Watchdog: Kia in rust admission on six-year-old Venga

Corrosion claim initially rejected under warranty, but maker performs a U-turn

Complaints about premature car rust are not uncommon from readers who live near the coast, as salty sea air can have a natural corrosive effect on a car’s bodywork.

But when reader Linda Edwards of Brighton, East Sussex, complained to us that her 60-plate Kia Venga was rusting beneath the door seals, we weren’t convinced it was down to fair wear and tear. Kia has since admitted to us that rust is “a recognised concern on this model”.

Linda had bought the car last January but only spotted the rust underneath the door seals back in May, while washing her car.

Local dealer Birchwood Kia, Washington, was initially confident the repairs would be covered under the car’s seven-year warranty, but the claim was refused when Kia found the fifth annual bodywork check had been missed, breaching the warranty, and leaving Linda facing a £1,500 bill for two new doors.

She told us: “I had no idea this check was even necessary. No-one mentioned it when I bought the car, I just thought it had a seven- year warranty and it would be covered.”

But was poor maintenance really the problem? We showed pictures of the rusty Venga to automotive engineer and car crash investigator George Mighall, of Battle, East Sussex. He argued it could have been brewing since new, telling us: “the only reason a car would rust in this area is if the paint hadn’t been applied properly at the top of the doors in the first place, suggesting the car was never fit for purpose.”

We asked Kia whether the bodywork inspection even includes looking under seals, and its spokeswoman confessed: “Body inspection only requires a physical examination of the sheet metal panel and underside of the vehicle.”

She then admitted rust was “a recognised concern on this model”, adding on Linda’s car, “the rust treatment applied to the door prior to it being painted in the factory was not fully successful”.

Linda’s dealer has now booked her car in for repairs, and a Kia spokeswoman confirmed it had “authorised the repair through the dealer at no charge to the customer”. Linda told us: “many thanks for all your efforts. I’m so grateful.”

Most Popular

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
16 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

New Fiat 500X Dolcevita offers open-top SUV thrills
Fiat 500X Dolcevita
Fiat 500X
17 Sep 2021

New Fiat 500X Dolcevita offers open-top SUV thrills

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks