really awful
Crashes / Fires:
13 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 2
Average Mileage:
59,421 miles

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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

Jan 162013

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles
I purchased my Kia Spectra new in 2009. Since then I have had various times when the passenger's side airbag light would be "off" suggesting that no one/ thing over 45 pounds was located in the passenger seat. Despite having other people accompany me in my car, the airbag light only went off when I had a 6'1" 190 lb teenager in my car. More recently (and frequently) I have had a 165 lb 6' male friend riding with me. He always sits in the passenger seat. The passenger air bag light has showed "off" despite frequent attempts by my friend to change his positioning in the passenger seat. Even after getting out of the car, and later getting back in, the light continued to show as if the passenger seat was empty.. it doesn't matter how fast, or slow I was driving, the results were still the same. I bought my Kia due to it's high safety rating.

- Crossville, TN, USA

problem #9

Mar 152012

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Kia Spectra. While driving approximately 45 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing where the technician advised that the electrical air bag system on the front passenger side would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- Reidsville, NC, USA

problem #8

Apr 102012


  • 68,000 miles
My vehicle has had multiple problems over a 4 to 5 month period to start around the start my passenger side door handle broke, next my seat belt sensor shorted out, after that my air bag light came on after taking it in to the dealer I was informed I had not only faulty wiring in my vehicle but that my passenger side air bag was defective when it was installed and took four years to be caught unfortunately this all didn't occur in my first year of ownership and I couldn't claim the lemon law. Because now the company expects me to replace all of the faulty equipment they installed into a vehicle they told me was "safe and reliable" and now I'm riding in vehicle that I had someone who works for Kia tell was "slapped together and I was lucky my car hadn't fallen apart yet". after leaving the dealership the cd player in my vehicle decided that it to was going to short out and now this is another repair I'm sure ill be expected to pay for.

- Reidsville, NC, USA

problem #7

Dec 132011


  • miles
On 12-13-11, at 6:15pm my wife (driver) and daughter (passenger) were involved in a mva in which they were "T" boned by a 2002 Chevy Suburban. At no time did the supplemental side air bags deploy, and this subsequently caused glass to implode on my wife in her scalp and hair. Contacted Kia usa ([xxx]) who stated that the accident was not a near fatal accident, therefore the air bags acted accordingly. I find this to be ridiculous! and I'm being nice here. Requesting a full investigation into this failure or false sense of security we are led to believe. I have photos of the damaged caused. Subsequently, the other driver was charged and repairs have been made, but I feel that this matter needs attention. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Mount Morris, NY, USA

problem #6

Sep 012010

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Kia Spectra. The contact stated that the front passenger air bag warning light would illuminate when the seat was occupied. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they advised her that she was under the required weight for the seat to detect occupancy and activate. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 43,000. Updated 11/29/11 the consumer stated she has been to the dealer on five occasions for the same air bag problem. Updated 12/07/11

- Long View, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 092011


  • 64,800 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Kia Spectra. The contact stated the passenger side air bag sensor on the passenger side seat malfunctioned. The sensor does not recognize that there was a passenger in the seat; therefore, it did not activate the passenger side air bag. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer who stated the OCS mat which activated the passenger air bag needed to be replaced. The contact did not have the OCS mat replaced. The contact called the manufacturer regarding the OCS mat and they stated there was nothing they could do since the warranty expired. The contact stated if the vehicle was involved in a crash the passenger side air bag would not deploy increasing the risk of an injury to the passenger. The failure mileage was 64,800.

- Hamburg, NY, USA

problem #4

Jul 242009


  • 142 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) we talked with the salesman [xxx] at martin swanty Kia on 07/24/2009 about the passenger airbag light not functioning properly, he said they would fix it! so we bought it. We went to the service department on 08/12/2009 and talked with service personnel and we were told to return when someone was sitting in the passenger seat and the passenger airbag light was off so they could verify it! we went to service department on 09/10/09 when I was sitting in the passenger seat and showed them that it was not working properly.they returned the car that afternoon without repairing it and handed us an internal service bulletin that said the passenger air bag would not function unless a person of appropriate size was sitting in the seat. I argued with the service person since I am 5' 8" and weigh 210 pounds, but he still refused to repair it. I checked the internet and found that the Kia Spectra had a long history several years of recalls and problems with the passenger side airbag called Kia at 1 800 333-4542 on 09/10/09 and talked with a customer service representative. She opened a case number [xxx]and told us to call her next time we had a passenger in the seat and the passenger airbag malfunctioned. She said she would call the dealer and we could go there and have it repaired! I called the number on 12/22/2010 and talked to the service person and told her my wife was on the way to the dealer with our 24 year daughter [xxx] in the seat and the airbag was off. The representative called the dealer! the dealer refused to fix it and said that it required a larger person in the front seat and my wife should return when she had a larger person in the front seat. My daughter [xxx] is 24 years old; she is 5, 9 and weighs 125 pounds! my wife went again to the dealer on 01/05 /2010 with our daughter [xxx] in the front seat, she is 5'8" 22 years old and she weighs 140 pounds and the air bag was off! they refused to do anything.

- Kingman, AZ, USA

problem #3

Jan 082010


  • miles
Friday evening before last, my daughter (17 yrs old and a senior in high school) was riding with her friend and was hit by a car in the right front bumper area. The car my daughter was riding in, a 2009 Kia Spectra, was totaled. Yet, despite the massive amount of damage to the car, the passenger airbag did not deploy nor did the seat belt lock. Hence, my daughter was knocked unconscious for about 45 minutes, her nose was broke, she received blood in the ventricles of the brain and she is extremely sore, to say the least. Funny thing is that the driver's dad took the brand new car (5,000 miles and 3 months old) to the dealer over the passenger air bag about two weeks before the accident. He was told that a passenger had to be 100 lbs and be seated just right in the passenger seat in order for the airbags to engage. The emt/firemen who rescued by daughter can all vouch for this. How is it that Kia can advertise 'airbags' as a safety feature when they only deploy randomly?

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #2

Oct 232009


  • 22,059 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Kia Spectra. While driving 25 mph she reached in the rear of the vehicle to grab a baby cup, which caused her to accidentally hit the infant. Subsequently she rear-ended another vehicle. The vehicle was completely destroyed and none of the air bags deployed. She sustained injuries police report was filed. The current and failure mileage was 22,059.

- Greenwell Springs, LA, USA

problem #1

Dec 232008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Kia Spectra. While driving 50 mph, the contact rear-ended the preceding vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy and the seat belt did not lock. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The vehicle has stalled at least five times since the time it was purchased. The contact feels that the vehicle is unable to be driven and wants a refund or another vehicle from Kia. The current mileage was 29,000 and failure mileage was 13,000. Updated 06/03/09 the windshield wipers worked intermittently, the rear lights were inoperative. The consumer stated the rear lights were replaced several times, because they were shortening out, . the transmission started shifting really hard and rough. The check engine light illuminated. Updated 06/04/09.

- Coal Township, PA, USA