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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there:

We were once satisfied Kia owners and we welcome returning to the ranks of satisfied customers!

As you read this, please appreciate how rare it is for me to post the info below:

1. I am respected worldwide as a professional business Coach - I know how to help leaders get better results. Was just named in the top 100 of the top corporate coaches in the world (by the largest coaching portal).
2. Last month I was the Annual Conference Chair for the International Customer Service Association, ICSA.
3. In my world-class Service, Satisfaction and RetentionTeleClass and Keynote program, we introduce the Customer D-E-L-I-T-E formula

Summary: I know how to coach professionals and leaders to keep a customer satisfied, even delighted. Still, we have found ourselves on the raw end of the deal with KIA.

That said, perhaps this case study will be of help to you and others. We are quite frankly at the end of our rope dealing with Kia management - right up to the Presidents office. Their dealer reps and mechanics are equally frustrated and openly laugh at HQ lack of support for customers and their dealer needs. In fact, our own local KIA dealer confided they closed as a direct result of examples like ours.

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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why have you posted the same thing twice.

that is unfortunate, you should have got a volvo.

sorry, I can not advise you in any way shape or form, although I also have had some 10 visits to the kia garage and am currently worried they may try and charge me for warranty work soon. they too said the diagnostics show that the car is alright, I am hoping the warning to them when they said it was going to another garage that I nearly got hit by a HGV on the way to the garage when the REVS dropped to 1750 (25 mph) on the motorway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
UPDATE: June 17, 2005

We have had the car back from the most recent servicing for about 1 week (they had it for 6 weeks to fix).

We are now calling this car "SATAN'S CAR"

Here what we have experienced in one week - since KIA said it was fixed and safe to drive.

1. the Steering wheel locked once while the car was in motion! We had to brake instantly to avoid an accident. Only after stopping the car and re-inserting the key to restart the car did the wheel come free. VERY SCARY!

2. The car stalled three times within a two hour period.

3. Once without warning the tach raced while the car was in motion - lunging the car forward to within a few feet of an accident. VERY SCARY.

This is the info from the KIAMOTORS.COM site (KIA world HQ Customer Service form): "When Kia distributors in your country or the dealership near you are not able to solve your vehicle's problem for any reason, please contact us directly using the e-mail shown below. Your comments are very important to us." Sounds nice - except the source code shows that when Canada is selected, the form is only sent to the Canadian head office (other countries include several Korea HQ emails). Given the fiasco created here by the Canadian HQ, it isn't a wise idea to try to fool the customer!

We are now ready to write a note directly to Kia Head Office to let them know about this. Does anyone have email info for these people in Korea who can help?

Thanks again for your interest and support. All automobiles need servicing - this one (SATAN'S CAR) needs to be destroyed now to avoid risking any lives further.
 

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That sucks you're having so many problems. Did you try a different dealership?

The steering wheel locked while you were driving? That would be a mechanical problem in the steering column, and unrelated to your battery exploding.

There are a lot of wires in a single harness almost right below the battery. The loom is nylon, and I'm not sure if battery acid will eat it, but it is a "mesh" type of loom so acid can still get to the wires. The harness's are usually around $1000 and the labor is about twice what you get paid. That is probably the reason that they haven't replaced it yet, but IF that's the problem then it needs to be done.

Can you see any harness damage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your quick reply.

I agree the steering wheel issue is unrelated to the battery. I included it because it only happened after they 'fixed' the car for 6 weeks.

And your idea for the harness is a good one - except that they also replaced the harness during that same 6 weeks! And the car still stalls and we still don't know what caused the spark that originally caused the HYDROGEN BOMB.

So now we will approach the Korean HQ for help. Any ideas on how to reach those people listed above? Thanks again.

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

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If they already changed the harness, then they dropped the steering colum down. There could be something loose, like the ignition switch bolts. I supposed it's also possible that they left a wire harness connector loose and that's causing your stalling / racing problem, but since it sounds like the exact same problem you had before, it's pretty unlikely.

There are a few harness's under the hood. The Engine harness and the Dash harness are the two biggest. Do you know if they replaced both?

There has got to be close to a million different things that can happen with damaged wiring. Wires shorting to battery, shorting to ground, shorting together, high resistance, bad grounds, bad sensor grounds, etc... are all things that can exponentialy grow into more problems all steming from one, and most are not easy to find.

Can you post everything that the dealer said they did or replaced?

Did the battery EXPLODE or swell and crack? I personally have not seen a battery explode (like a bomb) but I know it's possible because of the vapors from venting (usually on a hot day). Only the explosion would need a spark to happen, which your starter could easily supply. Swelling and cracking tends to allow the acid to just drip down, for the most part. The battery sits right above the transmission, which has sensors that help the engine decide what to do, so if this wiring was damaged it can cause the engine to do, or seem like it does, something like what you are saying. It also sits right above the wires that control the transmission valves/solenoids.

Lets say that you are sitting at a light and the torque converter locks up when it should be slipping. This could cause the car to leap forward, just like a racing engine. Or the line pressure solenoid gets incorrect information to open further and increase pressure. This could also cause the car to jump forward.

It's VERY difficult to diagnose things over the computer because I can't see the car or notice things that don't look right. I'll do what I can to help you though.

I don't have access to those people you listed, but I do have a guy I can talk to. He won't give me their email address's, and I wouldn't ask him to, but I can pick his brain to see if he has anymore ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again for your insight 'KiaMech' (let me know your first name in your next post ;-)

Quick answer:

It exploded on ignition (the battery was not being and had not been charged). It was a beautiful September day and there were hudreds of witnesses inthe Costco parking lot - including an off-duty cop who confirmed what happened to our battery. We have photos of the gruesome sight when the car was finally towed about four hours later (Kia Roadside Assistance said they wouldn't allow us to use the CAA (AAA) towtruck service - there were three in the area and available in that same time).

I'm compiling the work orders and it will take some time to transcribe for you - will get to you in a later post.

UPDATE: we now have proof of KIA negligence re: safety and this car.

While the car has been in for service at KIA several times as you know, we have the internal KIA screen capture that shows that the the Sedona Throttle Cable Assembly Replacement (KIA ID Vol3Campaign005) has not yet been performed on our car.

Today is June 20, 2005.

Transport Canada made it public Feb 18/05 - recall ID 2005041
NHTSA (Office of Defects) made it public Jan 17/05 - campaign ID 05V013000
Recall clearly states: "This can permit the throttle cable to be hung-up or to jump out of position, which could result in a crash". Not sure if that could be stated any clearer!

Unfortunately there are no 'lemon laws' here and Transport Canada has confirmed they cannot enforce the consumer protection laws that are in place unless there are thousands of cases like ours.

OK web visitors to this forum, speak up! Who else has (or knows others who have) had similar experiences.

Thanks.

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

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This recall just happened, so it can take some time to get to them all.

Keep working on the list of what they did and I'll talk to the guy at my work to see if he has any additional ideas.

My name is Jeff, by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi again:

UPDATE: June 21/05

Just got back an email response from KIA Motors in Korea. They say they are VERY interested in our situation.

I'll hold on further posts for a bit - wish us luck! And thanks for all your insights and support.

... Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UPDATE: June 30, 2005

Eight days ago, we heard back immediately from Kia Head office in Korea and were given the direct email and phone numbers of their key executives responsible for Kia operations in North America (US and Canada). We emailed them and received email 'read receipts' that same day. So we knew they had opened our email in their Inbox.

As of yesterday when no reply had been received, we wrote our original contact, the KIA Director of Worldwide Communication to ask status.

He was embarrassed his executives had not had to courtesy to reply that Kia company policy is to leave it in the hands of the local country. (aside: if this were true 8 days ago, why wouldn't they say so then??).

We were given a Kia Head Office representative who resides here in Toronto and we left a voice mail this morning asking for assistance.

Instead of him calling back, someone else did - specifically referring to the call we made him

He was direct and curt, identifying himself as 'George' the Kia CAMVAP representative and said he was proud to be involved in the Kia decision process for our car from the beginning. (aside: I wouldn't be so proud ;-)

His sole purpose seemed to be to read a prepared statement from the company that future communications with the company would only take place at a CAMVAP arbitration hearing. He was not prepared to answer any of my questions.

CAMVAP is the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan - a Government sponsored program set up to help consumers resolve disputes with vehicle manufacturers in a way that is fair, fast, free and final.

So that is our next step, by their choosing.

If anybody reading this forum has experience in preparing for a CAMVAP hearing, please do help.

Thanks and for our many Canadian and US readers celebrating July 1st and July 4th - have a good long weekend.

... Paul
 

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You need to check with your states attorney general as most states have a lemon law concerning this type of issue. usually if you have something in for a problem a certain umber of times in a year and it is stillnot fixed they usually have to replace the evehicle or give you another one. get a lawyer to assist you if need be
 
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