Kia said this month that it is recalling 88,576 Sedonas from the 2015 through 2017 model years because of a software problem that could activate the opposite turn signal than the one intended. This is a weird one.
Here’s how the problem is described in documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
The Smart Junction Box (SJB) in the subject vehicles interprets the signal from the multifunction switch to determine the intended turn signal direction. The SJB software logic may not properly interpret the signals received from the multifunction switch in certain circumstances. As a result, the turn signal may intermittently activate in the opposite direction of what was intended by the driver, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.
According to a NHTSA timeline, NHTSA first contacted Kia over potential turn-signal malfunctions in May, which led to an investigation by Kia into the matter. The company was then able to reproduce the defect, but only in one of seven switches that had been returned under warranty. Kia initially told dealers and customers that it was extending the warranty on the switch to 15 years and unlimited miles in response.
Then, on September 9, the company was able to reproduce the malfunction in a “chamber at high-temperature,” and also test a different software logic, which fixed the issue in the same testing conditions. The next day, it decided to do the recall, according to the timeline.
[Kia North America] decides to conduct safety recall to address turn signal misdirection issue. 369 warranty claims, 44 customer complaints and 24 techline reports. No fatalities, injuries, crashes, or fires.
NHTSA said that affected owners will be notified in November, and dealers will install the software fix free of charge. Until then, if you have a 2015, 2016, or 2017 Sedona and you think something is up with the signals, I guess go analog and use your left arm.