Missed free software update leaves North Carolina driver with broken down car, $10,000 repair bill

Diane Wilson Image
Friday, November 17, 2023
Missed free car update results in breakdown, $10,000 repair bill
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Recalls and software updates are important. Yet, it's estimated millions of cars are on the road with open recalls.

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- An ABC11 viewer is facing an expensive car repair all due to missing an important software update.

Recalls and software updates are important. Yet, it's estimated millions of cars are on the road with open recalls. Not only is this a safety concern, but it can cost you significant money in unnecessary repairs.

Bridgette Dobbin found that out the hard way. She is facing nearly a $10,000 repair due to missing a software update.

"All of a sudden, when I was driving to work, my car just shut down on me," Dobbin said.

Her 2016 Kia Sorento's engine is dead. She took it to the dealership and learned the bad news.

"That's when they informed me that I had about four or five things that hadn't been done to the car," Dobbin said.

Dobbin said she got routine maintenance done on her car, but she never knew about recalls or software updates for her Kia. According to Kia, the software update is meant to protect the engine from excessive connecting rod bearing damage that could result in early engine failure.

"I told them that I hadn't been informed that all these things needed to be done to the car, said I had got no letter or anything," Dobbin added.

Kia responded by sending her a generic letter that's dated 2018 with information about the product improvement campaign. It explains details about the free software update.

Dobbin said she was not the owner then, as she bought it used in 2019. Kia then sent her a letter where it states in part while it is the responsibility of Kia to inform affected customers, it's the responsibility of the consumer to act on it. The letter goes on to state their records show two letters were sent to the original owner about the software update, and then also an old address of Dobbin.

Since Dobbin never got the software update, her engine replacement is not covered.

"That's going to cost us almost $10,000, in which that's what I got left on my car."

It's an expense she's now stuck with, which is why she's now warning others to check for recalls or software updates on their car.

"Do your research and make sure that your car is registered. Keep looking up and making sure that your car doesn't have any recalls on it," she added.

It is easy for you to check your car to see if there are any recalls or service bulletins. CARFAX does have a free tool, where you can put in a VIN and check.

If you bought a used vehicle, make sure you register your information with the manufacturer, so you don't miss updates and recalls.