, 2020
StateOR
Description
This vehicle has a huge flaw. The design angle of the wind shield picks up a glare from the dash which covers the entire viewing angle from center wind shield to the right. Only really visible when the sun is out. Kia consumer affairs has admitted via email and case statement that it is a design issue and nothing can be done. Photo shows dash glare. Anything that is placed on the dash is reflected on the window shield.
CategoryEngine
DateNov 30, 2020
StateWA
Description
Going on a slight incline my engine felt like it was surging slightly and after 5 min the engine was really surging and the no matter how hard you pressed on the accelerator the speedometer would max out at 65. And then after 10 min no matter how much you pressed on the accelerator there would be about a 5 second delay in the rpms. Which would go from 1 to 8 max. And it finally died on the freeway. When I finally got it to the dealership they said the transmission blew on it and to get a new one they would have to order it from korea. I will be without a car for almost 2 full months.
CategoryStructure:body
DateNov 28, 2020
StatePR
Description
There is a constant rattling noise coming from the rear area. It sounds at boths low and high speed. Not sure if is from the suspension or something inside the trunk area. My vehicle has less than 600 miles.
CategoryPower Train
DateNov 25, 2020
StateCT
Description
In stop and go traffic the transmission temperature too hot warning came on. Eventually got into the red zone, had to pull over and keep foot on brake to disengaged dual clutch system to help dissipate heat. Eventually went back down to normal range of temperature. Dealer stated found no articles or resources for this issue.
CategoryEngine, Vehicle Speed Control
DateNov 23, 2020
StateMO
Description
Car has 3000 miles,car had been surging when accelerating, it revved up when in drive, wouldn't go as I was exiting off of interstate. Was towed to dealer, they couldn't find anything wrong, sent me home. I made it 47 miles when it stopped accelerating and stopped going. Was towed back to dealer, where it has been for over 2 weeks. They are putting in a new transmission.
CategoryEngine, Power Train
DateNov 16, 2020
StateMA
Description
Vehicle was having difficulty shifting between gears, until one time it did not switch from automatic off at stoplight back into gear. Had to turn car off/on to get it into gear. Later on the highway at ~60mph, as it was trying to downshift to go up a hill, it failed to engage a gear. Engine light came on and had to coast into shoulder to await it being towed. Dealership said it needs a new transmission, was bad from factory - car has ~2k miles on it. Technician said it's not the first he's seen like this.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine
DateNov 15, 2020
StateNV
Description
Hvac blower would not blow. Dealer found melted relays. One week after replacing the entire engine wiring harness I started to get a burnt electrical smell through the vents. I looked in the engine fuse box and there were melted relays again.
CategoryPower Train
DateOct 19, 2020
StateOH
Description
Vehicle will not properly shift gears and will stall randomly at traffic stops.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateOct 15, 2020
StateGA
Description
I believe kia is manufacturing / or sourcing very bad quality windshield for their vehicles. I was driving my kia seltos at 55 mph on a city road when a small chip hit my screen which didn't even create any striking sound and the next second I know my windscreen developed this huge crack. My car was approximately 40 days old. Right after that I told my dealership and their response was very cold. They even didn't take any pictures to consult kia consumer affairs. They said it was an outside influence and they won't consider to cover it under any warranty. Then I went on various car forums to find out that kia telluride buyers have frequently complained about the issue and the company replaced it for them calling it a "good will gesture". I also reached out to various other kia car buyers and I was surpised to find out that it was one of the most common complaints. Surpisingly majority of these windscreens crack when something hits the corners (where it sits on the frame). Probably a pressure point. But this needs to be taken care of. I don't want to spend a 1500$ again on a winshield replace after every 40 days
CategoryEngine
DateOct 11, 2020
StateNV
Description
Car was parked with auto off feature disabled. Vehicle stalled 2-3 times while parked.
CategoryExterior Lighting
DateOct 10, 2020
StateNV
Description
Window sticker indicates daytime running lights on lx model. Manual says to have light switch in auto position. When meeting the requirements outlined in the features and owners manual the drl's never illuminate. Towbin kia responded that the vehicle is operating as designed and I should move the switch one position up to the parking light position if I want to use drl. This is contrary to what the manual states.
CategoryElectrical System, Electronic Stability Control, Engine
DateSep 29, 2020
StateCA
Description
My kia seltos with only 900 miles has done the following twice: when at a stop and I step on the gas the car turns off. The first time it happened I was at a stop light and when I stepped on the gas the car turned off and took a couple of minutes before I was able to turn the car back on. The second time it happened I put the car in reverse and stepped on the gas and it turned off. I was told by the dealer that it appears to be a problem with the engine control unit. Now my car has been in the shop for 15 days so far with no knowledge of when the car will be returned because the part is on "back order". I'd like to add that while at the car rental place I met another person with the same car and exact same issues.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateSep 14, 2020
StateFL
Description
Transmission defect , transmission over heats in stop and go traffic , also causes skipping of the gears. Kia know this is a problem and indicated that car will shut down on its own because of this.
CategoryElectronic Stability Control, Unknown Or Other
DateAug 24, 2020
StateCA
Description
Forward collision avoidance assist (fca), radar sensor do not work, never get alarms or warning when an collision is eminent. Contacted kiausa and dealer, problem not solved.
CategoryElectronic Stability Control, Unknown Or Other
DateAug 21, 2020
StateCA
Description
Forward collision avoidance assist w/ pedestrian detect (fca), system do not work, never get alarms, in a near collision situations or a person crossing in front of vehicle. Contacted kia usa case # 13716568), return car to dealer as instructed, problem never fix. Kia not providing any information or troubleshoot, test or replace radar sensor to fix the problem. In the car owner manual, it look like the system has more limitations than real instances that will work. System not reliable at all.
CategoryPower Train
DateJun 30, 2020
StateIL
Description
Major safety problem with the new 2021 kia seltos with the dual clutch automatic transmission. It can miss 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th gears. It missed 1st gear while my wife was turning left from a stopped condition... It was nearly an accident, and could have been a fatal accident since there was a passenger. It is my understanding that this transmission is already a recall in south korea. A website has a video showing the problem my wife also encountered. Please see this website: https://wheelbhp. Com/kia-seltos-dct-problems-3119881/ it does indicate an ecu re-flash should fix the issue. (the website indicates a reflash should repair proper transmission shifting.) missed shifts has happened to my wife more than once... The suv "feels jerky" many time when driving. Reported to dealer no action taken by kia dealer yet. *tr

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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.

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6 COMMENTS
  • A H

    I have a 2022 Kia Seltos EX and the suspension sucks. I’m going to the dealership soon. I think I’m at 44k and there’s no reason to have squeaking struts and shocks all around a brand new car. Also my car has stalled out 3 times with the auto on off system. I come to a light and it hesitate to run then cuts off. I have to constantly do this.

  • Kimberly B

    My 2021 Seltos has had the transmission almost overheat twice in slow rolling traffic. It wants me to pull over and put the car in park to let it cool off. This is a new car and should not have these issues. accidents or road work or whatever happens daily causing traffic back ups. I have contacted the dealership about a month ago with absolute no response from them.

  • Jennifer

    My 2021 KIA Seltos with only 32,000km had a complete engine failure. I am now without a car for at least a month with no loaner or rental. I was told it “should” be covered under warranty but they have to do an assessment. The only way KIA will cover the cost of a rental is if the part is in back order. This is a brand new vehicle, I am very disappointed by their response.

  • Charles C

    My 2021 seltos 2.0 uses 1 qt of oil every 1000 miles and I was told that it is normal and there is nothing wrong with the car

  • Kathleen G

    I was involved in a collision a month ago where I needed to come to a fast stop and the brake pedal went all the way to the floor board and failed to stop my vehicle causing it to crash into a car in front of me. I’m actually lucky to wasn’t worse, but my car sustained a tremendous amount of damage and is still in the repair shop. I contacted my Kia dealer and explained what happened to them, and their response was that they haven’t heard of any brake issues. My response was, “now you have, and I know that if my brakes had been working properly that the accident could have been prevented”. I discussed this with my insurance company and they said it would be hard to prove. The vehicle hasn’t been taken tot he dealership yet, but if the brakes aren’t working, isn’t that proof? If they are working, they still failed when I needed them and I refuse to drive that car ever again. On top of it all, I have a high deductible and no car rental on my insurance policy, so it’s all out of pocket. Not happy about that at all!

  • LP

    Last week on Monday I noticed my electronic gas mileage didn’t update while filling my tank, but the physical gauge did. Luckily I had an oil change appt the next day so I called my KIA dealer to make sure they could look at it. Said it was a bad sensor and they replaced it. Awesome. Thursday rolls around and I fill my tank up. I notice by Sunday my gas gauge isn’t moving from full, regardless of using gas, but this time the electronic one was changing. So I call them again, no answer they are busy whatever. The next day I’m driving into work, gauge still not moving and I WATCHED my electronic mileage go from 145 miles to 311?! I’m on I75 in Michigan. I got to my exit, making my way to work, all the sudden I cannot accelerate my car anymore and its slowing down fast. I hit my gas to try and get to a safe space and my gas pedal was acting like a break, it slowed me down even more. I coast into a spot and my Engine, Oil, and battery light were all on. I turned my car fully off, waited a second, was able to start my car again but it wouldn’t move. I got my cat towed to the dealership and they are saying I have a bad fuel pump?
    Leaves me with a few questions. Why was I able to start my car again? Why did my engine, oil, and battery light come on? Did they even check my transmission? Did they check my engine? Is the fuel pump going in and out or completely dead?
    They called me to tell me about 10 minutes before they closed for the day. I didn’t think of all these questions until after the phone call ended and now they are closed.
    I’m honestly scared they don’t want to put a ton of money into my car and I’m driving an unsafe vehicle. My Seltos is a 2021 with 10k miles on it. Ive only gone to my KIA dealership for any maintenance.

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