• Customers want to know why $760M settlement doesn't include Kia Souls

    By: Jason Stoogenke

    Updated:

    WAXHAW, N.C. - For more than a year, Action 9's Jason Stoogenke has been investigating complaints that Hyundai and Kia vehicles caught fire without being in a crash.

    Debi Morris lives in Waxhaw, and she said her Kia Soul burst into flames in her driveway.

    "All I could think about was it was going to blow up," Morris said.

    Then there's Jordan Carlton. He said he was in a Kia Soul in Hawaii this year and the car caught fire.

    [PAST COVERAGE: What Kia, Hyundai settlement means for car owners]

    Stoogenke searched federal safety records on 2010 to 2019 Souls, and found 59 complaints where people said their cars caught fire without being in an accident.

    In February, Kia recalled more than 300,000 Souls for that exact issue.      

    A federal safety agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has mentioned Souls, too.  In March, it launched an investigation into non-crash fires involving Kia vehicles. It focused on five models, including Souls.

    Earlier this month, Hyundai and Kia agreed to pay customers $760 million to settle some class action lawsuits involving the fires. Stoogenke went through the list to see which cars and SUVs are included in that settlement, and realized Kia Souls aren't on there.

    [PAST COVERAGE: Auto safety group demands recall of 3 million Kia, Hyundai vehicles]

    Sarah Scurry has a 2010 Soul. Her car hasn't caught fire, but she saw Stoogenke's report about the settlement and messaged him saying she was surprised it didn't include Souls.

    "I wanted to confirm that was correct and also talk to you and see: Can we find some answers?  Why did they decide not to include the Kia Soul?" Scurry said.

    "We were surely disappointed to see that it wasn't included in the settlement," said Jason Levine, who runs The Center for Auto Safety in Washington, D.C. "Our hope would be, whether in this settlement or some other legal remedy, those who own souls will be made whole, financially, speaking."

    Stoogenke found out the settlement only involves Hyundais and Kias with Theta II GDI engines.

    The Souls have a different type of engine, so that would have to be a separate class action lawsuit.

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