Are your headlights “haunted?” Some drivers of Kia vehicles have reported unusual activity involving their headlights. And no, it isn’t ghosts – it is a defect in the vehicle that can lead to car accidents if not fixed.
Some auto blogs have noted that some 2012-2014 Kia Souls have this issue (let’s just ignore the fact that the alleged “haunted” car is called the “Soul”) Mechanics have blamed the issue on poor connections within the headlight wiring harness.
There Is No Recall
Kia Motors is aware of the issue, but has not actually issued a recall. The company has sent out Kia Technical Service Bulletins to auto dealers. However, there is a big difference between TSBs and recalls.
A bulletin identifies common failures that many owners have experienced and shows dealers how to fix them. The manufacturer may provide the dealer with a kit to easily fix the problem. An example of this was GM sending kits for rusting brake lines in many of its pickups and SUVs.
Under a bulletin, repairs usually require you to be under warranty for a free repair.
Under a recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandates free repairs for at least ten years.
Should these “haunted” vehicles be recalled? There is a good argument to be made that they should. Flickering or failing headlights can be a safety issue. Victims of this defect have described driving at night when the lights fail completely, meaning they would be very difficult to spot on a dark road. Also, Kia has recalled the K900 sedan for a similar issue; if it was a big enough problem for the sedan, then it would be difficult to argue that the same problem in a different car is a non-issue.