US regulators investigate Kia Soul steering loss

* Complaint of steering loss in a 2-month-old Kia Soul

* Safety regulators eye more than 51,000 vehicles

* Complaint said incident happened ‘without warning’

DETROIT, Aug 17 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. safety regulators have
opened an preliminary investigation into a potential problem
with the Kia Soul after a driver reported a complete loss of
steering and limited braking in a two-month-old car.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said
said the issue could affect more than 51,000 Kia Soul
vehicles.

NHTSA received one complaint from an owner of an almost-new
Kia Soul who said the steering shaft decoupled from the
steering wheel and then fell onto the driver’s side floor in a
way that interfered with the brake pedal.

NHTSA said its Office of Defect Investigation was “very
concerned” the reported failure had happened “without warning”
and in a two-month-old car after 4,300 miles of driving.

“It occurred without warning on a new vehicle at low
mileage and resulted in a complete loss of steering as well as
a compromised brake system,” safety regulators said in a
statement released on Monday.

Kia is an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS: ). A Kia
representative could not be reached immediately for comment.

The Korean automaker had sold over 36,000 of the
cube-shaped Soul models as of the end of July.

The early success of the Soul, which has been marketed to
the same younger drivers targeted by Toyota Motor Corp’s
(7203.T: ) Scion brand, has helped push Kia sales higher for the
year.

Through July, Kia’s U.S. sales were up 16.3 percent,
outperforming the 14.3 percent rise in overall industry sales,
according to Autodata Corp.
(Reporting by Kevin Krolicki; Editing by Derek Caney)

US regulators investigate Kia Soul steering loss