The Kia Soul EV electric car — along with its mainstream gasoline-powered sibling, the Kia Soul — has become the latest in a rush of plug-in cars to be recalled in recent days.
As our friends over at GreenCarReports detail, the recall centres around the accelerator pedals in both the Kia Soul and Kia Soul EV, which have been determined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to be likely to bend and break when ‘excessive’ force is applied to them.
Essentially, when pressed too hard the pedals — made by South Korean supplier Donghee Ind. Co., Ltd and fitted to all Soul Models produced between 2014 and 2015 — can suffer stress-related deformation which in turn changes the throttle response.
In extreme cases, the accelerator pedal can become so bent that the full movement of the throttle is impossible, increasing acceleration times and increasing the risk of accident or loss of control.
According to NHTSA’s official recall report, damage to the accelerator pedal is most likely to occur when the vehicle is stationary — or rather as the pedal is pushed to the floor upon acceleration from standstill.
In total, some 209,000 vehicles are believed to be affected, with the majority of those vehicles being powered by gasoline rather than electricity. Since the gasoline and electric versions of the Kia Soul share the same pedal boxes however, some Kia Soul EVs are affected.
GreenCarReports estimates that figure to be not more than 1,000 vehicles, although it’s worth noting that Kia only reports total Soul sales figures in the U.S. rather than breaking out sales by fuel type, so it’s tough to be certain how many cars are affected.
Generally considered to be a compliance car in the U.S. — a car built specifically to satisfy zero-emission mandates in states like California — the Kia Soul EV has so far only been sold by a limited number of dealers in the state of California. But its funky design and EPA-approved range of 93-miles per charge — thanks in part to its 27 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery pack — means that it has proven more popular than Kia had initially thought.
So much so that the automaker has brought forward its plans to expand sales into other key U.S. markets, although we note that specifics have yet to be announced.
Kia says it expects remedial work on affected cars to start on March 24, and will contact owners of affected cars. The fix, says Kia will involve adding a rubber stopper underneath the accelerator pedal to support the pedal and ensure that it does not bend.
As with any manufacturer-recall, all recall work will be carried out free of charge.
Concerned owners can contact Kia in North America on 1-800-333-4542, quoting recall #SC116. Additional information can be found at the NHTSA SaferCar website under case number 15V123000.
It is not clear at the time of writing if the recall affects cars in other markets. We’ll bring you more news for non-U.S. markets as we have it.
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