Like it or not, connected cars have become a staple of every day life for millions of Americans. The ability to interact with our cars from afar past the key fob has become something we expect to work, but that all relies on the underpinnings of critical IT infrastructure. And when something isn’t working as expected, a minor inconvenience can translate into a customer nightmare.
Someone over at Kia has been having a very bad week. Since Saturday, Kia’s online and connected services have been down, leaving owners unable to pay their bills, remotely unlock their vehicles, or even warm them up in the middle of one of the harshest winters that parts of the U.S. have seen in quite some time.
Owners took to Twitter and various online forums to complain about the unscheduled outage, many confused why they couldn’t view the details of their cars on Kia’s website or various phone apps.
Some owners looking to pay their bills also visited Kia’s finance site where they were unable to login and pay their bills, so they resorted to the phonelines which played a message stating that the self-service options were down for scheduled maintenance. Needless to say, that led to a flurry of people tweeting at Kia because they were unsure of the outcome should they miss a payment due to the outage.
Now, it’s not just existing Kia drivers that are affected. New buyers are also stuck, unable to set up accounts with Kia’s online services. We confirmed this by trying to create an account on the Kia owners’ portal, but were greeted with an “Internal Server Error” and couldn’t proceed.