Kia Recalls Carnival Minivan for Malfunctioning Power Sliding Door ‘Auto-Reverse’ Feature

2022 Kia Carnival
(Images: Kia)
  • Kia recently launched a recall campaign affecting all 2022 and certain 2023 model Carnival minivans.
  • The power sliding doors may not retract when they detect an object, potentially trapping users and causing injury.
  • Federal regulators have opened a preliminary investigation into the issue after five consumer complaints, including three injuries.
    • Kia’s chronology documenting the problem confirms nine total injuries, including a broken arm.
  • Kia says 51,568 vehicles could be affected, in total.

Kia started a recall for every 2022 Carnival minivan, as well as some 2023 models.

According to recently published National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall documents, units built between January 4, 2021 and Feburary 22, 2023 (51,568 in total) may have a problem with the power sliding doors’ auto-reverse system. The safety feature is supposed to retract the door if it detects an object while it’s trying to close. However, the system may not work properly in the affected vehicles, raising the potential for bodily injury to users, particularly their hands or arms.

A chronology report Kia submitted to the NHTSA, the issue first came to light in the summer of 2021. Customer complaints, the automaker says, alleges child injuries caused by the power sliding doors in 2022 Carnival models. Through March 22, 2023, it confirmed nine injuries related to the issue, including one broken arm and a fractured thumb allegedly from the malfunctioning power sliding doors. The other seven cases involved bruises, swelling or minor cuts and scrapes.

Oddly, after the NHTSA initially opened its investigation in April 2022, Kia submitted a response in August saying it nor a third-party firm it hired to replicate the issue could find a manufacturing defect. According to the all parties involved, the 2022 Carnival “is comparable to its peers” when they tested the power sliding doors with a prosthetic arm.

2022 Kia Carnival
2022 Carnival

Here’s how the automaker is addressing the problem

Regardless of those findings, however, Kia is still putting a solution in place that will hopefully solve the issue and avert further injuries.

A technical service bulletin sent to dealers (number SC266) outlines a software logic update that changes how the power sliding doors operate. The new software will add in two warning chimes when the doors begin to open or close. What’s more, the doors will also slow down prior to reaching its latching point, in hopes that users will move their appendages before they would have to rely on the auto-reverse feature in the first place (whether that is functioning appropriately or not).

Kia will begin notifying affected owners about the problem in a couple weeks, on April 28. Carnival owners should be able to update their software at their local dealer as soon as they can get an appointment. If you are impacted by the recall, you can either get in touch with Kia’s customer service line at (800)-333-4542, call the NHTSA at (888)-327-4236 or check out the NHTSA’s recall website for more information.

While we were unaware of the current recall situation at the time, we did recently review the Kia Carnival below: