really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,044 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Kia Sportage:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #9

May 012016


  • miles
"takata recall" nothing new, same as this and many other complaints... component(s): Fuel system, gasoline fumes, air bags light stays on, hold light stays on, rust underneath the car, windows dont work, only back left door opens, ac dont work, will run hot if on. Consumer location: California all products associated with this complaint expand details close help manufacturer: Kia motors America summary: There is a very strong raw gas smell that permeates the cabin and outside the vehicle. It is very noticeable upon starting and when the vehicle is at rest and running. I have taken this vehicle to numerous mechanics to include the local Kia dealer to resolve the problem - new fuel filter, exhaust, etc. With no positive results. A search of the internet turned up a very common problem with the 99-02 Sportage gas tanks leaking due corrosion caused by poor design/material. I am filing this complaint in hopes that the NHTSA will conduct an investigation and recall of this make/model/yr vehicle to correct this very serious problem. This car has not been driven for over a yr.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 292016


  • 58,400 miles
I bought a car last week from a private seller, and it has a gas leak coming from the gas tank area. I have not taken it in yet to a mechanic to have it checked out. The seller had replaced the filler hose, and had said the previous owner had replaced the gas tank, so he said there shouldn't have been any issues. I have two grandchildren that need to be able to ride safely in this car, and I refuse to drive it with this leak on there. From the other reports that I am reading, this is a major issue, along with the rusted frame on the car. Kia should not be allowed to continue to sell cars without fixing these other major issues.

- Buchanan, MI, USA

problem #7

Jun 162014


  • miles
Traveling posted speed limit, car began to skid. Made a slight turn of steering wheel car began to rollover two or three times.

- Mableton, GA, USA

problem #6

Jul 282005

Sportage 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles
I have a 2002 Kia Sportage 2 door. We bought it brand new for our son thinking it would be a fun little car for him. 36,000 miles later it has been in the shop 15 times for various things such as air bag needing repaired to engine cooling system exploding on me in the middle of the dessert and me alone for 6 hours before I could get help. This SUV if you can call it that is nothing but a headache and I am very concerned about my sons or in fact anyone that is in it when it is on the roads safety.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #5

Mar 302005

Sportage 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
March 30th I was involved in an accident, a lady pulled accross traffic and I had no time to stop, needless to say I slammed into her drivers side door at about 30mph. The entire front end of my Kia sprortage was damaged with about $6700 in damages and the air bags didn't deploy and myself and my passengers were in our seat belts but badly bruised and thrown about. I was informed by Kia that I didn't hit the sensors... ok the whole front end was gone where exactly are the sensors" I don't feel safe in the car and my children are in it, please can some one tell me what to do" I feel that I'm stuck with a vehichle that isn't safe and I don't seem to have any recourse. Thank you for your time.

- Spokane Valley, WA, USA

problem #4

Jul 012004

Sportage 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving on a straight stretch of highway my daughter felt her car jerk to the right. She attempted to turn into the jerk and was not able to control anything on the car. It began to rock despite her efforts and then immediately rolled over multiple times. The front end of her Kia Sportage sustained considerable damage, the airbags did not deploy and she suffered almost complete loss of use of her left arm. She is still undergoing treatment and therapy for the injury and also will probably have to have further surgery. There were witnesses behind her that reported that the car was going straight, did not run off the road just began to flip. She did not lose conscience, did not look away from the road. Also the driving conditions were normal and she was going 5 miles under the speed limit. We requested that the insurance company investigate but they stated they do not do investigations. We really believe that there was a steering malfunction as well as failure on the airbags.

- Oxford, AL, USA

problem #3

Jun 242003

(reported on)

Sportage 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Problems with air bag light, and windows on Kia Sportage. Also problem with a cracked motor head.

- Stephens City, VA, USA

problem #2

Sep 012002


  • miles
Air bag sensor module failed.

- Lebanon, IN, USA

problem #1

Apr 122002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Airbag indicator light is illuminated. Vehicle was taken to dealer 3 times before issue was resolved.

- Palmbay, FL, USA