Kia 2021 Seltos and 2020-21 Soul are Flaming Hot


Kia has recalled 2021 Seltos SUVs and 2020-21 Soul wagons with 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engines. 147,249 vehicles are involved. Inconsistent piston ring heat treating may cause engine damage. This can lead to a loss of power, and an increased risk of fires or crashing.


2020-2021 Kia Souls produced between 11/24/2018-10/24/2020, and 2021 Seltos produced between 11/20/2019-10/15/2020 are being recalled. Owners are being notified to bring their Seltos and Soul vehicles to a Kia dealership for inspection. Dealerships will inspect the engine. Added software will detect if there are problems. Replacement engines are the final solution.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA), four engine fires may have taken place as a result of this deficiency. However, there have been no accidents or injuries reported. Note the 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) found on your vehicle. You can call Kia’s customer service at 800-333-4542, or log on to the NHTSA’s website at The NHTSA campaign number is 21V259000, and Kia’s recall number is SC209. The NHTSA website will indicate if your vehicle has any open recalls.

In October, 2020, Kia Motors North America (KNMA) became aware of a 2020 Soul with an engine noise that stalled after stopping. KMNA confirmed the engine had seized, and notified Kia Motors Corporation (KMC). KMC had the Soul’s engine returned to Korea for evaluation. Difficulties in finding the vehicle led to a delay.

KMC received the engine on January 6, 2021, and after tear down found the chipped oil ring, scratched cylinder bore, and seized connecting rod bearing. In February, 2021, a 2020 Kia Soul with oil leaking on the exhaust caught on fire. The connecting rod created a hole in the engine block. KMC further evaluated the issue to determine the cause. The oil ring problem caused engine replacement claims. KMNA decided on April 6, 2021 to conduct a recall after determining four fires were related to this issue.

[Images: Kia]

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