Strange windshield distortion in new Seltos causing severe eye strain

Even my wife complained about it and it was so extreme that we had to go back to the Kia dealership and return the car.

BHPian DoonDude recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello Everyone!

I recently had an extremely strange experience with the new Kia Seltos and wished to share the same with fellow Team-BHPians to have their views on it.

I live in Dehradun and recently booked the new Kia Seltos GTX+ Petrol White. The same was available for delivery on 31.08.2023. Me along with my family went to take its delivery in the afternoon at approx. 3 pm, filled with excitement.

As we drove off, I immediately had the car topped up at a petrol pump opposite the dealership and proceeded to take the car to a temple.

On the way, I started experiencing heavy strain in my eyes and had to actively try to focus on the vehicles and the road ahead. However, I kept mum about it attributing the same to the afternoon heat and the excitement of a new car!

However, after 10 - 15 minutes, my wife complained about the exact same symptoms to me! Eye strain, difficulty in focusing through the windshield etc.

We got the Pooja done and went back to the dealership to talk to them about it. Naturally, no one agreed about the same. The SA took a test drive with me and even he laughed it off and suggested I try the car for a few days.

On the way back home, the eye strain increased to such a point that I had to return to the dealership to actually RETURN the car since it was creating a safety issue. I was adamant about getting the car replaced.

Thankfully, the dealership agreed and they arranged for a new car just today i.e. 12.09.2023.

I took the test drive with my father this evening and alas! The SAME issue with this car also! Eye strain, distortion in the windshield etc. I'm at my wit's end.

100% payment is with the dealer for the past 12 days, all the excitement is gone and this is something I have never experienced in my life - ever. I have driven over 5L kms over the past 25 years in 40 - 50 different cars but this is something totally new.

The dealership staff had the audacity to suggest me that I get my eyes checked - if there was an issue in my eyes, I would have got the eye strain in other cars also that I drive or the taxis I travel in sometimes.

Please let me have your inputs on this windshield distortion issue and tell me if anyone else has experienced the same.

Thanks in advance!

Update 1

I did a thorough PDI. No damage. Immaculate condition!

Focus on the blue scooty in the centre. Video link

Animated GIF (Eg. look at the rear grab handle of the blue scooter):

RTO wasn't done yet. They simply cancelled the invoice and sold the vehicle to another customer. ODO reading was less than 60 at the time of return. I put the insurance on hold.

My full payment is stuck with them though!

I returned the 1st car on the same day itself within 3 hours and ODO less than 60 kms. They got the next car on 12th Sept. which I again drove and faced the same problems. Haven't taken delivery of the same yet hence no pictures of any car yet.

I have however a small video I took of the 1st car's windshield. You can clearly see the distortion in the centre.

Also, I have noticed that ALL the cars standing at the dealer's showroom had significant distortion in the BOTTOM 2 inches of the entire windshield.

I feel that Kia's glass supplier chain is at fault since I have not noticed similar distortion in any of the other brand cars during the past 2 weeks - Maruti, Hyundai, Tata, Mahindra, MG.

Update 2

My main aim for this thread is to know if there are other Seltos owners (especially the facelift version GTX / GTX+) who are facing similar issues so that we may understand the general trend and force the company to make a recall to provide windshield replacements to the affected parties.

This is a serious safety issue that needs to be addressed promptly if widespread!

Both the cars that I drove have the same issue. I'm finally about to take delivery of the 2nd car tomorrow and will update this thread in a couple of days once I drive the car around in different lights and environments for longer periods.

BTW, I did have my eye test yesterday at Titan. No change in the power (0.5) in the past 15 years.

I did approach a couple of new car owners in a local shopping mall over the past few days. They both had the lower trim (HTK / HTK+) and did not seem to notice this issue. However, their windshields DID have heavy distortion in the bottom 2-inch strip across the entire glass pane. This generally does not affect the driving but does speak volumes of the quality of the glass used!

Here's what GTO had to say about the matter:

Very weird, I must say.

I know it will be difficult to travel from Dehrarun, but try driving another '23 Kia Seltos from another dealer and see if you face the same problem.

Else, get the windscreen swapped with one from the pre-facelift model or a 3rd-party expert like Windscreen Experts. Easier to change the windscreen than to change the car.

Here's what BHPian libranof1987 had to say about the matter:

With new cars, dealerships often try to polish every surface (internal / external) of the vehicle they can find to ensure it is all shiny for the customer. It is possible that the cleaners (who tend to use the same cloth for multiple types of surfaces) rubbed polish / some other chemical used for one surface (say, dashboard or tyre) and continued to clean the windshield with it.

Have the windshield thoroughly cleaned and check if the problem persists.

Here's what BHPian ani_meher had to say about the matter:

This is the first time I am reading that cars can be exchanged off the shelf, even after driving post delivery and doing pooja. Usually, it involves courts and takes months. The whole saga seems bizarre.

Here's what BHPian noopster had to say about the matter:

Like others here have mentioned, this just sounds weird!

I've driven a Kia Seltos for nearly 3 years now, with no visibility issues. I have a history of severe myopia, Lasik-corrected in my early 20s, and now in my 40s need progressive lenses to account for age-induced hypermetropia. As such I am quite sensitive to anything that impedes visibility including scratches on the windshield, defective wipers, cracking sunfilm etc. Trust me the Seltos stock windshield is not the problem here (am talking pre-facelift but how different can it be really!).

Have you got new eyeglasses made recently? I've found that using polarised sunglasses can cause some eye strain- they definitely take getting used to. Or, in case you don't habitually wear glasses, perhaps get your eyes checked? You are 41 as per your bio and it's possible you may need progressives now.

All I can say is that you should have test driven a couple of other demo/TD vehicles *before* demanding (and miraculously getting) your vehicle replaced. Now I guess you are stuck with it.

Here's what BHPian NomadSK had to say about the matter:

I haven’t experienced it myself, but I have heard about this once, when a guy raised his concerns during a safety automotive discussion/presentation (his issue was night driving and concentrating on the side vehicles which appeared to be wavy while crossing or overtaking) and the instructor told it must be related to something “cross-car distortion”! Just google it a bit more and see if it’s the same condition.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

A helmet will save your life