▶️ Central Oregon family faced $18K loss, 6-month wait after Kia engine seized


There may not be a car company left in this country that hasn’t experienced the need for a voluntary or forced recall. How they handle that recall can make all the difference.

One Central Oregon car buyer was recently faced with a months-long wait for a recall repair and thousands of dollars in upfront expenses. After he reached out to Central Oregon Daily News, we learned this issue is far more widespread than this one family’s story.

“We’d initially thought about bankruptcy.”

Caleb Campbell and his wife, Janice, owned their 2016 Kia Sorento just long enough to get their son to-and-from school for a year. Just long enough to add a few animals to the family farm.

MORE RECALLS: Ford expands recall for possible engine fires even when they’re not running

Two weeks ago, the engine in that Sorento seized. It split the engine block, rendering the car undrivable.

Thankfully, the Campbell’s car qualified under a class action settlement against Kia. The Kia dealership in Bend would take the car and replace the engine.

“Later on that afternoon, my wife calls me and says ‘Hey, I just spoke with Kia and they’re saying it’s going to be 26 weeks.’ Might have been 24. It was between 24 and 26 weeks,” Campbell said. “And I said ‘Oh, my gosh. What’s going on with that?’ And she said ‘Well, we’re 29th in line. There’s 28 cars ahead of you with engine replacements.'”

And so, for the last two weeks, the Campbell’s Sorento has been sitting behind the dealership along with those 28 other undrivable Kias — destined to sit there for six more months.

The Campbells figured those six months of paying for a rental car, making payments on a car they can’t drive and insurance premiums would cost about $18,000.

Kia promised to reimburse much of it. The Campbells chose to buy another used car instead.  

What happened after Caleb contacted Central Oregon Daily News

We made a call to Kia America on the Campbell’s behalf, wanting more information about the line of some 30 vehicles needing new engine here. What we got was something very different and unexpected.

“So, not long after they responded to you, my wife got a call and basically what the service manager had said was that they had a technician that was out and that was the reason for the long delay,” Campbell said. “And the technician is now back and they’re calling customers and updating them on their updated service time and our car would be ready this week.”

The statement we got from Kia America confirmed that — sort of — saying in part:

“Kia America has reviewed the situation involving Ms. Campbell’s engine repairs. Unfortunately, vehicle repair times can be impacted by both staffing and parts supply issues.”

It went on to say the Campbell’s car should be repaired within the week. From 24 weeks to just two.

MORE RECALL NEWS: US report: nearly 400 crashes of automated tech vehicles

Thousands more Kia and Hyundai owners nationwide have similar issues

Did the the Campbell’s call to us get his car moved to the front of the line?

“While I’m happy with the resolution, getting it back sooner, I know that doesn’t help the other people that are waiting on their engines,” Campbell said.

Just head to social media and you will find thousands of people who have told their horror stories. There are entire Facebook pages dedicated to complaints about this same issue coast to coast. 

Kia: Owners must keep up with recalls

Neither Kia America nor Team Kia wanted to comment further on the Campbell’s case.  However, both agree owners have a responsibility keep up with recalls to make sure they’re covered. 

Their advice: contact the service department at your local Kia dealership and make sure your car isn’t missing any upgrades that could disqualify it from recall repairs.

“My interest is educating people out there and letting them know that if you have a Kia, these problems are out there and it may not be taken care of in a timely manner. And that could potentially break you,” Campbell said. 

Here’s another reason that call to Kia and Hyundai is so critical right now. The car company has expanded a recall on an exploding seat belt issue. There is also a class action lawsuit over engine oil consumption.

RELATED: Kia engine settlement information

KIA CUSTOMER CARE: 800-333-4542


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