Kia Soul Transmission & Powertrain Problems

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Lemberg Law is investigating vehicle owner complaints regarding the Kia Soul Transmission & Powertrain. Vehicle owners have been telling our firm that the transmission in the Kia Soul appears to be faulty and potentially dangerous.

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**ATTENTION, if you are a current owner  of a 2020-2021 Kia Soul and are experiencing issues with your transmission or powertrain, give us a call. Our services are absolutely FREE to you. Click 877-795-3666 ☎ NOW for a Free Case Evaluation. Or go ahead and fill out our Contact Form.

What is Wrong with the Transmission of the Kia Soul?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already logged over 50 consumer complaints regarding this issue on the 2020 Kia Soul and several complaints for the 2021 Kia Soul. Furthermore, Kia issued several Technical Service Bulletins, or TSBs, related to the transmission. TSB SC199 provides the procedure to update the transmission software, Transmission Control Module logic. In addition, it states “if necessary, replace the Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT).” The Technical Service Bulletin goes on to detail the issues that affected vehicles may exhibit such as lack of acceleration or delay in acceleration.

What Problems are Kia Soul Owners Experiencing?

Many complaints state that the powertrain failed while driving, potentially putting the driver, passengers and other drivers at risk. Here are some samples:

An owner from Wisconsin states, “I was driving down the interstate at 70 mph. Noticed the car felt like it was accelerating and then decelerating like I was fighting against a strong wind. Looked at the tachometer and saw it fluctuating between 2000rpm and 3000 rpm. Suddenly it redlined to 7000 rpm and I had very little power to the wheels. It would drop back to 3000 but if I tried to accelerate it would redline. I was in heavy interstate traffic. I barely made it to an exit and into a parking lot. By the time I got off the highway it would go no faster than 5mph. … Easily could’ve been rear-ended or crashed in the heavy traffic with no power to the wheels.”

Another owner that logged a complaint on the NHTSA website from Arizona stated, “The vehicle started loosing power. the engine would rev up but the car wouldn’t go. the car had to be towed to the dealership because the vehicle would not engage into drive or reverse. the dealership is replacing the transmission. It is the IVT transmission”

Some of the complaints state that the transmission of their Kia Soul was replaced twice: “The transmission failed twice the first time they replaced the transmission and now they have to replace it again they are saying. The vehicle was on the highway and all of the sudden the rpms went through the roof and the vehicle just started to die.”

What should you do if your Kia Soul’s transmission failed or is experiencing issues?

It is possible that your Kia Soul is a lemon. Allow our experts to work on your lemon compensation at no cost to you. The law requires Kia to pay the legal fees for your claim and you might be able to get rid of your lemon car. Every year, automakers buy back, replace and pay cash settlements because of thousands of lemon cars. You just need the right professional working on your side.

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
  • Allan S

    I bought a 2020 Kia Soul new off the lot, and my transmission started slipping on the highway to the point it went completely out. Got it covered under the warranty I had though, and now again I’m having the same issue starting to happen with the engine light coming on, code referring it to the Transmission, and it slipping. Kia says it needs another $5k transmission replacement, but I have to pay.

  • Kyler m

    My car stopped moving right in the middle of traffic right on the interstate with traffic moving fast. Thank God I was able to pull over but with cars going 67 to 70 mph. I feel emotional like my life was threatened.


    Bought a 2020 Kia Soul that was in a very minor accident (salvage title) the accident caused no drive train …cooling or airbag damage …. As I was bringing it home it quit pulling … RPM gauge went goofy … like 2 have never made it off the road …. By it having a salvage title (but no drive train damage) should it still be covered by the 10 yr. 1000,000 ml. Warranty? … this salvage title is 4 a small amount of body damage only

  • A. K

    Hello my legal concern is that my car has a law tapping sound to it it sounds as if the oil is low even when I go and get it changed my son said it sounds like a lifter tap for when I take it to the dealership they can’t seem to find what’s wrong with it every time. I always ask if I can take it to another dealership that is still Kia but they will not let me until the point I’m really scared to drive the car and I’ve had it since November the 9th of 2020 it’s when I first purchased it what should I do?

  • Angela M

    I bought a new 2020 Kia November 2019 and the transmission died yesterday in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone service to contact Kia Roadside Assistance. It was like the car went into Neutral and stayed there with no ability to accelerate, while the rpms were redlining. I was coming down a narrow mountain road with no place to turn off, so I coasted to the bottom and pulled over at a farm. A cop called a tow for us, since we were no longer able to get it into Drive. Kia charged me $250 to go out and pick up the car from the little service station where we left it (and had already paid $300 to tow it there) and took it to my local dealership. I have over 3 years of payments left on a car that I will never trust to drive again. I want Kia to buy back my car so that I can trade it in for something that I can rely on. At the very least, I want my $550 reimbursed for the towing expenses that I paid out of pocket, if I am stuck with a car that I am too afraid to drive.

  • Terri B

    I bought a 2020 kia soul new 1.5 yrs ago and the tranny has gone out on it. I took it in for a tranny flush and didn’t fix it. I called kia customer service they pretty much told me it’s my problem. Now I still owe on this 2 yr old car and can’t drive it. Also. I had to have the oil changed several times in the 2 yrs. That was pd by my extended warranty which is now up. This car is a lemon.

  • Sandi D

    I have owned my 2020 Kia Soul for a year and a half and yesterday the transmission blew while I was alone in a remote part of CT. My dealership told me to use Kia Roadside Assistance. I waited 5 hours before I called AAA. They came in 30 min but I had to pay out of pocket. The past 36 hours have been filled with stonewalling, condescension , and disrespect. I am so disillusioned and worried that this car is a lemon.

  • Debora C

    I bought a 2020 kia soul and at 3000 miles on the car they had to replace the transmission.

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