The Kia Warranty Insults My Intelligence

Korean-spec Kia Soul photographed in Wheaton, ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ve all seen the Kia commercials.  Except for the ones that inspire an interest in oversized rodents, they make a big deal of Kia’s ten-year warranty.  Since I needed a post topic for today, I thought to myself “hey, they sell this warranty so hard that it must contain something that insults my intelligence.”

Little did I know what I would find.

(A little history:  Kia instituted the lengthy warranty because they’d had a reputation for selling notoriously unreliable cars made from cheap materials.  The warranty was supposed to inspire confidence in the product; judging from Kia’s sales figures, it worked.)

For purposes of this post, I am using the 2014 warranty.  It can be found here.  I immediately noticed in the table of contents that the warranty spans the length of 40 pages.  That struck me as excessive, but I visited Nissan’s website for purposes of comparison.  Nissan’s warranty equaled the length of Kia’s.  Nevertheless, you do wonder why the automakers have such bloated warranties.

I never studied law, so I can’t tell you how much of this extra legalese is wise or necessary.  As a practical matter, it probably keeps most people from reading any part of the warranties until it’s too late.  (Could that be the purpose?)

If they wanted to, Kia’s lawyers could easily bury something nefarious in there that would transform the warranty into nothing more than an empty marketing gimmick.  Ladies and gentlemen, I believe I have found that something.  I bring to you a couple of things the warranty explicitly does not cover:

“The choices made in designing your vehicle, including the materials chosen for parts and components.

Note: A material is not defective or underperforming under your warranty because a better, stronger, more durable or more suitable material could have been used.”

(pg. 10)

Am I to understand that they will not replace something if it breaks because it was made cheaply?  If so, here’s the takeaway:

1- Kia still deserves its reputation for selling cars made from cheap materials.  (I’ll let Consumer Reports pass judgment on the reliability part.)

2- Kia’s warranty offers less protection than a shredded condom since their product’s biggest shortcoming isn’t covered.

3- The advertisements unintentionally provide an accurate description.  Problem is, the oversized rodents reside in the legal department and they lack that unmistakable cuteness.  They do have their own song and dance, though.