Transmission slip or hosed by dealer

Bought a 2010 Kia optima first week of December. There is a remainder of a factory bumper to bumper warranty.Right after Christmas the transmission began to have some problems. When slowing down there is a hesitation when downshifting. I commute 38 miles one way to work. Of those 38 miles, 30 are on the highway. Leaving for work in the morning and leaving work at the end of the day are the worst. After being on the highway getting home and getting to work there does not seem to be the hesitation in shifts. It seems to be worst when going from 3rd gear to 2nd. I took it back to the dealership and was told that the computer had to be reset in order to “learn” how I drive and that’s why it was doing it.

I am taking it back to the dealer on Saturday. My question is a two part:
Am I getting hosed by the dealer with them telling me that the car has to “learn” how I drive?
What could be the problem? There is no dipstick to check the transmission fluid levels.

If the transmission did this when it was very cold outside, it is fairly normal for this to happen until the transmission reaches operating temperature. If it does concern you, go ahead and schedule an appointment with the dealer service department to address this complaint. It is really more of a formality than anything since they probably won’t find anything wrong. Keep the paperwork from the service department after they are done with your car to show you brought this issue to their attention while the car was still under warranty. Doing this will cover your butt in the event something does happen down the road as a result of this issue.

Well, modern transmissions do have a certain learning curve when they’re reset, but generally they don’t result in hesitations like that. I do note that there’s a software update for 2001-2010 Optimas that’s supposed to correct “transmission abnormalities.” You should ask them if this update has been applied.

One question: When you say “remainder” of the warranty, that indicates you didn’t buy it new. Why was such a new car returned to the dealership already?

There is something to the notion that the computer must “learn” how you drive. The computer controls transmission functions and these days most do make adjustments according to the habits of the driver.

Since this is happening mostly when the trans is cold, leaving the car overnight to better replcate the issue may yield more insights than driving to the Saturday appointment.

It was a dealer fleet car. All the regular schedule maintenance has been kept up to date. I do have those records.

I am going to leave it over the weekend if I can talk them into giving me a loaner car.