I purchased a 2015 Kia Forte LX and I'm wanting to replace the stock remote control panel on the steering wheel with that of the panel on the EX. I know it's possible because every time I spoke to someone at the dealership they said I wouldn't even be able to get the EX panel from anyone but them (I purchased a genuine OEM panel online) they also told me they checked and the part wouldn't fit.

Now after extensive research I was able to check on the Kia site and I entered my VIN and the item number and not only will it fit but it is compatible. So their next argument is I would have to reprogram my body control module (I've yet to do research on that).

So long story short once I have it installed will the additional buttons work automatically or will I in fact have to reprogram my BCM?

All I want is to stop all the doors for unlocking when I remove my key. It's a huge safety thing for me since I take night classes and don't like the fact that once the key is out my car is open to the world! Sorry for the long post I'm just really disappointed with the lack of knowledge the "professionals" have.


Search online for a body control module for both your LX and the EX: if they have the same part number, you will probably not need to reprogram your body control module.

If all you are trying to do is to prevent your doors from automatically unlocking when you remove the key, most cars will allow you to reprogram features like this. Look in your owner's manual.

  • 2
    they are the same parts. Ive check multiple Kia sites – Karla Parker Jul 24 '16 at 18:25
  • @KarlaParker Then your new steering wheel control panel might just plug in and work right away. Have you looked into repogramming the unlock feature? Should be very simple. – tlhIngan Jul 24 '16 at 18:27
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    We replaced the panel and I still have the same options. I spoke with the dealer and they make it like its practically impossible! its driving me nut ( pun intended lol) so now Im looking into reprogramming my BCM I started researching it and there's a lot of reputable companies that provide the software for you to do on your own. – Karla Parker Jul 24 '16 at 18:35

Some control modules require "coding" or "reprogramming" to tell the module what features are present in the car. Newer cars/modules are better at figuring it out for themselves than older ones, to it might work automagically. If it does not the "coding" (at least on Volkswagens) is a pretty straight forward process – it is just a matter of entering a single number in the right place. Knowing the place and having the software tools to add it is the hard part.

Dealers are almost certain to have to the equipment and access to the knowledge to do this, wether or not they are willing to do it is another matter. I did a bit of browsing on Kia forums and it looks like as early as 2011 it was possible for the dealer to completely disable the auto-unlock. It also sounds like some dealers would refuse to do it…

So option 1) would be to ask your dealer to disable it. If they refuse I'd be inclined to try to call Kia directly and explain what you want and that you'd like them to refer you to a nearby dealer who is able to do it for you. A bit of poking seems to indicate that the same BCM is used in the LX and EX, so option 2) could be trying to update to the LX steering wheel controls.

  • Its amazing you found in a matter of hours what it took me weeks to find! thank you, and this brings me to the topic at hand. The dealers are refusing to help me basically even after I explained to them the reason I want to have these features. But what gets me is the look of amazement on their faces when I present them with the facts that I have and even took the new panel and showed it would fit. I did replace the panel and unfortunately I still have only the same features so I guess I have to reprogram. any suggestions? – Karla Parker Jul 24 '16 at 18:30
  • Three: 1) find a new dealership – if they won't listen to you on this, there will be other problems as well; 2) call Kia and ask them for a referral to a dealership that will do the work for you – they should know about problems in their customer service network and also it can't hurt to help them understand that this is a safety issue and they should facilitate changing it; and 3) in the VW community there are people who seem to delight in making "mods" like this, the have/develop the tools and the knowledge. Poke around to see if you can find them. – dlu Jul 24 '16 at 18:36
  • I've spent a lot of my life modifying and debugging things… I'm in awe of the persistence that you bring to this! Hang in there, you're fighting the good fight. – dlu Jul 24 '16 at 18:37
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    I have finding a new dealer on my todo list. And my persistence comes from the fact that they treat me like Im stupid and should take their what they say and go with it. Which i refuse to do. I didn't let the man at the dealership know that I had the part or information when I started the conversation, and once he started to tell me that everything was impossible that's when I brought it out and he was dumb founded and started grabbing others in the shop to show them. – Karla Parker Jul 24 '16 at 18:43
  • Could you send me a link to the reprogramming topics that you know of? My research graph looks more like a spiderweb at this point I have so many tabs pinned its crazy! And thanks so much for the words of encouragement. – Karla Parker Jul 24 '16 at 18:48

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