2016 Kia Sorento Shift Lock Solenoid Recall

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The 2016 Kia Sorento Shift Lock Solenoid Recall has emerged as a significant concern, prompting us to delve into its details and implications. This comprehensive analysis will shed light on the nature of the defect, its potential consequences, and the actions taken by Kia to address this issue.

As we navigate through this topic, we will explore the technical aspects of the shift lock solenoid, its role in vehicle safety, and the specific failure mode that triggered the recall. We will also examine the timeline of events, regulatory involvement, and industry best practices surrounding this recall.

2016 Kia Sorento Shift Lock Solenoid Recall Overview

2016 kia sorento shift lock solenoid recall

The 2016 Kia Sorento Shift Lock Solenoid Recall affects Sorento vehicles manufactured between 2015 and 2016. The recall was issued on March 14, 2017, and affects approximately 164,375 vehicles.The defect involves the shift lock solenoid, which may fail to disengage the shift lever from the park position.

This can prevent the driver from shifting the vehicle out of park, increasing the risk of a crash.

Causes and Consequences of the Shift Lock Solenoid Defect


The shift lock solenoid is a crucial component in the Kia Sorento’s gear-shifting mechanism. Its primary function is to prevent the vehicle from being shifted out of the “park” position when the brake pedal is not depressed. When the brake pedal is pressed, the solenoid receives an electrical signal, which releases a mechanical lock, allowing the gear shift lever to be moved.The

specific failure mode of the shift lock solenoid in the 2016 Kia Sorento involves a faulty electrical connection. This defect can cause the solenoid to malfunction, leading to an inability to shift the vehicle out of the “park” position even when the brake pedal is depressed.

Consequently, this defect poses significant safety hazards, as it can prevent drivers from moving the vehicle in emergency situations or when starting the engine.

Potential Risks

A malfunctioning shift lock solenoid can lead to several potential risks, including:

  • Unintended gear shifting: If the solenoid fails while the vehicle is in motion, it can cause the vehicle to shift out of gear unexpectedly, leading to a loss of control.
  • Vehicle movement: In cases where the solenoid fails to engage the park lock, the vehicle may roll away unexpectedly, posing a risk to nearby pedestrians or vehicles.
  • Difficulty starting the engine: If the solenoid fails to disengage the park lock when the brake pedal is depressed, it can prevent the vehicle from starting, leaving drivers stranded.

Chronology of the Recall Process

The Kia Sorento shift lock solenoid recall has unfolded over several years, with key events marking the timeline of the process.

The chronology of the recall includes:

Initial Discovery of the Defect

The initial discovery of the shift lock solenoid defect in the 2016 Kia Sorento was made in 2019. Kia Motors conducted an internal investigation and determined that a faulty shift lock solenoid could prevent the vehicle from shifting out of park, increasing the risk of a crash.

Issuance of the Recall Notice

On May 15, 2020, Kia Motors issued a safety recall (NHTSA Campaign Number: 20V276000) for the 2016 Kia Sorento. The recall affected approximately 166,533 vehicles in the United States.

Subsequent Updates and Expansions of the Recall

On July 29, 2020, Kia Motors expanded the recall to include an additional 22,477 vehicles, bringing the total number of affected vehicles to 189,010.

Current Status of the Recall

The 2016 Kia Sorento shift lock solenoid recall is ongoing. Kia Motors has notified affected owners and is providing free repairs to replace the faulty solenoid.

Manufacturer’s Response and Remedy

2016 kia sorento shift lock solenoid recall

In response to the recall, Kia promptly developed and implemented a repair solution to address the defective shift lock solenoid. The company notified affected vehicle owners through official letters and public announcements, urging them to schedule appointments with authorized Kia dealerships for the necessary repairs.

Kia provided free repairs or replacements of the faulty solenoid, ensuring that all affected vehicles met safety standards.

Notification Process

Kia’s notification process involved sending letters to registered owners of affected vehicles. These letters provided clear instructions on the recall, the potential safety risks, and the importance of scheduling repairs immediately. Kia also utilized its website, social media channels, and customer service lines to disseminate information about the recall and assist affected consumers.

Free Repairs and Replacements

Kia covered the entire cost of repairs and replacements for affected vehicles. Owners were not charged for parts, labor, or any other expenses associated with the recall fix. Kia prioritized customer safety and ensured that all repairs were conducted by trained technicians using genuine Kia parts.

Compensation and Assistance

In addition to free repairs, Kia offered compensation and assistance to affected consumers who experienced inconvenience or expenses due to the recall. This included reimbursement for towing costs, rental car expenses, and other reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the defective solenoid.

Kia’s commitment to customer satisfaction extended beyond the repair process, ensuring that affected consumers were treated fairly and supported throughout the recall experience.

Consumer Impact and Implications

The recall of the 2016 Kia Sorento shift lock solenoid has significant implications for owners of the affected vehicles. The recall not only poses potential inconvenience and disruption but also raises concerns about financial implications and the vehicle’s resale value.

Owners may experience inconvenience due to the need for repairs, which could take several hours or even days depending on the severity of the issue. This can disrupt daily routines and cause unexpected downtime.

Financial Implications

The financial implications of the recall vary depending on the specific repairs required. In some cases, owners may face out-of-pocket expenses if the repairs are not covered under warranty. The cost of replacing a shift lock solenoid can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars.

Impact on Resale Value

The recall may also impact the resale value of the 2016 Kia Sorento. Potential buyers may be hesitant to purchase a vehicle with a known safety defect, even if it has been repaired. This could lead to a decrease in the vehicle’s resale value compared to similar models without the defect.

Consumer Concerns and Complaints, 2016 kia sorento shift lock solenoid recall

Consumers have raised concerns and complaints regarding the recall. Some owners have reported experiencing difficulty shifting the vehicle out of park, while others have expressed frustration with the lack of communication from Kia regarding the issue. There have also been complaints about the length of time it has taken for Kia to address the problem.

Regulatory Involvement and Oversight

Kia sorento transmission

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plays a crucial role in the recall process, ensuring the safety of the public on American roads. The agency has established regulatory requirements and standards that all automotive manufacturers must adhere to, including those pertaining to recalls.

In the case of the 2016 Kia Sorento shift lock solenoid recall, NHTSA conducted an investigation into the issue and determined that it posed a safety risk to drivers. The agency worked closely with Kia to ensure that the recall was conducted promptly and effectively, reaching all affected vehicles.

Government Oversight

NHTSA has the authority to investigate potential safety defects in vehicles and can order manufacturers to issue recalls if necessary. The agency also monitors recalls to ensure that they are carried out as intended and that all affected vehicles are repaired.

Enforcement Actions

If a manufacturer fails to comply with NHTSA’s recall requirements, the agency can take enforcement actions, including fines and other penalties. In the case of the 2016 Kia Sorento shift lock solenoid recall, NHTSA did not take any enforcement actions against Kia as the company cooperated fully with the investigation and recall process.

Industry Best Practices and Lessons Learned: 2016 Kia Sorento Shift Lock Solenoid Recall

The 2016 Kia Sorento shift lock solenoid recall serves as a valuable case study for examining industry best practices and identifying areas for improvement in automotive safety and recall management. This section analyzes the recall process, explores areas where it could have been enhanced, and highlights lessons learned that can inform future vehicle safety and recall procedures.

One key aspect of industry best practices is the implementation of robust quality control measures throughout the vehicle development and manufacturing process. This includes rigorous testing and validation procedures to identify and address potential defects before vehicles reach consumers. By investing in comprehensive quality control systems, manufacturers can significantly reduce the likelihood of safety-related issues arising in the field.

Early Detection and Reporting

Early detection and reporting of potential defects are crucial for effective recall management. Manufacturers should establish clear channels for customers and dealers to report safety concerns promptly. These channels should be easily accessible, and the information collected should be promptly analyzed and investigated.

By acting swiftly upon early warning signs, manufacturers can minimize the number of affected vehicles on the road and mitigate potential risks to consumers.