2022 Kia EV6 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Structural & Visibility issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The brand new, all-electric Kia EV6 First Edition vehicle hit the market running after being unveiled to the American public in September 2021.

In January 2022, shortly after its release, it was named the UK’s What Car? Car of the Year 2022, setting new benchmarks for electric cars. In February, it was named 2022 European Car of the Year. Then in May 2022, it was awarded the U.S. News & World Report title of 2022 Best Electric Vehicle.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2022 Kia EV6

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
15
Service Brakes
5
Unknown Or Other
5
Structure:body
3
Exterior Lighting
2
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
2
Lane Departure: Assist
2
Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
2
Visibility/wiper
2
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking
1

But, on the very same day (May 11) that Kia Motors America issued a media release boasting about the accolades Kia’s first dedicated EV is earning, it issued an Important Safety Recall. The notification was sent to dealers, owners, as well as “planned” dealers and owners between May 16 and May 25.

The recall potentially affects 9,014 Kia EV6 vehicles manufactured from November 17, 2021- April 7, 2022. It isn’t clear how many EV6 cars were manufactured during this time. But, according to Kia, cumulative sales of the EV6 by the end of May amounted to 10,001.

The problem lies in a shift-by-wire system that contains a Shifter Control Unit (SCU) and a parking pawl actuator. If there is any voltage fluctuation when the EV6 is switched off and in Park, the SCU might disengage the parking mechanism. This can result in “vehicle rollaway,” which increases the risk of a crash or injury.

Kia dealers have been instructed to update the SCU software at no cost, but some owners are complaining that their dealers refuse to do this.

Additionally, there are complaints to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about other problems new Kia EV6 owners are experiencing.

Main Points

We have based this report primarily on information provided by Kia Motors America, the NHTSA, and information gleaned from a Kia forum. Here are some interesting points:

  • By the end of June 2022, Kia had sold 12,568 EV6 units.
  • There is one recall on the EV6 that potentially affects 9,014 vehicles.
  • Kia Motors America maintains that only 1% of these vehicles have the defect, but the vehicles subject to the recall were not produced in VIN order.
  • Between April 4 and July 9, 2022, there were 6 complaints filed with the NHTSA
  • Complaints are limited to three categories, Service Brakes, Structure, and Visibility/Wiper.
  • None of the complaints involves vehicle rollover when cars are switched off and in Park. However, one reports a vehicle that rolled backwards while the brake was pushed down while going up a hill.
  • The recall is mentioned in one NHTSA complaint, but in the context of another complaint (See 2022 Kia EV6 Brake Problems below).

Most Common Problems with the 2022 Kia EV6

Complaints to the NHTSA about the 2022 Kia EV6 relate to brakes, visibility and windshield issues, and the structure of the vehicle. There are also claims in forums that some Kia dealers refuse to do the work required for the national recall.

An alarming pattern of response to most of these issues is that Kia dealerships are either unwilling to assist or maintain the problems aren’t malfunctions or defects.

2022 Kia EV6 Brake Problems

The two complaints about brakes are a little different. As mentioned above, one refers to rolling backward.

“When coming to a stop while ascending a hill, the vehicle will roll backward while the brake pedal is depressed. There was enough braking force to stop the car (and prevent further forward motion), but the vehicle will roll backward.”

The other refers to the emergency and parking brake.

2022 Kia EV6 One-Pedal Driving Problems

The owner of the EV6 was carrying long objects so was driving with the hatch open (with a red flag attached). The journey was less than a mile and he was One-Pedal (1Pedal) driving. This lets you slow down and stop your vehicle using only the accelerator pedal.

“When coming to a stop light unbeknownst to me the emergency brakes (Parking brake) automatically comes on.” He was unable to continue driving until manually unlocking the parking brake. Assuming it to be “a software glitch by Kia’s programmers,” he “took the car on a quiet street to replicate this by keeping the hatch slightly ajar while coming to a standard stop like a stop sign, as if I had stopped in traffic.”

“I attempted this over a dozen times. Each time, in the 1Pedal mode, the emergency brakes came on and wouldn’t disengage till manually doing so.”

When he took the car in for the safety recall, the owner told the service department about the problem. But, they “did not do anything to see if there was a fix other than take a written statement that I left with them.”

The owner warns of safety issues:

  1. There is no mention in the Kia EV6 owner’s manual on this issue. So, there is no warning to the driver that this might happen.
  2. When coming to a stop, the car does not move. “A nervous or inexperienced driver may panic or not know what to do to remedy the situation, thinking the car is dead.” This would result in the car “obstructing the flow of regular as well emergency vehicles.”
  3. A “driver behind the stalled vehicle may plow into the rear end of the stalled vehicle.”

2022 Kia EV6 Visibility/Wiper Problems

The two complaints in this category are also different from one another. The first involves an exploding glass moonroof, which the dealer reportedly refused to admit was defective.

“We were driving down the road, no vehicles in front or to the side, when our glass moonroof exploded. (It) sounded like a gun going off inside the car. Immediately we saw glass pour down the back of the car, (and) wind started to erratically shake the sunshade, which thankfully was closed at the time of the event. Loose glass ended up everywhere, even inside the moonroof area. Had the sunshade been opened during the event, we would have been covered in glass and likely crashed.

“The dealership and manufacturer inspected the glass and refused to agree it was defective. I asked if it was supposed to fall into a thousand sharp pieces even if debris hit it and got no response.”

The other relates to a failed heating/ventilation system which a different dealer maintains is an isolated case.

The temperature was in the low 40s when the system stopped working. “My windshield immediately fogged up completely and I had near zero visibility. I slowed down and thankfully had a cloth nearby and used that to wipe the windshield clear while looking for a place to pull over. After changing every conceivable setting to no avail I limped home with my cloth at hand.

“This is a serious safety problem that could easily lead to a serious accident. I’ve contacted the Kia dealer for assistance and they insist there are no known issues or bulletins on this problem. I checked various user forums for the vehicle and it appears others are having similar if not identical issues.”

2022 Kia EV6 Structural Problems

According to this complaint, the dealership is unable to rectify the problem, which is a factory defect. And Kia America is “ignoring” the issue.

“I received my car with tailgate misaligned, it could not be adjusted. There are some more out there like mine. I feel this is a safety problem.”

The complaint explains that the part of the body to which the hinges are attached is not strong enough to open and close the heavy, unbalanced tailgate. It “cannot close as designed” and causes damage because it isn’t level.

“This is a serious structural defect that Kia America is ignoring. My dealer took it to the body shop they use who tried 7 different adjustments that did not fix mine but said can be fixed by body work. Kia is just ignoring this as I feel if the truth comes out they will be forced to recall the EV6 and they have no solution. I have written a certified letter to the CEO of Kia America and was received by (the) front desk/mailroom and I have not received a response or call. I have been in contact with Kia customer service and honestly they have been of no assistance.”

Maintaining his problem is not an isolated incident the complaint ends: “I have been in contact with numerous owners on the forums, social media, etc. I have sent information to news outlets that do investigations.”

2022 Kia EV6 Recall Issues

The recall issued by Kia in May 2022 requires all owners who were notified to contact their authorized Kia dealer immediately to organize the recall repair.

“WARNING: Until you have the recall repair performed on your vehicle, park your vehicle on a level ground. Avoid parking on a slope/inclined surface whenever possible.”

The letter also states that if owners have already paid to have the situation corrected, they can apply to be reimbursed.

There is a final note that if dealers do not respond to service requests, for owners to call Kia’s Consumer Assistance Center. If Kia hasn’t “remedied this situation without charge and within a reasonable amount of time,” they should complain to the NHTSA, it says.

Kia Dealer Refuses to Comply with Recall

An owner who received the safety recall notice reported on Kia EV Forums that he “called the local Kia dealer and they refused to do the work, stating that they do not service cars they did not sell. I contacted Kia customer service and they indicated that they would not, or could not make one of their dealers service a vehicle, even for a safety recall.”

Kia suggested he drive 100 miles to get the car serviced at another dealer.

“I told them that was not acceptable. Their response in turn was: In the event that you believe Kia has been unable to satisfactorily address the concern, a special alternative resolution program called BBB AUTO LINE is available to you.”

Another member wrote: “Kia customer service is totally useless. There is no way to contact an executive at Kia America. I sent a certified letter of complaint to the CEO (that) was received by (the) front desk/mailroom but never got a response or call. Kia corporate and customer service is worthless. In your case file a complaint with the NHTSA that Kia is not honoring a safety recall.”

Another wrote: “From what I have been told by an owner who had a problem with a Kia, the problem lies with Kia America here as they are not responsive and their caring for customers is horrible. She contacted Kia Motors Korea and they responded to her and solved the problem.”

“With (the) recall, mine was supposedly done 3 weeks ago and (is) still shown on Kia Access and NHTSA as not done.”

What to do if your 2022 Kia EV6 is a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights

When vehicles have recurring problems or there are issues that impact on your use of the car or its value, they may be defined as lemons. If you think you’ve got a lemon, the best thing you can do is get a lemon lawyer on your side.

Lemberg Law will evaluate your case. We may be able to help you get a replacement vehicle, buy back, or persuade Kia to refund your money. The law makes Kia pay the legal fees for lemon law cases, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

All you need to do is call our Helpline now. Our service is free.

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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
1 COMMENT
  • Arnold A

    My EV6 first edition first of all is not getting the range that is posted on the sticker, And lately my car will not start, shows battery low, I had to get a tow truck to either tow it to the dealership or jump start this happened numerous times, now I have a portable jump starter because my fear is to get stuck in an unknown location. Bought the car back in April 2022 its not even a year yet and I’m already having issues. The dealers refuses to replace the battery according to their findings NOTHING is wrong with the vehicle, I am tired of this inconvenience, several times it was in the shop for weeks or more and they would not even provide me with a loaner or rental. This is not a good experience I am having with KIA

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