2019 Kia Soul Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Structure, fuel system and brake issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

This article was written by Brian Jones, ASE Certified Master Tech and Lemberg Law Automotive Contributor

Everyone wants to experience fun on the road, which is why some customers turn to the 2019 Kia Soul. The newer models claim to be “outgoing and adventurous,” but our research shows nothing enjoyable coming out of the complaints. In fact, this model seems to suffer from a poorly-built structure, defective fuel system, faulty visibility and malfunctioning service brakes.

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

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Problems with the Vehicle Structure

The 2019 Kia Soul is known as a budget-friendly option, but it shouldn’t sacrifice a solid build to keep the costs down. Yet, that’s precisely what seems to have occurred.

Here is one Edmunds review that talks about some of the troubles. “After owning several Toyota products I decided to try Kia- what a disappointment-ride is rough, seats are small and uncomfortable- biggest complaint is with the paint- chips extremely easy-brought up to service manager only to hear -I’m sorry- not feeling much soul—- update— sold my Kia Soul- front of car was severely chipped up by stones- ride was just to choppy for me.”

It turns out that this is just the beginning. Service Bulletin #TSBBOD187_R1 shows that Kia is instructing technicians to apply sealant to the driver’s and passenger’s side bulkhead to protect against water intrusion into the cabin. This isn’t something customers should be worried about while driving in the rain. After all, if owners wanted an Amphicar, that’s what they would have bought.

Problems with the Fuel System

While the engine is a vital component of the vehicle, it is nothing without a properly running fuel system. Again, it’s clear that the Soul can’t provide these basic necessities to users.

Here’s one NHTSA complaint to consider. “The vehicle stalls and no response when gas pedal is depressed. After about 4 or 5 seconds, the engine responds to gas pedal. This happens at speeds of less than 5 mph when turning or in stop and go traffic. When turning across oncoming traffic and it happens, then it is a safety problem.”

While no one wants to think about this problem happening to them, it’s more important to look at this communication. Kia Service Bulletin #SC182_OWNR states that there was a safety evaluation campaign done to determine if a low pressure gasoline fuel line connector was leading to an increased risk of fire. So, not only do drivers have to wonder if they can pull out in traffic, they must also consider the possibility of the vehicle exploding.

Problems with the Brakes

Just as important as moving in a vehicle is the skill of stopping. Having properly working brakes makes this possible, but this is also another system that the Soul can’t seem to get right.

Here’s yet another NHTSA complaint. “I can be stopped on the road with the brake pedal pushed all the way and the car still moves forward. At some point at stop lights I put my car in Park so it won’t move forward. This has happened a lot since I have bought the car in October of 2018.”

The company declined to issue any bulletins about this problem, but there are multiple complaints across the internet. It seems that the Soul is more of a Jekyll and Hyde than we know. Sometimes it propels itself forward and other times it won’t move at all.

Problems with the Visibility

With all of the other complaints, it would seem nothing else could go wrong with the Kia Soul, but that’s not the case.

Just take a look at this NHTSA comment. “Front glass panel of sunroof shattered and far right/left corners are caving in.”

So it appears that either water is leaking into the cabin, the car is spontaneously combusting, operating with a mind of its own or causing glass to shatter all around the occupants. Altogether it sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon 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.

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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.


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