Kia Stinger GT

We’ve been stung by a Stinger, but it’s hardly the car’s fault. Blame that big pot­hole


Count­ing the cost of pot­hole woes

WHY WE’RE RUN­NING IT To get fully fa­mil­iar with the dy­namic suc­cesses and foibles of an al­lur­ing driver’s car. And to see if the UK public can ‘get’ the idea of a truly de­sir­able Kia

Just over three months af­ter we first picked up our Stinger GT S from GWR Kia in Brent­ford, London, Big Yellow was back there, in need of some fairly se­ri­ous work.

If you’ve been fol­low­ing our time with Kia’s strik­ing new sports saloon, you’ll have read how a col­league re­cently had a rather un­for­tu­nate en­counter with an ex­cep­tion­ally large pot­hole on a late-night run back from the air­port. The en­counter turned out to be an expensive one.

In the days af­ter this episode, af­ter new tyres had been sourced and nor­mal ser­vice was thought to have been re­sumed, it be­came ap­par­ent that some­thing still wasn’t right. You see, there was a shud­der. An an­noy­ing one, from the near­side front wheel that had squared off against said pot­hole. It be­came more in­tru­sive un­der brak­ing.

Un­sure of the source of the shud­der – it could have been a warped al­loy or an align­ment is­sue – we de­cided to send the Stinger in for a proper di­ag­no­sis. It was partly to fix the shud­der but also to es­tab­lish if that pesky pot­hole had caused any dam­age to the sus­pen­sion or any other part of the car.

So I de­liv­ered Big Yellow back to GWR Kia in Brent­ford on 9 May so the di­ag­no­sis could be made and the is­sue fixed. Un­for­tu­nately, no courtesy cars were avail­able, so I or­dered an Uber and went back to the of­fice.

The fol­low­ing day, a video from Kia’s ser­vic­ing de­part­ment ap­peared in my in­box. This free ve­hi­cle health check video, recorded by one of the tech­ni­cians, gave a brief but in­sight­ful look at the car and the dam­age that the pot­hole had caused.

Thank­fully, there was no dam­age to the front sus­pen­sion (phew), but the near­side front al­loy had been buck­led by the im­pact, which in turn had dam­aged the tyre. So that’s what was caus­ing the shud­der.

The tech­ni­cian’s pre­scrip­tion? A new al­loy would have to be sourced, as well as a new tyre, and a wheel align­ment would have to be per­formed. No drama.

Then our man con­tin­ued down to the near­side rear wheel, which had suf­fered the same fate as the front. So that meant we were now look­ing at two new wheels, two new tyres and wheel align­ments all round. It was quickly be­com­ing ap­par­ent that this wasn’t go­ing to be a cheap job.

A fol­low-up phone call to GWR Kia also re­vealed that we’d be with­out our Stinger for about a week, too, be­cause there was an is­sue sourc­ing re­place­ments for the Kia’s Con­tisport Con­tact 5 tyres. A courtesy car was still out of the pic­ture, but one would be avail­able af­ter the week­end.

By the fol­low­ing Wed­nes­day, that courtesy car was there wait­ing for us, but an­other phone call later that day also re­vealed that the Stinger was, in fact, ready to be col­lected. Joy of joys.

So it was back to GWR on Fri­day (we’re an or­gan­ised bunch, hon­est) to col­lect the Stinger and dis­cover the cost. Now, al­though the Stinger is cov­ered by Kia’s ex­cel­lent sev­enyear war­ranty, that ob­vi­ously doesn’t cover dam­age caused by pot­holes.

The sub­se­quent bill read: near­side front al­loy, £442.14; near­side rear al­loy, £649.94; wheel align­ment, £120; wheel fit­ting, £36 per wheel. A grand to­tal of £1284.08. Yikes.

We could have saved a sub­stan­tial amount of money by hav­ing the wheels re­fur­bished rather than re­placed. Our tech­ni­cian thought that was the way to go and it would have cost around £70 per wheel. But given we want to test the Stinger in as good a con­di­tion as pos­si­ble (and our snap­pers want cars with shiny, tidy wheels), we opted for the full work.

Over­all, the ser­vice went with­out a hitch. A loan car might have been nice, but that’s our only com­plaint. Let’s just hope we avoid any fur­ther in­ter­ac­tions with pot­holes.

Two wheels were dam­aged by a pot­hole on a late-night drive

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