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

Engine, electrical and powertrain issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2021 Kia Soul has a unique look and is sure to stand out. The automaker claims that the newer models contain “next-level versatility,” but customers aren’t impressed. With a faulty electrical system, defective engine and malfunctioning powertrain, drivers are fed up with the Soul lineup.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2018   2019   2020   2022   2023

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes Kia pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.

NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Kia Soul

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Air Bags
Electrical System
Fuel/propulsion System
Service Brakes
Exterior Lighting
Engine And Engine Cooling

Problems with the Electrical System

With a well-running electrical system, the drive is enjoyable and relaxing, yet that’s not what the Kia Soul seems to offer.

One NHTSA complaint states, “Had car 1 week – 204 miles. Power steering warning light came on while I was driving 55. Then the tire pressure light. Then all warning lights. Headlights and interior lighting off and on then finally just off. Pulled into parking lot where all systems stopped working. Was not enough power to close sun roof. No power door locks – had to operate manually. Car towed to dealer. Thankfully, I am a strong person and was able to get off the highway and into a parking lot without incident. I am not sure how that happened since I did not even have working hazard lights.”

Kia knows the systems aren’t working right. Service Bulletin # PS703 talks about issues with the voice recognition functionality and Bluetooth connectivity. The issues are reminiscent of the time when people used to ask, “Can you hear me now?”

Engine Problems

No one expects the Kia Soul to be a high-powered sports car. Still, there should be some sort of reliable power coming from the engine, but there’s not.

Another NHTSA complaint states, “When I was driving at 15 mph the car completely shut off. So I tried to restart it and when I took the key out everything locked up and it was like that for 5 min in the middle of the road before the car came back on and flashed the engine and oil light.”

Kia had to issue a recall because of the defective engine. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V259000 affects nearly 150,000 vehicles. It turns out that Soul models have piston oil rings that might not have been heat-treated according to company guidelines. If the piston oil rings become unseated, engine damage could occur, leading to a stalled motor. It could also lead to an oil leak, which increases the danger of a car fire if the oil hits the hot exhaust. Maybe Kia should consider transferring some of the “next-level” capability that is bragged about into creating better manufacturing procedures since vital systems are breaking down. Until then, these vehicles will continue piling up in the junkyard.

Problems with the Powertrain

The powertrain must also be built reliable or customers are going to complain. That’s exactly what’s happening with the Soul.

One Edmunds review states, “I bought a brand new 2021 Kia Soul February 13, 2021. 8 weeks later it is in the shop needing a new transmission. It has been 2 weeks and not one single call from Kia. The transmission is on back order and I am driving a rental car which I am paying $22/day for insurance. I have a case number with Kia, but it is useless because their customer service is absolutely horrible. I wish I had never bought it.  I will be filing a lemon law claim.”

Kia has its hands full with powertrain issues. Currently, there are more than ten communications, with more sure to build up as customers continue driving this poorly-made vehicle. Many of the problems seem to be electronic issues with the transmission, further proving that Kia should not be manufacturing this lemon any longer.

Are you experiencing issues with the transmission of your Kia Soul? Find out more about this issue by reading our post on Kia Soul Transmission issues.

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.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.

Share your story

Does this ring a bell? Have you had a bad experience too? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.

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

Leave a Reply or Comment

Write a comment below to share online. Or, instead you can to our legal team.

Please select your star rating.

Briefly describe your experience Briefly describe your experience

What’s your name? What’s your name?

What’s your phone number? Please enter a valid phone number

Want to know if you could sue? Get a free legal evaluation Lemberg Law?

Get Your No-Obligation
Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team.

What’s your name? What’s your name?
What’s your email address? What’s your email address?
What’s your phone number? What’s your phone number?
Briefly describe the problem Briefly describe the problem
Confidentiality Guarantee: We keep your information completely confidential and will not send you spam or sell your information.
By submitting above, I agree to the privacy policy and terms and consent to be contacted by an agent via phone call or text message at the phone number(s) listed above, including wireless number(s).