The softening kinetics of a 0.19 wt% C 1.5 wt% Mn steel deformed at two intercritical temperatures have been characterised using the stress relaxation technique. Recrystallisation of intercritical austenite has been modelled using a single grain model (Chen et al., 2002 ), whilst recovery of both intercritical austenite and ferrite has been modelled using a model in the literature [Verdier et al., 1999 ). The models are combined to predict the overall softening kinetics with a rule of mixtures formulation. Comparison of the model with experiment shows significant deviations. The reasons are discussed with reference to the mixture rule and to the local stress-strain distribution which exists in the deformed samples. A simple modification to the model is proposed which takes into account the effect of a local stress distribution in deformed austenite.