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Kia Engine Recall Warranty

Kia Engine Recall Warranty
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One of the major perks of buying a Kia vehicle is that you receive an industry-leading powertrain warranty. While most car manufacturers offer a powertrain warranty of five years or 60,000 miles, Kia’s powertrain warranty lasts for 10 years or 100,000 miles. The fact that Kia offers such comprehensive warranties demonstrates the manufacturer’s confidence in the quality of its powertrains.

However, in recent years, Kia has had to recall some of its vehicles due to engine-related issues. To compensate Kia owners for the recalls, Kia has been providing extended warranties. Some of these are lifetime warranties. To learn more about Kia’s engine recall warranties, read on.

Some Background Regarding Recalls

Over the last few years, Kia has had to recall various models for two main engine issues, namely stalling and non-crash fires. Most of these engine issues have involved 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter Theta II GDI engines, which power multiple Kia models, including the Optima, Sorento, and Sportage in model years 2011-2019.

The issue with the Theta II engines started around 2015. At this time, Hyundai (parent company to Kia) had recalled around 470,000 vehicles equipped with 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter Theta II GDI engines. Hyundai stated that metal debris generated during the manufacturing process of the engine’s crankshaft sometimes landed in the oil passages, which then blocked oil flow to the engine. Since Kia’s manufacturing process was different, the automaker found no reason for a recall of its own.

However, Kia’s out-of-warranty customers started to increasingly voice their dissatisfaction with the high repair costs of faulty engines. In 2016, Kia did what is referred to as a silent recall on 2011-2014 Optima, Sportage, and Sorento vehicles powered by the relevant Theta II GDI engines by offering an extended warranty on these vehicles. This meant that out-of-warranty Kia owners would no longer have to foot the bill for costly engine repairs.

The 2017 Recall

Since claims for engine replacement kept rising, with complainants citing illuminated check engine or oil pressure warning lights and stalls at higher speeds, Kia decided to recall some vehicles in 2017. Kia stated that the engine bearings on these vehicles could wear out early, which could lead to engine failure. The following vehicles were included in this recall:

  • 2011-2014 Optima
  • 2012-2014 Sorento
  • 2011-2013 Sportage

Kia once again offered a warranty extension on these engines. While this recall was meant to correct stalling issues, new complaints started to surface regarding instances of non-crash fires. These non-crash fires were reported in an overlapping population of vehicles that also featured Theta II GDI engines.

The 2018 Recall

In 2018, Kia recalled around 68,000 vehicles that were not fixed properly during the engine replacement recall of 2017. The manufacturer stated that the high-pressure fuel pump may have been installed incorrectly during the engine replacement, which could cause fuel leaks and subsequent fires.

Kia has provided lifetime warranty coverage for the following vehicles:

  • 2011-2018 Optima models
  • 2012-2018 Sorento models
  • 2011-2018 Sportage models

The extended warranty covers repairs to the engine long block assemblies on these vehicles if the defects have been caused by engine bearing damage. In addition, Kia has also offered to reimburse customers who have paid for engine repairs out of their own pockets.

The 2018 Product Improvement Campaign

In 2018, Kia also launched a product improvement campaign, which involved updating the engine control unit software of models that are equipped with the 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter turbocharged Theta II GDI engines.

The software, which is called the Knock Sensor Detection System (KSDS), is meant to detect early signs of excessive engine bearing and connecting rod bearing wear. If you own a Kia vehicle that’s equipped with one of the Theta II GDI engines in question, you should visit your nearest Kia dealer to have the software installed if you have not done so yet. Apart from keeping you safe, it is a necessary first step before any extended warranty will kick in.

Recalling the 2012-2016 Soul in 2019

A new engine recall happened in 2019. This time it involved the manufacturer’s 1.6-liter Gamma GDI engine. Approximately 379,000 2012-2016 Soul vehicles were recalled. Kia stated that the issue was caused by a faulty catalytic overheating protection system, which caused abnormal engine combustion. This could ultimately lead to a fire.

Kia has offered an extended warranty for 2012-2016 Soul vehicles that are equipped with the 1.6-liter GDI engine. The warranty provides coverage for the engine long block assembly for 15 years/150,000 miles.

The 2020 Recall

Between February and December 2020, Kia launched 11 investigation-influenced recalls that involved non-crash fires in more than 2.5 million vehicles. In December 2020, Kia recalled 295,000 Sorento, Forte, Koup, Optima Hybrid, Soul, and Sportage vehicles that are equipped with Theta II and Nu engines.

During this recall, Kia said that it would inspect all engines for oil leaks and engines would be replaced if necessary. The manufacturer also upped the warranty period for these vehicles to 15 years/150,000 miles. The warranty covers engine lock block assembly repairs.

Recent Recall

Unfortunately for both Kia and Kia drivers, the recalls due to engine problems have not ended. In a recent recall that was issued this year, Kia has reported a potential fire risk in the engines of multiple models. The manufacturer has even gone as far as advising owners to park their cars outdoors.

The new problem apparently lies in an electrical component in the anti-lock brake systems of these vehicles. The component could short circuit, which could cause a fire in the engine compartment, even if the vehicles are parked. This time, Kia is recalling around 126,747 vehicles. The following models are included:

  • 2014-2016 Sportage models
  • 2016-2018 K900 models

If you’re not sure whether you qualify for an extended warranty, you can visit the NHTSA’s website or call their hotline at 888-327-4236. You can also visit Kia’s website and access the owner’s portal to learn whether your vehicle has been recalled.

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.

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FIXD Research Team

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

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