Overheating Catalytic Converter Can Damage Engine and Cause Fires in Recalled Kia Soul Vehicles

dealers will program software and inspect the catalytic converter and engine for damage

Overheating Catalytic Converter Can Damage Engine and Cause Fires in Recalled Kia Soul Vehicles
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March 4, 2019

Kia is recalling 2012-2016 Soul vehicles equipped with 1.6L Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines. High exhaust gas temperatures may damage the catalytic converter, possibly resulting in abnormal engine combustion, damage to the engine's pistons, and possible piston connecting rod failure. Engine damage can also stall the engine or result in an oil leak, which increases the risk of vehicle fires.

What's the problem?

Under certain conditions, the catalytic converter may become damaged due to overheating caused by an excessive increase of exhaust gas temperatures. If the catalytic converter is damaged, substrate particles can enter the engine combustion chamber and cause abnormal engine combustion. Continuous abnormal engine combustion can result in damage to one or more of the engine's pistons which can cause piston rod breakage, potentially puncturing the engine block allowing engine oil to escape. Engine oil that contacts a hot exhaust surface may result in a fire.

What happens next?

Kia will notify owners and dealers will upgrade the Catalytic Overheating Protection Engine Control Unit logic to prevent overheating of the catalytic converter. In addition, the catalytic converter will also be replaced if it has been damaged. Depending on the extent of any damage, the engine may also be replaced.

Owners may contact Kia customer service at (800) 333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC176.