Woman Still Responsible For Payments After Kia Soul Catches Fire



Usually, you make payments on a car that's functional and you're actually driving. Unfortunately, for this Virginia resident Michelle Belcher, that may not be the case.

Several Hyundai and Kia vehicles have reportedly caught fire recently, however, this is no official recall yet. This woman is hoping the recall comes sooner rather than later since she said she’s still on the hook for payments on her 2012 Kia Soul that burst into flames earlier this month.

Richmond, Virginia news station WTVR reported that her son, Baily Belcher, was driving home from work in the Kia Soul owned by her mom when he noticed smoke and pulled over. He saw a fire after he pulled over and the “whole car went up in flames” in about five minutes.

Michelle said she was thankful her son was OK after the fire, but she is still responsible for a decent chunk of the payments for the car that is no longer driveable. Kia models have a five-year, 60,000-mile basic limited warranty and a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty from the time of purchase. Five years from the time of the fire would have been July 2013, so it’s possible but not likely that a 2012 model year was under the standard factory warranty.

The Center for Auto Safety advocacy group petitioned the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate claims of fires in certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles in June, saying at the time at least 120 owners reported their cars catching fire without prior collision and that 229 reported “melted wires in the engine bay, smoke, and burning odors, indicating potential fires.” The cars included in the complaints were Optima, Sorento, Sonata, or Santa Fe models between the 2011 and 2014 model years.

Michelle Belcher’s car was a 2012 Kia Soul, which wasn’t on the group’s original list. That means it could have been a separate or even isolated issue, but there was another recent report of a 2014 Soul catching fire. So be aware if your vehicle falls in this range.