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2017 Kia Sportage SX
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Any one else get a letter from Kia to schedule an appointment to have new software loaded into ECU? It is suppose to detect excessive vibration. Apparently, there is a problem with 2.L GDI and 2.0L Turbo GDI engines 2016-2018 with the connecting rods. The software is to alert you that there is a problem and then you must get service asap. Lifetime warranty provided assuming you get the car service quickly.
 

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 144K miles
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This has been done for prior year (2011-2015) vehicles, but this is the first I've read about newer models. Can you post your letter, omitting personalized info of course.
 

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2017 Sportage SX - Pacific Blue/Brown interior, 2017 Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer
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98 Posts
I received the same letter yesterday.
 

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2017 Kia Sportage
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Just scheduled my 15k mile service and three service items were included:

SA189AM : PI1802C: PI1802 ECU UPGRADE (KSDS) 17MY
SA305: SA305 E-CVVT COVER AND MOTOR PLUG
SA309A: SA309A ECV/EVAPORATOR TEMP SENSOR REPLAC

Didn't get the letter, but given above, I expect to get it soon....

FYI, everything else is going well with the car except that vibrations are developing in the driver's door and under the dash on non-smooth pavement. Build quality? I hope this doesn't portend more issues....
 

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2018 Sportage SX Turbo Black with beige interior
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it will be interesting if KIA Canada sends out the same letter time will tell.
 

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2017 Sportage EX
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177 Posts
This appears to be the latest chapter in the Hyundai/Kia Theta II engine recall saga. There are currently at least three class action lawsuits pending against Hyundai and Kia for engine failures and engine fires related to oil starvation in cars not covered by the current recalls. Hyundai and Kia may be trying to show the courts and the NHTSA that they are being proactive in trying to solve these issues, although its seems to me to be too little too late.
 

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 144K miles
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The letter................
Yep, same thing that Kia/Hyundai previously did for 2011-15 Theta engines, and this confirms that Kia/Hyundai believe even their most recent Thetas also have the same issues as the earlier ones.

For anyone considering this 'upgrade', here is a thread from a Hyundai forum, with a number of reports of issues stemming from the same program. Personally, if I had one of these engines, I'd never allow this to be done to my vehicle, but everyone will need make their own decision about that, particularly if your powertrain warranty will expire in the near future.

The problem reports start in this thread with post #28 .
https://www.hyundai-forums.com/lf-2015-sonata-i45/641393-2015-sonata-2-4l-2-0t-ecu-cluster-software-update-service-campaign-953-a-3.html
 

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2017 Sportage EX
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For anyone considering this 'upgrade', here is a thread from a Hyundai forum, with a number of reports of issues stemming from the same program. Personally, if I had one of these engines, I'd never allow this to be done to my vehicle, but everyone will need make their own decision about that, particularly if your powertrain warranty will expire in the near future.
In reading through the Hyundai thread, the problems seen after the upgrade are mainly sensor and wiring issues, not software related. So be careful about refusing the upgrade. According to Kia's letter to owners, "Kia is providing lifetime warranty coverage to both new and used vehicle owners for engine long block assembly repairs needed due to excessive connecting rod bearing damage upon completion of this Product Improvement Campaign." Failure to accomplish the upgrade eliminates the lifetime warranty provision and might even be cause to void the normal powertrain warranty in the event of rod bearing damage.
 

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2017 Kia Sportage SX
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Discussion Starter #13
It sounds to me like if you ignore the letter and do not have the ECU software change done, you have no lifetime warranty.
 

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As of 6/15/16, proud owner of a Silver 2017 Kia Sportage EX
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Not a happy camper, this is the second major problem after an air conditioner replacement at the dealership (now out of business). These problems caused me several weeks without my 2017 EX Sportage and "NO" supplied loaner car like other dealerships. :-(

Btw, my case manager was terrible too but the female tech (a first for me) was great and very knowledgeable.
 

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It sounds to me like if you ignore the letter and do not have the ECU software change done, you have no lifetime warranty.
No question about it - you have to get the update to maintain the regular warranty. My only concern is reduced performance/throttle response but then there really is no choice, so I'll get it done soon. I just got my letter today, so yes, OP, now I've heard of it!

In considering what could happen if the knock sensor detects a problem and the car goes to the dealer, I am thinking they would replace the engine rather than putting in a new crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons. I'm not happy about this turn of events and my opinion of KIA is being affected. I'm crazy about my SX and don't believe it has any bottom end problems but I have to admit I'm starting to lose confidence in the vehicle. I mean who wants to take off on a trip in it with the specter of dropping some rods hanging over it? The hell with it - I'm not going to change how I drive - if it fails, it fails. I will tell you this - this is the end for KIA. What a shame - they gambled on this engine and lost - they had success in the palm of their hand and decided to cheap-out.
I guess you all know that the connecting rods are 'powdered metal' (MIM). This problem could be caused by the MIM rods being softer than expected, allowing the bearing to open up a little, causing a rod knock. Once this starts, the crankshaft begins to be damaged and the engine does not have long to go.
So, the purpose of the new detection software is simply to help the owner get to the dealer while the car is still running. There's nothing that can be done for the engine to help it last longer at that point except take it easy, which is accomplished by the 'limp mode'.
The bottom line on all this is how this campaign affects the value of the affected vehicles - I think we are basically going to lose our esses on this deal. Who is going to buy one of these grenades used, no matter how nice it is?
 

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2017 Sportage SX - Pacific Blue/Brown interior, 2017 Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer
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No question about it - you have to get the update to maintain the regular warranty. My only concern is reduced performance/throttle response but then there really is no choice, so I'll get it done soon. I just got my letter today, so yes, OP, now I've heard of it!

In considering what could happen if the knock sensor detects a problem and the car goes to the dealer, I am thinking they would replace the engine rather than putting in a new crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons. I'm not happy about this turn of events and my opinion of KIA is being affected. I'm crazy about my SX and don't believe it has any bottom end problems but I have to admit I'm starting to lose confidence in the vehicle. I mean who wants to take off on a trip in it with the specter of dropping some rods hanging over it? The hell with it - I'm not going to change how I drive - if it fails, it fails. I will tell you this - this is the end for KIA. What a shame - they gambled on this engine and lost - they had success in the palm of their hand and decided to cheap-out.
I guess you all know that the connecting rods are 'powdered metal' (MIM). This problem could be caused by the MIM rods being softer than expected, allowing the bearing to open up a little, causing a rod knock. Once this starts, the crankshaft begins to be damaged and the engine does not have long to go.
So, the purpose of the new detection software is simply to help the owner get to the dealer while the car is still running. There's nothing that can be done for the engine to help it last longer at that point except take it easy, which is accomplished by the 'limp mode'.
The bottom line on all this is how this campaign affects the value of the affected vehicles - I think we are basically going to lose our esses on this deal. Who is going to buy one of these grenades used, no matter how nice it is?
I agree with you. This was my first Kia and I really like my SX. I have about 15,000 trouble free miles and have taken it on trips to Tybee Island, GA and more recently to Denver, CO. The car performed great, but we are planning a trip to New Orleans and I have a feeling we will be taking the wifes CR-V. Like you stated if the SX breaks down it breaks down but I would hate to be on vacation and it happens.
 

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2017 Sportage SX, Copper&Beige - 2009 ST1300 Honda - Wife's: 2016 Soul+ Bright Silver
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I got my KSDS notice today & may call for appointment to get the software update soon.
I have 35,000 on my SX with no problems and we also drove it across the country to AZ & back at 80 mph + or - in very high temps out west in AZ, NM, TX.
I have been using synthetic oil since new, Pennzoil Platinum, that may be helping mine.

What are some of the highest miles on the 2016-18 SX's you all have ?
 

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 144K miles
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In reading through the Hyundai thread, the problems seen after the upgrade are mainly sensor and wiring issues, not software related. ...
No, almost every one of the reports in the thread I posted stated that their vehicle went into the new forced limp mode shortly after getting the ECU reflash, and there are no sensor or wiring changes associated with this program.

.... Failure to accomplish the upgrade eliminates the lifetime warranty provision and might even be cause to void the normal powertrain warranty in the event of rod bearing damage.
There's no possibility that Kia/Hyundai can void the powertrain warranty based on the current letter that's being sent to the owners. There's nothing in there about this program being mandatory, or having any relationship to the regular powertrain warranty.

Yes, failure to take the upgrade would mean no extended warranty, so that would be something to consider for anyone who will be approaching the end of the regular warranty soon. I've posted what's been reported by other owners who were impacted by this 'upgrade' as an FYI, and also gave my own opinion, based on those accounts. Anyone who gets this letter from Kia can make their own choice and do whatever they want to.
 

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That's an interesting take on the meaning of the letter. I'll look at it again in the morning and see if I think it can be construed to mean the only warranty affected by not installing the knock detector would be the special warranty associated with this problem. It is true that once the detector trips the alarm, the engine is already unusable, so after more consideration it became evident that the purpose of the whole exercise is to try to prevent engine seizing on the highway which has started a couple of fires. I agree that there's no way KIA could possibly not repair the vehicle that suffers engine failure as long as maintenance has been performed as required.
As for the cars going into 'limp mode' right after the update, have you considered that some of them may have been having the problem and the new software picked it up?
I think I would be able to detect changes in my engine related to clearanced rod bearings and respond accordingly. I also would recommend having the oil tested at every oil change to possibly detect unusual bearing material in it, which would be a clue that things are going south.
 

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2016 KIA Sorento EX AWD 2.0T w/Prem Pkg
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I got the letter today as well. My interpretation is that this new limited lifetime warranty on the engine long block will be affected if you don't get the upgrade, not the warranty that was given when new. What's funny is that 3 days ago my vehicle was showing this PI1801 recall on the myuvo web site and I started looking into it and found nothing, then a day or so later the site said no recalls and then now this.
 
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