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 electric MG4 hatch to start at £25,995
MG4 Front driver side
News
5 Aug 2022

New electric MG4 hatch to start at £25,995

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Renault Clio hybrid
Deals
5 Aug 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Kia EV4 SUV to take on the Volvo XC40 Recharge
2024 Kia EV4 - front
News
5 Aug 2022

Kia EV4 SUV to take on the Volvo XC40 Recharge

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

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
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022