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I am currently in Spain with my 10 month old Sportage ‘21’ Plate Auto 1.6 Diesel mild Hybrid. I had flashing ISG light followed shortly by amber Engine Warning Light and reported it as a Breakdown through the KIA Assist Plus which is delivered by RAC. KIA garage in Marbella reported ‘Major Engine Failure’ but couldn’t fix it so sent it to KIA in Malaga, who still have not identified the problem. I reported this ‘Major Engine Failure diagnosis to KIA HQ UK, whose Customer Care Manager Emailed me back to say basically that they couldn’t help as I was in Spain and told me to contact KIA HQ Spain, which I did, only to be told that they they only deal with Spanish registered vehicles !! The RAC (European) Breakdown call centre (France) have been worse than useless leaving me to make phone call after phone call, they promise to return calls but it never happens. I have now had to make my own flight arrangements to return to UK without the car, leaving the repatriation of my car back to UK in the hands of the RAC in Europe. So this great policy that tells you that the RAC will repatriate you and your car is certainly not the most reliable service and causes more stress. KIA Customer care from their HQ’s in both UK and Spain does not actually practically exist, you would think that they would be interested in one of their products only 10 months old and only 6,000 miles on the clock, having a reported ‘Major Engine Failure’ but it would appear not. I have to say that I have been in touch with the KIA dealership in Doncaster who I bought the car off and who I have asked the car to be repatriated to, have been really helpful, even the service manager contacting me personally here in Spain within a half hour of me informing them of the incident and to tell them to expect my car to be returning to them on the back of a transporter, so lots of credit to them.
 

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This is a very sad tale, not only because an almost new car has failed but because KCS have failed you badly. It never fails to amaze me that car manufacturers just don't seem to see CS as a key deliverable along with their cars which leaves owners in the unenviable position of having little effective recourse if something goes wrong with their second most expensive purchase next to their house.

You might reasonably expect the manufacturer would have some pride in what they produce and want to help their customers in difficult situations such as yours but they are so heavily ringfenced by layer upon layer of very effective gatekeepers that they live in a little bubble of their own where owners just don't exist. They set up their distribution network in such a way that no one can effectively help either, they have geographical territories (ie Europe) and within these countries but these are largely just sales and administration designations as it is the individual dealerships who we buy our cars from that are legally responsible for all post sales issues.

So whilst it seems perfectly logical and in the customers best interest to have a vehicle repaired where ever it breaks down this does not fit within the commercial model that most car manufacturers have. In your case you bought your car from Kia Doncaster and they are the only ones who are legally obliged to resolve any problems. However, Kia UK (as with most country territories) have an arrangement where any Kia dealership can be reimbursed for warranty work within the UK. Within this commercial model Kia Malaga have no route to be reimbursed for any warranty work on your car because they come under the umbrella of Kia Spain who in turn are part of Kia Europe which does not include Kia UK :rolleyes:. Of course what would be sensible from an owners viewpoint would be for these various parts of Kia to cross charge one another so that the customer is least inconvenienced but I suspect this is all about what is easiest for Kia, instead they have contracted with the RAC to take vehicles that break down in a 'foreign' territory to its home territory for warranty repair.

Although this may not the most convenient arrangement for the customer arguably it is reasonable, but it would have been helpful if this had been explained to you when you first took your car to the dealer in Spain. It would not have been difficult for KCS (UK) to have stepped in for you to liaise with Kia Malaga, RAC and Kia Doncaster as this would have destressed he situation for you but although manufacturers have these CS departments they have very limited authority within the organisation their primary functions seems to be a liaison between customer and dealer, but clearly not across country boarders.

Hopefully you have it all in hand now and whatever is wrong with your car will be resolved quickly.
 
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