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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there:

Perhaps someone in this forum has information that can help us - and for the safety of other drivers.

Here's the snapshot:

Sept 2004 - On turning the ignition key, the battery blew up under the hood. Lots of witnesses (Costco parking lot) including an off-duty police officer. Car was towed and next day KIA MADE US PAY to replace the battery! Not good customer service! The Kia President's office sits on a confirmed receipt email for 7 days. When asked, they claimed: 'forgot' to pass this exploding battery case to Customer Care.

Summary: Sept - May 2005 (yes that is nine - 9 months):
the car has been in repeatedly for servicing (most recently for over 5 weeks!) as it stalls in traffic and the tachometer races without warning - many near fatal accidents. Kia calls us liars as they claim if their diagnotics don't pick up on our reported incidents - 'they are not happening' (yes that is a direct quote).

Some more facts to ponder:

Jan 2005: 1 day (specifically 25 hours) after getting the car back from yet another service check, it CONTINUES to stall and the tach races - causes the car to lurch forward without notice - Need to be very alert to brake fast enough to avoid accident. Started keeping at least 1 car length back - even at a stoplight!

February 2005: after being called liars, we started keeping a live log in the car. In just 3 weeks we documented over 60 incidents - each time with witnesses in the car at that specific time.

March 2005: Our son passes his drivers licence and we are concerned he doesn't have the experience to know how to react to this kind of car problem. Actually, nobody should ever have to!

June 2005: Kia mechanic calls to say they THINK they have found the problem - relates to corrossion under the hood. EXCUSE ME!!!! We knew to the second when the corrossion started (battery blew up) - why did it take them 9 months to figure that out. And why have we been driving an unsafe vehicle?

June 2005: we just got our car back after it being serviced for almost 6 weeks. The mechanic confides that he isn't sure they fixed it - but doesn't know what else to do!!!

Now what?

We still have 1.5 years on the lease with this unsafe car. We would like Kia to release us from this lease and destroy the car (don't let anyone else drive an unsafe car)

Your help and insights are welcome.

... Paul Litwack
the Capability Improvement Coach
www.the-coach.com
(905) 764-8525
 

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If the car has been in your posession for more than one year, the battery is your responsibility to pay for. I had a similar incident in another brand of car, and got the same response. You can pick up a good, heavy duty battery with a 5 year warranty at Costco for $70.

As for the lurching and racing engine, is there anything you can do to make it happen on command? If so, ask the technician to go with you on a test drive. That way you can show him/her exactly what is happening. It's pretty hard to diagnose any problem in any industry without being able to replicate it. If this is happening 60 times in 3 weeks, there should be some way to find it. You have to understand that it is as frustrating for the tech as it is for you - if he can't find the problem and the diagnostic tools report no problems, it's pretty hard to figure out. The van has a diagnostic computer that records any error conditions, and if there is nothing in those logs, it's much more difficult to diagnose. This is why the test drive with the tech is the best thing to do, because when it happens he will be able to experience it.

If you've having a hard time with that dealer, go to another dealer. You're not stuck to dealing with one dealer, any Kia dealer can help you out.

There are several things I think I'd try before giving up on this car:

1) Use a different brand of fuel - ie. Shell instead of Esso/Exxon, etc. Get your tank as empty as possible before filling up at another station, to mix as little fuel as possible. Does it still do the same? If so, is it better/worse/the same?
2) Try a different grade of fuel. Try 89 instead of 87. Does it still do the same? If so, is it better/worse/the same?
3) Buy some injector cleaner, and run it through a few tanks of fuel. Does it still do the same? If so, is it better/worse/the same?
4) Listen for any sounds that occur when this problem happens. Do you hear a clicking, whining, whistling, or any other sounds when it happens?
5) Go to another dealer, even if it means an hour's drive. Have their tech go with you on a test drive to show him what happens. Sometimes it just takes a fresh mind to see the problem.

As for release from the lease, good luck. The lease agreement does not make any guarantees of performance or longevity of a vehicle. It's like asking your bank to refund your money for the house you've bought because something is wrong with it. It just doesn't happen. What you could ask for however, is to trade the van in on a new vehicle.

One thing you don't mention is how many KMs you have on the van, and approximately how many you've put on since the first problem. How much of your driving is city vs highway? Has the van ever been in an accident of any kind? Has it ever had any other problems before this?

If you give us more details, we might be able to help you out more. There is a Kia tech from the USA who just joined this site, and he might have some ideas too for you, hopefully he sees this message.

On another note, how long is your lease? When did you lease the van?

Hope I can help!

Devin
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Devin - thanks for your insights.

As you had so many good points, I put my input directly into your original text below:


If the car has been in your posession for more than one year, the battery is your responsibility to pay for.
>> True according to the warranty. Except we were hoping that since a HYDROGEN BOMB under the hood isn't normal wear and tear, a reasonable low-cost customer service gesture was available and missed by KIA. We have since confirmed too many times that KIA services their cars not their customers!
>> By the way, this car has had electrical problems since the 1st month!!! and even after replacing many electrical components, the battery blew up. To-date they have provided no information (or even a direction to get that information) to explain these electrical problems and more importantly what caused the spark that blew up the battery - or what will make us confident it will not happen again. We truly believe we are and have been driving an unsafe car.

As for the lurching and racing engine, is there anything you can do to make it happen on command? If so, ask the technician to go with you on a test drive. That way you can show him/her exactly what is happening. It's pretty hard to diagnose any problem in any industry without being able to replicate it.
If this is happening 60 times in 3 weeks, there should be some way to find it.
>> That's our point. Why is it happening so frequently with us (three different drivers) and not for them?
>> The mechanic recently confided that due to the corrossion problems, their KIA diagnostics would not pick up on these things at all! And once corrossion starts - not safe to drive that car. Perhaps it is now all the more of a fiasco that they called us liars for experiencing these witnessed unsafe driving behaviours in this car.

If you've having a hard time with that dealer, go to another dealer. You're not stuck to dealing with one dealer, any Kia dealer can help you out.
>> Recall our local dealer left KIA partly because of lack of HQ support for cases like ours. And only after dealing with the President's office did they refer us to what they claimed were the best mechanics in the country. And now after six months even those mechanics are not confident they fixed it!

There are several things I think I'd try before giving up on this car:
>> lots of good ideas. Except they do not take away any of the unsafe circumstances we have experienced to-date -r with corrossion will experience in the future. I'm curious why KIA hasn't suggested ANY of them - and they have had the car many times.


As for release from the lease, good luck.
>> so we have learned. Trading the car has been turned down by KIA from the start. Quite frankly, we would like to have the car destroyed so nobody else will ever need to experience what we have with this car. That's reasonable and community-minded.

One thing you don't mention is how many KMs you have on the van, and approximately how many you've put on since the first problem. How much of your driving is city vs highway? Has the van ever been in an accident of any kind? Has it ever had any other problems before this?
>> now 40K Km, 80% city driving (hence safety fears at stops)
>> no accidents (many near accidents since the battery blew up)
>> Problems since day1! One month after delivery they replaced the battery because it wouldn't hold a charge. Then over next 2 years many electrical components have been replaced then the HYDROGEN BOMB. Their 'best mechanics in the country' claim they are still unsure what the problem is or that they have fixed it at all. Not a confidence-building exercise!

On another note, how long is your lease? When did you lease the van?
>> leased since Jan 2003 - ends Jan 2007 (another 1.5 years of unsafe driving)

Thanks again Devin for your interest and support.

... Paul
www.the-coach.com
(905) 764-8525
 

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Well Paul, I hate to tell you this, but you're not alone. If you go to the forums like this one, of any brand - Kia, Toyota, Honda, GM, Ford, etc, you'll find horror stories with every last model produced. And you'll also find many people who swear by each and every model as being the best they have ever driven. It's all in the way you choose to handle it. Here's my advice in dealing with the situation:

1) Remain calm. Your words mean a lot more to the person on the other end of the conversation if you're not red in the face with anger.
2) Don't yell. Be reasonable - these people have to deal with customers all day long just like you most likely do in your job. I know personally, as soon as someone starts to yell at me, I don't want to deal with them anymore.
3) Never swear. Not only is this rude and offensive, it's the lowest form of communication and never resolves anything. It's easy to lose it when you're frustrated.
4) Keep doing what you've been doing, in documenting everything. At the first sign of trouble, make sure to write down the name of the person and their position with the company. When you ask them outright for that information, it sends the signal to them that you are going to hold them responsible for helping you - and they're more likely to not pass the buck because you know who they are.
4a) Before talking to someone, make a list based on what you've documented. The list should have all the questions you need answered in that conversation - to which you can document the person's answers. This will allow you to stay on-topic, and keep the conversation focused on resolving your problem.
4b) Don't make comments that will make the situation worse. Telling your dealer that you think they should take your car and destroy it because it is unsafe isn't going to get you anywhere - it'll most likely make them label you as a complainer that nothing satisfies. Make reasonable demands, based on your lists.
5) If you don't get a response, there is only one line you need to know: "What is the name and number of your supervisor?". If you're on the phone, it's easily followed up with "I'd like to speak to that person now, please."
6) Keep repeating step 5 as long as it takes to get to someone who has both the power and responsibility to help you. It's not worth tearing a strip off someone who can't do anything to resolve the situation anyway.
7) Hold each person you speak with to their word. If they say they will call you back tomorrow morning, expect that call. If by lunch time that call hasn't arrived, make the call to them and politely ask "Is there a reason that you were unable to call me this morning as you said you would when we last talked?"
8) Do as much of it as you can in person, face to face. It's a lot harder to push aside someone when they're in your office complaining.
9) Contact places like your local Better Business Bureau, your auto club like CAA, etc. There are always other associations that your dealer is a member of - usually a state or provincial body that will have a lot of power in the industry - especially in dealing with the manufacturers. There is strength in numbers.
9a) Don't use a shotgun approach. You've posted messages on almost every forum here, all to do with this. If you take this same approach in dealing with the dealer or manufacturer, you're going to have a hard time getting anywhere. Do your best to move up the chain of command until you find someone who actually has the power to help - and hold onto them until the problem is resolved.
10) Contact the manufacturer of the part in question, if it's an out of warranty issue. For example the battery - if it was made by ABC company, contact them and explain your situation. They may be able to help out, or at least offer you a discount on a replacement as a gesture anyway.
11) Contact your insurance company, and ask to file a claim. You usually have 1 year from the date of the incident until you can no longer file. Something like an explosion under the hood is certainly what insurance is for. And in a situation like this, they will put pressure on the dealer to get it resolved too. Unfortunately the longer you leave this, the less likely you are to get a response.

Most of these apply to almost any customer situation - whether it be your grocery store, your bank, your telephone company, or your car dealer. And if you follow them, you'll find your problems are resolved much quicker and to a much more satisfying degree.

My personal thoughts, if I had been in your shoes:
1) If I had a battery explode, I'd make a battery shop my first stop. While water will stop the corrosive effects of most acids, a battery shop would certainly know what to treat the affected surfaces with to ensure the acid is neutralized.
2) A surging problem when coming to a stop suggests a problem with the transmission in an automatic. Usually, this will also be accompanied by very rough shifts when accelerating. Sometimes making a subtle suggestion like "it feels like the transmission is shifting funny" will go a long way to helping them diagnose the problem.
3) I'd ask the service manager if he would pay for an impartial party to inspect the car. Suggest having someone like Canadian Tire inspect the problem and write up a report. Sometimes they may be able to see something that has been overlooked, and there's nothing in it for them to slant it in yours or the dealer's favor for the result. Don't explain to them the whole story behind the problem, just explain the problem as it is showing itself now - such as the surging problem. That way they are looking solely at the problem and working backwards, not working from the initial incident forward.
4) Don't give up.

Hope this helps,

Devin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Devin - you have been so helpful and that is truly appreciated.

Given the 9+ months of hell since the battery blew up and the two years before that since day 1 replacing piece after piece of electrical components - never resolving the issues plaguing the Satan's Car, we are indeed near the end of our rope. Recall this is a 2003 car! And truthfully, we honestly believe that Kia Canada is playing a waiting game hoping we will just go away. We will not.

We were patient and supportive in the earlier months but as days and weeks and months of KIA negligence (like you say we should document this - we have!) from Canadian HQ dragged on, it became harder and harder to stay calm.
We have been and are still driving an unsafe car and have very real fears of losing lives in an accident. There have been too many near accidents for this to be excluded in any way.

Almost all your points are valid have indeed been in play already and Kia Canada simply will not budge. They just want to keep playing with the car at our continued peril. The Regional Parts manager has been to our house twice now and seems to care but his management has not supported him either. KIA continues to advertise Sedonas for sale but none are available to replace our unsafe car. The source of the problem is in Canadian HQ so we must go past them now.

We FULLY appreciate that cars are mechanical and require servicing - some more than others. That is not the point here. Our car has consistently demonstrated unsafe driving behaviours both before and after servicing - most recently within the past week - immediately after being serviced for six weeks.

Enough is enough.

As you have read my other posts on this site, you know we are now writing to KIA Korea directly. If they do not resolve this conclusively we will be forced to go public and seek legal remedies - two routes we have tried to avoid for the past 9 months (wanting to resolve this directly with Kia Canada).

Thanks for your continued interest and support Devin.

... Paul
www.the-coach.com
(905) 764-8525
 

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I'm glad to see you've been keeping good notes. That makes all the difference in the world, as you can show what has/hasn't been done.

One thing you didn't specifically mention that I was interested in was the 3rd party impartial inspection. I think that is one of the most invaluable steps you can take with a troublesome auto in any situation - as you're giving a fresh, unbiased perspective. Sometimes it just needs another set of eyes.

I spoke with my dealer about their experience with Kia Canada, and how supportive they have been in dealing with "lemon" problems. They said they haven't had any problems dealing with Kia/Hyundai at all so far, and warranty claims have been pretty much the same as their GM and Nissan dealerships as far as coverage/support. I guess that could also mean they are used to dealing with head offices and know how to play the system, given they've been dealing with GM for 40 years and Nissan for 20.... There is one tech at our Kia dealership who has worked on the GM side for years, and he said that Kia was much more open to "mods" done on the cars, sans their problem with K&N filters... :) Apparently they don't approve of the K&Ns because of the oils used to "recharge" the filters, they apparently cause sensor problems in the intake system.

Anyway, if there is any way I can be of assistance, or can help you get an answer on a topic, let me know. I don't work for an auto company at all, but I have lots of friends and customers who do. I'm very happy with my little Kia, and would love to help you out.

Devin
 

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Paul, I have been reading about the issues you have been having with your sedona. If you are interested in somebody taking a fresh look at your van, I am the Service Manager down the 401 in Guelph and am willing to try and help you out with what I can.

Let me know what you think

Derek
 

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2015 Buick Verano "Leather Group", 2015 Kia Optima Hybrid
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Isnt there a lemon law in canada???
In the usa if a said vehicle has been in for service for more than 30 days( consecutive callender days) or been in the shop 3 or more times for the same fault it can be considered a lemon vehicle and replaced.... You will need to fill out a lemon law report of the said vehicle.. check into it..
get a lwyer..

when kia says there obd2 tester dont pull a code they really cant do anything its what ALL car companies use as a diagnostic tester to see what the problem is..
 

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Paul, I want you to know I'm very sympathetic for you. In my case, the big difference is that the service department of my KIA dealer is working actively to resolve my problems. I have a 2006 Sedona, fully loaded, my 'dream' car. It still is, although from day 1 there have been problems. I've had it now for 6 weeks, driven it about 1500 km, and have had it in the service department several times. First it wouldn't shift but remained in 4th gear, then the on-board computer had to be replaced, then the diagnostics indicated other problems -- like the computer wire wasn't connected to the coil -- and now it's back in the shop with a completely dead battery that won't recharge. I still love that car, though, and feel that sooner or later it will get broken in and the problems will be solved. I feel my service department and KIA dealer are with me all the way. I think that makes a world of difference. I hope you find a dealer that will support you in your efforts, and a service department that will accept the challenges you're providing. Good luck and take care..........Kim
 

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it sounds to me like there is a problem in the charging system, possible that the altinator is overcharging the battery causing the explosion, as for the corrosion baking soda will nutralize the acid, the overcharging could cause excessive voltage through the system and cause all kinds of problems, it could be that the altinator is spiking at times.

ask the service department to hook up the scan tool and to flight record the voltage, IAC, and other values in the current data, they can record these values and have the service manager drive the vehicle for a week or so to see if they can get it to act up and if it does they will have a recorded value of what is going on in the system

good luck, let me know if i can help,

Unfortunatly Kia Canada and Kia America are two totally different company's
 

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plitwack said:
Hi there:

Perhaps someone in this forum has information that can help us - and for the safety of other drivers.

Here's the snapshot:

Sept 2004 - On turning the ignition key, the battery blew up under the hood. Lots of witnesses (Costco parking lot) including an off-duty police officer. Car was towed and next day KIA MADE US PAY to replace the battery! Not good customer service! The Kia President's office sits on a confirmed receipt email for 7 days. When asked, they claimed: 'forgot' to pass this exploding battery case to Customer Care.



Some more facts to ponder:

Jan 2005: 1 day (specifically 25 hours) after getting the car back from yet another service check, it CONTINUES to stall and the tach races - causes the car to lurch forward without notice - Need to be very alert to brake fast enough to avoid accident. Started keeping at least 1 car length back - even at a stoplight!

February 2005: after being called liars, we started keeping a live log in the car. In just 3 weeks we documented over 60 incidents - each time with witnesses in the car at that specific time.
First I am a Master Mechanic, Body man and Painter. also an owner of a 2006 Kia Sorento.
We can't rule out a defective battery.
In order to blow up a battery it either has to be over charging or have a dead short. You can use a 12 volt battery as a welder, that is how powerful a battery can be. To check this out you should have the charging system checked, If the alternator is over charging (voltage regulator stuck or malfunctioning this can cause the battery to get really hot, causing it to generate fumes that can explode from a single spark) If a battery shows signs of bulging sides then it has been too hot. An alternator can put out 100+ volts if the regulator is stuck.
Most auto parts stores have equipment to check the charging system and battery condition. They run the test for free.

Surging can be caused by many things
Accelerator linkage loose or binding
Fuel injection sensing that the engine is about to stall and adds more fuel which can make it rev up to keep it from stalling.
I have even seen cruise controls that engage when you take your foot off of the brake peddle at a stop light.
I have seen broken motor mounts that let the engine rock and open the accelerator when it raises up.

SKDenny
 

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!!GOOD NEWS FOR SEDONA OWNERS AND DEAD BATTERIES!!

I owned a Silver 2007 Sedona EX which the battery died on ALOT of times. It had several recalls I took it in for to upgrade various things and figured they may have drilled into a wiring harness
or had a sheet metal screw or wiring bundle chaffing problem.

Regardless, I decided to traded it in to buy a new BLUE Sedona 2010 EX and it did the SAME DANG thing!!!!

Finally took it in last week after owning it for 8 months, going through 3 batteries and jumpering the van at least 20+ times.
I thought of ALL of the above issues. Lights, accessories etc.

NEWS FLASH:

NONE of the prior posting were EVER the issue.
THE ISSUE IS WITH THE ON BOARD COMPUTERS NOT GOING TO SLEEP AND STAYING FULL ON.
THEY STAY ON IN SOME CASES WHICH RUNS THE BATTERY DOWN NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO. YOU ARE NOT CRAZY OR ABSENT MINDED.

SOLUTION:
RUN, DON'T WALK AND GET THE DEALER TO UPGRADE THE COMPUTER SOFTWARE/FIRMWARE FOR YOUR VAN.
KIA JUST CAME OUT WITH A SOFTWARE UPGRADE.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Tim Reyburn,
Laurel, MD
 
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