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

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

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
5
Service Brakes
3
Structure:body
3
Unknown Or Other
3
Lane Departure: Assist
2
Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
2
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
2
Visibility/wiper
2
Lane Departure: Warning
1
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
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.

Complaint Data

CategoryElectrical System
DateNov 17, 2022
StateFL
Description
The contact owns a 2022 kia ev6. The contact stated that the stereo system started making abnormal noises then went black. During the failure, the lane departure assist, parking assist, and other unknown functions became inoperable. The dealer was contacted and stated that the amplifier needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired due to the parts not being available for the repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and filed a warranty claim. The approximate failure mileage was16,030.
CategoryService Brakes, Structure:body, Unknown Or Other
DateNov 02, 2022
StateFL
Description
I had driven the car for about 80 miles on a mix of urban expressway, parkway, and city streets, when inexplicably the "frunk lid" (or hood) released itself from the fully closed position to the "ajar" position. That is the position that the lid would assume if you pulled the inside release. To open fully, one must manually release the "safety catch," after which it would open fully. As soon as the lid moved from fully closed to slightly open, a warning symbol appeared on the dashboard accompanied by a frenzied warning chime. I was in traffic and stopped as soon as it was safe to do so, about a quarter mile or possibly a half mile ahead. During this time the vehicle seemed sluggish. Just before the stop, my passenger pointed out that the relatively small and discreet "parking brake" warning was also illuminated. Right after I stopped, I shut the lid as I normally would, and it stayed shut. Then my attention was drawn to the rear of the car, where light smoke was emanating from the wheels and a "burning rubber" odor was prominent. The brakes had become very hot from my short drive seeking a safe place to stop. I believe it is unsafe to have a vehicle apply the parking brake on its own with no way to release the parking brake without stopping. I believe that if the vehicle had applied the parking brake on its own at speed on an ice- or snow-covered road, or possibly even on a wet road, the rear tires would have locked up, causing the vehicle to enter an uncontrollable spin. I believe that if the vehicle had applied the parking brake on its own on a long downhill mountainous road without a nearby safe stopping location, the extreme heat generated could cause serious damage to the vehicle. The vehicle is scheduled to be inspected by a dealer tomorrow. At the moment it seems to operate normally, but note that itis an electric vehicle, and almost all of the braking activity is performed by regenerative braking and not using mechanical brakes.
CategoryLane Departure: Assist, Lane Departure: Warning
DateOct 27, 2022
StateCA
Description
I was driving on the freeway with the lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control engaged. The system worked fine for a while but when I took my eyes off the road for a quick minute to grab something from the back seat, the system either disengaged without a waraning or decided to steer to the left outof the lane, because in that short time, it moved two lanes to the left and hit the road barrier deploying the airbags and causing injuries to the passengers. The vehicle was declared a total loss. There were no warningss before or during the incident to indicate any kind of issue. I believe the hda software on the ev6 is quite buggy as a similar incident happened a few months prior when the car randomly decided to take an evasive action to the right when there was no one else on the road. In that instance I was holding the steering wheel with my eyes on the road so I was able to apply immediate corrective action to prevent a mishap
CategoryBack Over Prevention: Warnings, Electrical System
DateOct 02, 2022
StateMD
Description
The vehicles audio amp has failed, and various warning sounds are not audible. Kia motors and dealers are scheduling long times for appointments and parts taking a long time to be replaced. There are a lot of owners that are having the same problem. A simple online search for kia ev6 amp fail will yield results.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Power Train
DateSep 16, 2022
StateCA
Description
The contact owns a 2022 kia ev6. The contact stated that while the vehicle was parked on a hill, it rolled and crashed into a handicapped sign. The forward collision sensor became inoperable. While at the charging station utilizing the radio, the battery and collision warning indicator lights were illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer where they were unable to identify the failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted but provided no additional assistance. While driving, an unknown vehicle crashed into the rear of the vehicle and a quarter panel. There was no reported injuries, fire, or police report. The vehicle was taken to another dealer (kia of irvine 45 oldfield, irvine, ca 92618,) where the vehicle failed to start and it was diagnosed that the battery needed to be replaced. The battery was replaced but the failure persisted. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000.
CategoryElectrical System, Equipment:appliance:tv/radio/speakers
DateSep 01, 2022
StateFL
Description
The contact owns a 2022 kia ev6. The contact stated while driving 60 mph and on a call via bluetooth, the front speaker failed to work properly. The contact also noticed that the turn signal chime was inoperable. The contact took the vehicle to a local dealer, where it was diagnosed with needing the amplification to be replaced; however, the part was on backorder. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer had been informed of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 8,200.
CategoryBack Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking, Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection, Unknown Or Other
DateAug 31, 2022
StateCT
Description
Car audio amp is a huge problem in the meridian sound system because when it fails all the warning auditable system and chimes are no longer heard. This is unacceptable as you know longer can relay in the safety systems that are in place. They can not make them either as they have no suppliers. No loan a cars either.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings, Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
DateAug 19, 2022
StateCO
Description
The amp for the audio system has failed. Because of this, the audible alerts associated with the vehicle safety system cannot be easily heard. The systems are still functioning but the audio alerts are not. The exterior ev pedestrian alert sounds are still functioning. I was able to make an appointment at the dealer within 7 days. There is a risk of not hearing audio safety warnings while driving. This is a known defect - I know other owners are affected, the dealer was able to diagnose the issue and mentioned it's a known problem with the model. My vehicle was only inspected by the service department of the kia dealer that sold me the car. The only warning was a loud popping and static sound from the stereo before the audio nearly stopped entirely. All other systems in the car still work that don't rely on audio. The rear and surround cameras work, and the parking distance system still displays a visual alert but the audio alert cannot be heard
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure: Assist
DateAug 18, 2022
StateAR
Description
This vehicle is equipped with semi autonomous driving. While using semi autonomous driving with navigation and all other safety items active, the vehicle swerved out of its lane and side swiped a semi before driver could react and move vehicle back into lane. Multiple items failed. Semi autonomous driving - lane assist - lane keep - emergency breaking - blind spot warning. No warning lights / sounds activated. (we have a video of this happening a 2nd time but we avoided the accident). Damages to car is roughly k and luckily it was not worse as loss of life could have happened. Kia has been notified and the claim is 14832390. Current status is they want the dealership to review the vehicle once the body work has been fixed. Kia wants to see if they can recreate the incident. Vehicle is still being fixed and expected to be available to me on 8/26/2022. Afterwards, I will provide the vehicle to the dealership. (hoping they will not perform updates to fix the problem and inform me they could not reproduce the issue) fyi - I am not able to download the video to this complaint. Your system will not allow my video format. Also, for final damages, the price is higher than attached documents as collision center has added to the claim.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJul 26, 2022
StatePA
Description
In sport mode: - dial shift was turned from drive to reverse, but did not engage or was delayed. - vehicle went forward instead of reverse, after dial was turned to reverse. - issue has not been reproduced or confirmed by service center. - it has not been inspected yet. - no warnings or messages that we can recall prior to incident.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateJul 19, 2022
StateAZ
Description
We were driving down the road, no vehicles in front or to the side, when our glass moonroof exploded. Sounded like a gun going off inside the car. Immediately we saw glass pour down the back of the car, 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.
CategoryStructure:body
DateJun 14, 2022
StateFL
Description
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 that the area of the body where the hinges attach is not stiff or strong enough to open/close the heavy unbalanced tailgate when the car is not completely level causing damage to the area of the body part of the tailgate and tailgate safety switch not allowing the tailgate to close. 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 front desk/mailroom and I have not received a response or call. I have been in contact to kia customer service and honestly they have been of no assistance. I am sending you the important videos of an ev6 that the tailgate is attempting to open/close when car is not on an even surface. This is a serious is, mine is cosmetic as it came that way from the factory but I feel for the same reason, maybe car, tailgate or assemblers were not completely level during tailgate installation or maybe car was moved on assembly line with tailgate open causing the misalignment on mine and some others. I have been in contact with numerous owners on the forums, social media, etc. I have sent information to news outlets that do investigations. These are puctures of the damage caused when car was not level. Videos, could not load under photos: https://drive. Google. Com/file/d/1mht3mtz_3xh7z6i0irrpjg7ukp8k0acb/view https://drive. Google. Com/file/d/1prrloqifizlwdibdbuynrg-sj5sczkvm/view
CategoryService Brakes
DateJun 11, 2022
StateNJ
Description
While driving with the hatch open, while carrying objects to long to place in car, (the drive was less than one mile and yes I had a red flag on my kayaks) I was driving in what is called 1pedal driving. When coming to a stop light unbeknownst to me the emergency brakes (parking brake) automatically comes on. I was unable to continue in drive until manually unlocking parking brake, but it took me a minute to figure out what was the issue. During this time I was blocking traffic till I figured the work around. This undoubtedly a software glitch by kia's programmers. To ensure that this was not a singular incident, I 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 as well as stopping as if I was 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. I have not tried to replicate this other regenerative braking modes other than 1pedal. But when I get back to an area where traffic is not an issue I will see if it is an issue with those modes as well. I notified the service department of this matter when I brought in the car in for software update for a safety recall. The service department did not do anything to see if there was a fix other than take a written statement that I left with them. This becomes a safety issue for the following reasons. 1. First, there is no mentioned in the kia ev6 bible on this issue and this will take place, so there is no warning to the driver that this going to happen. 2. When coming to a stop and car does not move a nervous or inexperience driver may panic or not no what to do to remedy the situation, thinking the car is dead. And thus leaving a car obstructing the flow of regular as well emergency vehicular. 3. Driver behind the stalled vehicle may plow into the rear end of the stalled vehicle.
CategoryService Brakes
DateJun 10, 2022
StateIL
Description
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.
CategoryStructure:body
DateJun 09, 2022
StateFL
Description
There is a structural issue where the hinges from the tailgate attaches to the body. I believe my tailgate alignment issue happened during assembly and has happened to others. More important if the tailgate is opened when car is not completely level when try to close the tailgate shifts and reopens since it cannot close as designed. I have informed kia america in irvine, ca with a letter to the ceo over 3 weeks ago but no response. I followed up with a certified letter that was received by them but again no response. This is a safety structural problem that needs to be investigated. I have also contacted kia consumer affairs and keep getting stalled. I have trouble loading the videos but have photos, the red car is mine, the others are also attached.
CategoryElectrical System, Visibility/wiper
DateApr 04, 2022
StateWA
Description
I live in the northern latitudes in washington state, on my drive this morning with temps in the low 40's and high humidity the heating/ventilation system just 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.

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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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