Kia Motors America Inc. has recalled approximately 209,000 Soul and Soul electric vehicles because a portion of the cars’ accelerator pedal has the potential to bend and fracture if the driver applies excessive force. The agency acknowledged the recall in a letter to the automaker, in which it said the defect in certain model year 2014-2015 Soul and Soul electric vehicles causes the accelerator pedal to bend or break. The letter says further that this can cause drivers to have difficulty in accelerating the vehicle and increases the risk of an automobile accident. Kia said in a statement that it was “not aware of any injuries or accidents as a result of this issue.” Kia started to notify vehicle owners last month.
Kia says dealers will add supporting rubber underneath the pedal stopper on affected vehicles for no expense to the car owners. The recall began March 24 and affects cars manufactured between July 2013 and January of this year. Kia first notified NHTSA about the recall on Feb. 27. In documents submitted to the agency, the automaker said it was conducting regular monitoring on Oct. 23 when it first identified accelerator pedal warranty claims that may indicate accelerator pedal fractures. No customer complaints had been received, and no accidents or loss of control were identified at that time, according to Kia.
On Oct. 31, Kia says it searched for and inspected two fractured accelerator pedals it collected from the field, with “inconsistent” fracture locations identified. The automaker then sent a quality information report to its parent company Kia Motors Corp. requesting evaluation, and in November sent three pedals in for fracture evaluation. Kia Motors Corp. identified nine accelerator pedal replacement warranty claims on Nov. 14. After an investigation, the company says in late December it concluded that the accelerator pedal can fracture because an unsupported pedal section can bend from application of an “unanticipated excessive force” when the vehicle is stationary.
Under these circumstances, if the driver continues to operate the vehicle, this could impair acceleration. Kia says it made changes to its manufacturing process to address the issue on Jan. 9 of this year. On Feb. 17, the automaker identified three additional accelerator pedal replacement warranty claims. It says all of this caused the automaker to conduct the recall. The automaker says it has received 12 warranty claims thus far.
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