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Manufactured in North America or manufactured in South Korea

  • South Korea

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Purchased a new 2020 fourth generation Kia Optima EX. Here is where all die hards will say "why did you not pony up the extra 1500$ and go all out with the EX+?" As a tall fellow, I am not a fan of sunroofs because you lose headroom and the UVO option has me believe your car can get "hacked". That aside, does anyone know the percentage of total engine failures among those manufactured in North America versus those manufactured in South Koeea? If the vin starts with a number that just means that the car was manufactured in North America. If the vin starts with a letter, it was manufactured in South Korea ect. Please post your comments.
 

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I have the 2020 hybrid/gas model that has the upgraded EX package with the onboard GPS navigation package since the phone part doesn't always work given lack of a cell tower at times. The transmission so far has been flawless and very smooth overall. No leakage issues with the glass moon-roof either although I do wipe the seals with some rubber protectant just to get the dirt off it.

The mirror of the Korean model is different though. Seems the non-EX+ models made in the USA offer a garage door opener on the mirror as an option or maybe included, but not so with the Korean one. Dealer came to the idea that the Korean's do not have garage doors that require openers as do the USA owners as many live in apartments there and do not need the garage opener device. Sort of an annoyance not having it built-in and needing to carry a remote opener separate. The 2020 rental Jeep has one built into the visor - more on that below.

At 600 miles, I did send some oil into a lab for analysis. Lab reported a higher than normal amount of gasoline in the oil. Might be due to not fully broken in yet, or not driving far enough to heat and vaporize the gasoline. Not crazy about it being thinned out though. I'll retest it at a later mileage, and maybe switch to a bit higher viscosity too.

Bad part is the car got struck by a Freightliner truck to the rear. Guy wasn't paying attention to the stopped cars and I was at the rear and took the hit. Car took about $12K in damages (Sensors, camera, electronic locks, some blower and ductwork, etc.) and will be repaired given its newness (5 months old.). The UVO never sounded and I really do not get its worth and need to pay $30/mo. for it after the first free year. So far not impressed at all with UVO. Just calling the Auto Club got far better results in crash plus suing the phone to document the damge to car and semi where the fan went through its radiator. Now to wait the month to car out of the shop, but my insurance covers the Enterprise rental Jeep in the meantime.

Other thing I do not like is not having a spare tire. Auto Club suggested raising the towing mileage to 200 miles (Extra $20) for that matter as in-town cheaper 7 mile "stock plan" might not be enough. Dealer said the OEM "Fix-A-Flat" liquid kit has plugged up the tire pressure sensors so that might part might need replacing and calibrating should I get a flat and using the stuff. The non-hybrid model does have an optional tire/jack package for around $350 but not for the hybrid one. Trunk may be too small for that (It is small and another issue too.). I did buy a tire plugger gun that uses those rubber mushroom plugs instead of the liquid. I've used them before to fix car and motorcycle tires and they worked good enough.

Fwiw, the Kia hybrid EX is running about 38 MPG and 640 miles on a tank. The Jeep Cherokee 3.2L 4x4 is getting only 12 MPG and about 200 miles on a tank.. I can watch the fuel gauge needle meter move down while driving the thing. The A/C isn't as effective either over the Kia. Surprised to find it is shorter than the Kia hybrid as I can walk around it in the garage, but just barely in the Kia.

I do plan to add a dash cam to the car though. If for nothing else to prove I was fully stopped when Mr. Truck Driver decided to run into me. I have a radar detector in the car already that has saved me mucho times in the past on both motorcyles and cars, but plan to splice into its wiring for the dash cam on the right visor area.

Casey
 

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Maybe someone else can find the percentage in question, but doesn't seem to matter whether the engine was manufactured in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, Korea, or the US plant in West Point, GA, as the engine design was/is deficient, but at least, with all the pressure, they do replace the engines and provide a lifetime engine warranty.
 

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OP--you may want to either change the subject title of this thread or else update your first post to include transmission since said first post makes no mention at all about it.
 
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