Kia's Stop/Start Technology Neither Stopped Nor Started

By Matthew Askari | January 25, 2012
The little Korean automaker that could, Kia, is delaying stop/start technology in its 2012 Kia Rio after several unfavorable media reviews. The stop/start function—which Kia calls ISG for Idle, Stop and Go—will remain idle until engineers can "tweak" the system. Several members of the media who reviewed the 2012 Kia Rio found the system to be more jarring and rougher than expected. In a Wards Auto report, Michael Sprague, vice-president for Kia marketing said, "it is a new technology, (and) we want to make sure it's giving consumers the experience they would expect."  Stop/start systems shut the engine off when idling, and then restart the engine when the gas pedal is pressed, saving fuel that would otherwise be burned off at a stoplight. The technology was originally featured in many hybrids, and has become increasingly popular with automakers in the U.S. after much fanfare in Europe, where gas prices are two to three times the average price in America. Kia's delay will also affect the 2012 Soul, which uses the same ISG as the Kia Rio. As we reported a few months back, Kia announced that it would focus on the quality of its existing lineup rather than push for greater output. Lee Sam-Ung, co-CEO of Kia Motors, said "quantitative growth is important, but qualitative growth is also important. We plan to focus on improving product quality and our brand." It appears the Korea's number two automaker is staying true to this proclamation; listening to feedback, and "tweaking" its stop/stop system is a step in the right direction.
Source: Wards Auto