15 months ago we purchased a brand spanking new Kia Sedona from our local dealership in Reading. Right from the day we took delivery of the car things have just not been right. Initially it was ill fitted and scratched dashboard panels but after a week we also noticed that there was an intermittent problem with the electric sliding doors.
The electric doors simply failed to close correctly on regular occasions. This fault would manifest itself in a number of ways:
- On attempting to close the door from either the fob, handle or internal controls it would slide to a closed position and then open up fully immediately of it’s own accord. Sometimes it would take up to 18 attempts to get the door to close. So much for the convenience of an electric sliding door (one of the features that attracted us to the car in the first place).
- On attempting to close the door (as above) it would close fully but then open by about 1 inch of it’s own accord some 5 or 6 seconds later. Giving you just enough time to get in the car and drive off with the children in the seats. The door then ‘flinging’ fully open once in motion.
We reported the problems to the Evans Halshaw Kia dealership and arranged for the vehicle to go back in for repair. The fit of the dashboard panels was rectified but the dealership claimed that they could not reproduce the problem with the doors yet for us it persisted.
The car was booked in again, again returned without a solution and booked back in again and again and again… we even provided the dealership with video footage of the fault since we felt they simply did not beleive us.
On one particular occasion we drove to the dealership to drop the car off and collect a courtesy vehicle with all 3 kids in tow only to discover that the courtesy car had no petrol and a faulty petrol cap, making it impossible for us to fill the vehicle.
Again and again we were fobbed off by the Evans Halshaw Kia dealership in Reading. We then discovered upon trying to book the car in one day that they had lost their franchise and that they would no longer be able to deal with the issues we had with the vehicle (Great!).
It took us some time to find a new local dealership that could provide a courtesy car. West London Motor Group Kia in High Wycombe in this case.
We booked the car in with them to see if perhaps they could resolve the issues with the electric sliding doors. Initially we encountered the same problems, they were unable to reproduce the problem with the doors but did replace a number of parts. Another visit later and still no joy. By now as you can well imagine the situation was no longer in any way amusing. We were having to ferry our children about in a car which we simply no longer felt safe in and were well and truly fed up with the frequent visits to and from the dealership.
We decided to contact Kia customer services in the vein hope that they might be able to sort things out for us and let us enjoy the car which we had paid good money for.
After applying a fair degree of pressure we eventually convinced Kia customer services to provide us with a like for like replacement vehicle for a period of a week while they had our vehicle in to resolve the issues with the doors.
Alas nothing with Kia is simple (or enjoyable)…
On dropping our car of at the dealership we realised that the replacement vehicle that they had provided would not accommodate 3 children in car seats. We called Kia and informed them, they claimed that the rental company had contacted us to ask if the car was ok and I had confirmed that it would be fine (a complete lie). I requested that they provide us with a new rental car that would accommodate the children such that we could actually go out as a family in one car (not an unreasonable request when we have purchased a Â£20k family car from them). They claimed that they could not provide a suitable vehicle (not what I had been told when they promised a like for like replacement in the first place) so I suggested that I could find a suitable rental vehicle myself and they could reimburse us the cost of said vehicle.
Whilst this seems like a reasonable suggestion and a logical solution which would leave them with a happy customer they initially refused to cover the costs. A couple of heated phone conversations later they finally did the right thing and agreed to pay for the rental vehicle that we had located. The rental firm that provided us with the unsuitable vehicle (via Kia) tried to sting us for damage to the rental car totaling Â£150 but that’s another story.
By now I’ve spent a considerable amount of time and energy trying to resolve the issues with the car and have had to take time off work on numerous occasions to deliver the car to the dealership and collect it again. By perhaps what can only be described as a stroke of luck, after having the car for a full week, the dealership managed to fix the problems with the door. Ironically this was the result of following instructions from a technical bulletin that had been issued by Kia regarding the lot from which our car was born… something which we suggested that both dealerships investigate a number of times.
You might think that this is the end of the story, alas it is not. Since collecting the car we have discovered that during icy weather the rear sliding doors now often refuse to open at all (again an intermittent issue) and the air conditioning has stopped working completely so we have the car booked in with the garage for ‘another’ visit on the 2nd of January.
Today (1st of January) whilst out with the whole family in the car I realised that the engine was not responding as it should, the car was loosing power on hills and struggling to maintain motorway speed. We managed to get off the motorway (not a great place to stop with 3 small children) and pulled up. With a burning smell and smoke emanating from the engine bay we decided not to proceed any further. Thank god we were following friends so they helped us to ferry the children back home and the very nice man from the AA came out to tow the car to the Kia dealership.
So the question now is what next… can we really ‘endure’ this car any more. We seem to have a lemon… a car built on a Friday perhaps? In any case the stress associated with this car has us considering our options… even if that means selling the car at a huge loss just to get into something reliable and safe for our family.
Kia are unwilling to even consider replacing the vehicle or making any kind of good will payment to alleviate the trouble we have had… apparently all we can expect from them is a free service and I simply don’t think that’s good enough.
Whilst dropping the car off at the dealership today with the nice man from the AA I happened across a chap eying some of the cars on the forecourt, he was looking to buy a new Kia Sorento. I advised him strongly against purchasing a Kia and relayed the story of how reliable and well built our Sedona is, he seemed convinced… so that’s about Â£20,000 I’ve just lost Kia.
I’ll continue to relay my story to every person I know and meet until I’ve lost Kia at least Â£1,000,000 in sales. With 5,000 unique visitors to this blog every month and an extensive social networking contacts list I’m pretty confident in my quest.
- Join the I promise to never buy a Kia Facebook group to show your support!
- I’ve taken it upon myself to write some frank and honest reviews of the Kia Sedona on a number of motoring websites to help warn others off buying Kia.
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