really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,100 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

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problem #5

Feb 092011


  • 79,637 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Kia Spectra. The contact stated that while stopped at a traffic light with her foot on the brake pedal, the vehicle suddenly lunged forward and accelerated, crashing into the rear of another vehicle. There were no injuries. No police report was filed. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 79,637.

- Sycracuse, NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 012008


  • 141,865 miles
Three years ago while traveling down I-40 the cruise control stuck on the car, the brakes locked up. The car had climb to 90 mph in a 65 before I realized what was happening. The only way to stop the car was to put the car in neutral and cut the engine. Thank the dear lord in heaven me and 2 other co-workers were not in heaven traffic that day. I had the car towed to Kia in winston salem, nc where the mechanics are the only ones that had ever worked on that car at that time. They tried to say that it was an animal or someone must have touched the cable causing it to slip out of the groove which would cause the cruise control to stick. They flipped it back on and it worked fine until Friday night, August 1, 2008 around 9:00 at night when me and my 10 yr old daughter was coming home from having dinner out. Again the cruise control stuck started accelerating with no way of stopping it and the brakes locked up. The car had climbed to 70 mph in a 55 before I finally put it in neutral and cut the engine. The car has scared me twice now. I am scared that it will happened it again and next time we want be lucky. I am afraid this car may end up hurting us or someone else really bad. I complained to Kia 3yrs ago they didn't care when the car was still under warranty and I sure don't see them caring now. Do you?

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #3

Jan 092006

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2002 Kia Spectra VIN [xxx] in the last month I had 3 incidents of sudden severe acceleration associated with applying the brake. The first time, on Dec 8th, as I was stopping for a traffic light, the RPM counter went to 7500, the car tried to lurch forward, and I held my foot on the brake to stop it. After a few seconds it returned to normal. My Kia dealer advised me to have the car towed to the shop - they could not duplicate the problem. The second time on Dec 31 in a mall parking area as I braked to turn into a parking slot - I just managed to avoid hitting one of the parked cars. The last time, on Jan 5th in the toll lane of the nys thruway as I was stopping to pick up the ticket. This time again, a sudden very high accelerator with the car trying to jump forward and applying the brake to hold it. After I turned the engine off, and I started it again and again each time I restarted. I had to get out of the car and advise all the people behind me in the queue of my problem. After a few tries, I was able to start it again without revving up and I took it to the dealer very carefully. Four days later, hey cannot duplicate the problem, but I am not willing to risk my life or the lives of others. I called Kia customer service - they were polite but unhelpful. I don't know what to do, other than obtain legal councel as well as report this to the nys attorney general's office. Any advice would be welcome thanks! updated 07/17/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Albany, NY, USA

problem #2

Oct 212004

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
While driving 50 mph, the vehicle accelerated and lurched forward at a high speed. The consumer had to apply the emergency brake, and turned the ignition switch off to get the vehicle to stop.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #1

Feb 262003


  • miles
The vehicle experienced sudden acceleration.

- Hemet, CA, USA