9.1

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$5,630
Average Mileage:
86,350 miles
Total Complaints:
25 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. new engine (21 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Kia Sportage:

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

problem #25

Jun 082019

Sportage SX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

Driving down the highway and the engine started to smoke, pulled over and shut the car off and there was a small fire within. Kia explained that I needed a new engine and it was going to cost around $8,000 and was not covered under warranty because there was a period of time that the oil wasn't changed for about 3,500 miles, 500 miles past their recommended oil change timeframe. Car was returned to the dealership and never drove it again.

- C C., Orlando, FL, US

problem #24

Jul 222019

Sportage

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,126 miles

Purchased used in Dec 2018. I put 10,000 miles on it without any indication of a problem. Ferguson Kia had it for 3 weeks simply to fix a motor in the passenger window. I got it back Friday evening. Monday morning, I drove it 8 miles to work and there was a knocking sound. Drove home. Tuesday, the knocking was much louder so drove straight to kia dealership. Car stalled on the road during very busy traffic. Finally got started enough to turn into dealership. Two weeks later I'm told it needs a new engine and although kia has a recall on one engine type for this exact same problem, mine's not under that recall. I used my entire savings to buy this car for my daughter. She gets her license in September. I am a single mom and cannot afford to fix this or replace it!!! If you are having this problem, please file a complaint with NHTSA.

- Audra R., Sand Springs, OK, US

problem #23

Jul 282019

Sportage EX 2.4L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,193 miles

Driving on a Southern California freeway on July 28, 2019, the engine of our 2012 Kia Sportage suddenly stalled. Brought it to the Garden Grove Kia dealer the next day and met their service advisor. She promised that the dealer would let us know by 2p what the issue was. She didn't call until after 4p with bad news: a new engine was needed for the princely sum of $9,087.60 plus tax!

In hindsight, we now know that the service advisor was probably huddling with management on a strategy of deception. Not only did she not mention that there was an oil leak recall on this model but she said nothing about the ongoing class action suits, the car fire reports, and the 21 engine complaints lodged here on CarComplaints.com.

When we picked up the car the next day, I, of course, mentioned the class action suit filed by Andrea Smolek and the numerous complaints mentioning exactly what our service advisor had described: "Oil was black and slight sludged [sic]. Oil control valve (OCV) had sludge and metal shavings." The service manager — Gudino was nowhere in sight — remained silent about the issue and just collected his $129.00 for the diagnosis, which would have been refunded had we forked over that $10,000 they wanted for a new engine. NOT!

I took a picture of their “2019 Customer Satisfaction Award” and posted it on Twitter. Please, please retweet: https://twitter.com/ubercool/status/1156315266764005377.

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, I'm “ubercool” everywhere. Between these three social networks, I have more than 24,000 followers, friends and connections and I’m sure the word will get back to Kia. Or send me your social media info here via the contact form and I'll be happy to help you spread the word, so you can get your hard-earned dollars back from Kia.

- ubercool, Las Vegas, US

problem #22

Jun 232019

Sportage

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

Was driving on the I-10 from California back home to Arizona. At about 80mph, car lost power, started making loud noises, and smoking, smelling like burning oil. Stranded on a major interstate for 1.5 hours in 100 degree weather, waiting for AAA to come. Had it towed to Palm Springs Kia. Had to rent a car to get home. Palm Springs Kia called me to let me know there was an internal engine failure, and that I needed a new engine. They proceeded to tell me that it would cost between $7,000-10,000 for new engine. I am the second owner, so my warranty was not until 100,000 like standard which is CRAP! My extended warranty was done at 82,000. I still owe money on this car, that is not worth repairing. Very disappointing seeing all of these similar experiences, and no recall. I looked up my VIN, and like many others, mine was not included. Kia, step up here and make things right.!

- Kristin F., Mesa, AZ, US

problem #21

Jul 012019

Sportage L X 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

This car has 88k miles, spun a main bearing on the highway. Recalls for this exact same problem but my VIN is not covered per KIA. This issue is under investigation by the NHTSA and if you've had this issue you should file a complaint with them at NHTSA.gov and if/when the recall is expanded your vehicle will be repaired or if you paid out of pocket for repairs you can be reimbursed. Please file a complaint if you were impacted! If you're aware of a class action lawsuit in CO please let me know.

- Truett S., Colorado Springs, US

problem #20

Mar 082019

Sportage LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Car was well maintained and didn't give us any indication that something was failing. My wife took the car on a road trip 500 miles away when the engine started making a loud clanging noise and a strong smell of oil coming from the engine along with some smoke. They had it towed to a mechanic who proclaimed the engine to have a very serious problem requiring a replacement.

The only engines available were 2 used engines. No rebuilt engines were available for a repair of about $6k for the lower mileage engine. We checked with the local Kia Dealer who told us the same thing. but $7k for a lower mileage engine.

We made the difficult decision to junk the car for free due to losing any trust in a car that is repaired with a used engine instead of a rebuilt one since the used engine would more than likely exhibit the same unexpected failure due to a faulty design. I am intensely unhappy and without a car since I can not afford to get a replacement car.

- Chi W., Cave Springs, AR, US

problem #19

Jan 262019

Sportage LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,118 miles

click to see larger images

engine stopped working while driving

My car started to present problems 8 months before. It started to burn oil and the dealer can't find the problem, so I have to put oil in weekly. One day I was driving and the motor engine light came up, so I parked and called for a tow. When the dealer checked the car, they told me the engine is done, you need a new one. How? Why? If I bring it to you guys every 3 thousand miles for maintenance and put oil in weekly, you don't see a problem coming?

The dealer cleaned his hands and gave me a Kia number. I did the claim and then was told the warranty is over after 100 thousand miles, really? Well this car has balance of $12000 with the bank. To fix it is $7500. Car value is 18 thousand dollars, so I'm still waiting for a decision. I'm still paying the bank because I don't want to ruin my credit. I'm women how I can know is something wrong with that car? I bring it to the dealer. The dealer says they won't cover rental car, so I am close to losing my job. I need a car. I have for kids I need drop off at school.

- Helen J., Trenton, NJ, US

problem #18

Dec 092018

Sportage LX 2.0L Gdi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,485 miles

Owned a 2012 Kia Sportage- purchased it brand new and kept up on all the maintenance and oil changes. We had 111,485 miles on the vehicle. Two days prior to this happening, I had it at a Kia dealer for oil change and tire rotation.We were driving on an interstate and it just started to declererate and make banging noises in the engine. Pulled over immediately and called our insurance road service.

It was a Sunday afternoon so the only place that it could be towed was a Pep Boys. They gave us a price of $8000.00 for a reman motor. The next day my husband had it towed to our Kia dealer who also gave us the bad news that we needed a new motor. Their price was $6500.00.We felt that the car was barely worth $6500. They refused to give us a courtesy car because they said it was out of warranty. We had to rent a car that cost us close to $300.00 for the week.

The dealership immediately asked us if we wanted to talk to a sales person. We were angry and frustrated at this point and they knew they had us!,, we spoke with a sales person and purchased a used car- and not a Kia. They only offered to pay $500 for our car toward a used one. We argued and they finally agreed on giving us $1000 towards the purchase of another vehicle. Ended up with a car payment that we couldn’t really afford. We had just paid the vehicle off in August 2018.

After going home, we started to talk about the circumstances. We got online and found that Sportage 2011-2014 had some problems with the engines. Kia was supposed to have extended warranties on these cars to 120,000. Of course when we put our VIN number in online, there were no recalls and no warranties. Does anyone know who could be contacted for major complaints?

I intend to write the head of Kia and make my complaint known to them. It looks like there has been class action law suits against Kia in December 2017. I think the most frustrating thing about this is I have religiously kept the car maintained. We didn’t abuse it and really felt we could of gotten a few more years out of it.

- Debra G., Ormond Beach, US

problem #17

Nov 012018

Sportage

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I WAS DRIVING MY CAR TO WORK ONE MORNING AND I HEARD A WEIRD FAINT KNOCKING SOUND COMING FROM OUTSIDE MY CAR. I IMMEDIATELY DROVE STRAIGHT TO ROYAL KIA IN TUCSON WHERE I HAD PURCHASED THE CAR 4 YEARS AGO AS A "CERTIFIED" USED CAR. AT 3 THAT AFTERNOON THEY CALLED TO TELL ME THAT IT NEEDS A NEW ENGINE. IT HAS 78000 MILES ON IT. THEY CLAIM MY WARRANTY WAS "DEFAULTED" ON BECAUSE OVER THE PAST 4 YEARS I WAS LATE GETTING THE OIL CHANGED TWICE.

I CALLED CORP KIA AND THEY BASICALLY SAID TOO BAD AND INSINUATED THAT BECAUSE THE LATE MAINTENANCE ON THE VEHICLE CAUSED THE ENGINE TO FAIL. I ALSO SPOKE WITH THE GM OF ROYAL KIA AND HE INSISTED THE SAME THING. I HAVE SPOKEN TO A NUMBER OF MECHANICS AND THEY SAID NO WAY CAN THAT CAUSE AN ENGINE TO GO WITH THE LOW MILEAGE. I HAVE ALSO HAD EVERY SERVICE DONE ON THE CAR FOR 4 YEARS.

I BROUGHT THE RECALL UP TO THE DEALER AND HE SAID THAT IT WASN'T THIS ENGINE. I SAY SOMEONE NEEDS TO INVESTIGATE THIS FURTHER. THEY TOLD ME IT WOULD COST $7000 TO REPLACE THE ENGINE AND THAT IT REALLY WASN'T "WORTH IT". NOW I AM OUT A CAR BECAUSE OF A KIA DEFECT AND NO ONE IS BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

- Dawn E., Tucson, US

problem #16

Sep 102018

Sportage Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

We purchased a KIA sportage from an original owner. Purchased 2 years ago. 2012 80,000 miles. Traveling out of town, engine quit. Had towed to the local dealer. They said it needed a new engine $7,000. Stated that those had been recalled but our VIN wasn't one covered. Now dealing with the consumer affairs. They are rude as hell. I have been extremely disappointed with their quality of customer care. HELP!! Is there any action steps I can take?

- Yvette H., Yamhill, US

problem #15

Sep 082018

Sportage EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

This car was bought new and we have not had problems with it. The maintenance has been done as needed and it has been well taken care of. Driving on this past Saturday on a good road in town, the engine light came on, the car began to shake and the engine sputtered and a loud banging noise came from the engine. I drove to the nearest parking lot and parked the car and had my husband come to help.

We had the vehicle towed to our mechanic's shop - which cost us almost $100 - because we were concerned driving it would cause more problems. The mechanic looked at the vehicle and said the engine would have to be replaced. He advised us to call the dealership because he thought there might be a recall. My husband called the dealership in our town and I called the one where we bought the car about 30 minutes away from home. The dealer in our town said we had to bring the car in for a diagnostics check before they could do anything or give us info on a recall. The dealer we bought the car from took my info and the VIN# and said there were recalls on GDI engines but mine was MPI and was not under recall. They asked for the mileage info and basically scoffed and said well you just need to replace the engine and good luck to you. I had to rent a car at $200/week to drive while my car is at the shop.

The replacement engine can take up to 15 days to get here and I will continue to have to rent a car during this time, plus the amount of time it takes for the repair to take place. Apparently, the engines are in high demand which tells me that these cars are a piece of garbage. I have never bought a Kia before and I never will again. What kind of new car only lasts 6 years before the engine has to be replaced. I had a Toyota Corolla that lasted me more than 200K miles and then I gave it to my daughter and she drove it another 50K miles before we had the engine replaced and she drove it a few more years after that.

I am disgusted with this experience and what makes it worse is that my adult son and my elderly father have both bought a Kia. My son's is only a few years old and there is something wrong with the steering. My dad just bought his 2 months ago and I'm sick that he bought it on my recommendation.

- Barbara T., Anderson, SC, US

problem #14

Mar 102018

Sportage 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

We never had any problems with this car, not any warning lights ever. Driving from Georgia to Florida the Engine light went on, and then immediately seized. We had to pull over from the left lane to the median on I-95. Had been driving at 65 mph. Car went completely dead. This all happened within a few minutes...Could have been a deadly situation since riding on the interstate and having engine failure could result in a horrible wreck.

We had it towed to the Kia Dealter in Lakeland, Florida. It took them 5 days to look at it. They said the engine was ruined. We found the recall information online (had never heard of it before, unfortunately).

We then called Kia who said that our car VIN does not match their list of recall VIN numbers. This is baffling, because it is the same exact problem that the other Kia Sportage cars have had, and they can get their engines replaced.

We are not sure what to do, who to call...we have this car, just sitting here with no idea what to do? Has anyone else had this problem. Does anyone have any advice on how to move forward?

Thank you!

Update from Jul 12, 2018: We spoke to a Kia Representative about the recall SC 147. She said again that our VIN is not part of the " service campaign". Kindly she submitted our complaint to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I had already done that myself. She explained that the more complaints that are made and the more cars that are inspected with field research then there could be better documentation of the problem.

So anyone who has had the problem must report it to Kia and the NHTSA directly. Here is a link to the NHTSA

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/

Update from Sep 1, 2018: Well after months of trying to figure out what to do about our Kia 2012 Sportage engine failure, we have finally found that there are a number of lawsuits outstanding in the California courts . Most recently in June of 2018:

The Illinois class action lawsuit was filed by Smolek in April, just a few months after an $8.59 million class action settlement with Hyundai in California. Smolek seeks to represent a Class of Illinois residents who owned or leased Kia and/or Hyundai vehicles with Theta II engines that were not subject to recalls by the motor companies.

Read full article here:

https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/848233-hyundai-kia-engine-defect-class-action-transferred-calif-court/

This is the actual case: http://www.classlawdc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/4-16-2018-Filed-Class-Action-Complaint-N.D.-Illinois.pdf

I have written a letter to the attorneys describing our situation and asking for guidance and an expected time frame for the hearings. I am sending this with signature required so that I know it has been recieved. I suggest anyone who's THETAII engine did not fall in the first recall contact the firm. The more of us that report this the better the case.

Update from Sep 7, 2018: I sent a letter to the attorney representing the newest class action lawsuit.

- cmkare, Peachtree Corners, US

problem #13

Apr 012018

Sportage EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I purchased a 2012 Kia Sportage for my daughter four months ago. Last week she was driving late at night on the freeway and she heard a loud bang, lost power and was able to coast over to the side of the road. The car filled up with smoke as all the oil had drained out and the hot engine was burning it. I had to have it towed to the nearest Kia dealership.

They determined that the piston had gone through then engine block. They told me that I should have to only pay $119 dollars to pull the head gasket and Kia should cover the cost of a new engine. After pulling the gasket they told me the blown engine was no fault of Kia and since the car had not been serviced there, the dealership would not pay to fix it.

After many hours of research, I learned that the same model and same year the engines I have has been involved in a recall. The only difference between the two engines is they come out of different manufacturing facilities. This makes absolutely no sense since the engines are having the exact same issues.

I absolutely do not have $6800 to pay for a USED engine which has MORE miles on it then the one that was blown. Not to mention it takes the value down considerably. We would live in constant fear that the engine would blow again putting my daughter in danger. I have gotten one message from the escalation department. I have tried to call back repeatedly, with no return call. This experience and treatment by a company that supposedly prides themselves on their customer service is deplorable.

UPDATE. I received a call on 4/16/2018 from a Kia consumer complaint representative. We talked extensively about the situation. He assured me he would be working on a solution and told me he would call me within 5 business days. As of 4/27/2018 still no call. I would have called him sooner but I just got out of surgery a few days ago.

- Michelle L., Naples, FL, US

problem #12

May 312017

Sportage LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,412 miles

click to see larger images

engine stopped working while driving

Driving down the road at about 25 MPH. Engine died without warning. Had it towed to a shop where they diagnosed "catastrophic engine failure." Had it towed again to the dealer where we bought the car and they confirmed the original diagnosis. Dealer firmly believes Kia SHOULD cover this under the current recall because all symptoms of the failure match exactly. Kia refuses to cover it because the car wasn't "built at the factory outlined in the recall." What a load of crap! When Hyundai issued a recall for the same problem earlier, Kia denied they had any issues because their (shared) engines were built at different factories and declined to issue a parallel recall. Then Kia admitted their engines did have a problem and issued a recall, but only for one factory. They misjudged the impact from the very beginning and they continue to misjudge the breadth of the problem, to the great detriment of their customers. NEVER buying a Kia (or Hyundai) again!

- Wayne K., Rochester, US

problem #11

Dec 022017

Sportage LX 2.4L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,877 miles

Blow engines are a regular problem with Kia. Car has been waiting for the repair for 1 month. there are no engines available.

- sac14sic, Elk Grove, CA, US

problem #10

Oct 162017

Sportage EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

PROBABLY THREW A ROD. GOING FROM NASHVILLE TO OUR HOME . HAD IT TOWED OVER 100 MILES AND NOW AT A GARAGE . THE MECHANIC CAN'T FIND A MOTOR WITH LOW MILEAGE AND TO GET THE PARTS FROM KIA WILL BE OVER 4,000 DOLLARS. THIS PART ON MY CAR WAS RECALLED BY KIA, BUT NOT THE ONE ON MY VIN NUMBER. JUST AFTER HAVING 3 OF THEIR AUTOS YOU WOULD THINK THEY COULD COME UP WITH SOMETHING THAT WOULD WORK. NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH ANY OF THESE CARS BEFORE. LESSON LEARNED. WONT BUY ANY MORE KIA'S.

- Sandra J., Farner, US

problem #9

Apr 212017

Sportage LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,121 miles

Engine seized while driving. Kia initially said there was no record of such things happening. two months later the recall was announced. I patiently waited for my letter. Never came. I was told that my VIN was not on the list. My engine is the same that is in the Hyundai and other Kia's. I am told that is was unique for the Sportage in 2012, thus no real history of failing.

My car has been at Kia dealership for over two months. I was told it needed to be evaluated. Last week received VM that Kia would not repair based on information they received. The dealer has done no evaluation. I am now not only facing a $6000 repair bill but also storage costs if I do not do something. All while still paying my monthly car note. Kia clearly just wants me to go away. I can't.

- John W., Collierville, US

problem #8

Sep 142017

Sportage F 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Engine stopped while driving, initially thought it was alternator but was told by another Kia owner that Kia had a recall for engine failure. Called the dealer was given the number for Kia recalls after a very long conversation and wait was told my car was not on recall only the turbo. Called the dealer (Kyle Hill of Edmond OK) was told I could have the car towed there and they would tear the engine down (at considerable expense) and IF the problem was the same as the recall they would ask Kia to pay for it (no guarantees).

Don't have the money for this expense, my car only has 45,000 miles on it. I had just made my last payment, I am 71 years old and this was supposed to be my forever car, and now it is useless. I did have an independent mechanic look at it and he agrees it is the engine. Both my son-in-laws who have worked on numerous cars and aircraft contend that it the turbo engine has a problem it is reasonable that the non-turbo engines should have the same problem. They are the same engine only one has an added turbo. This is such BE and from now on I will encourage anyone i know to never buy a Kia and if they have one well it NOW!!!!!!!

- Shirley B., Tecumseh, US

problem #7

Jul 012017

Sportage LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

Just complained to Kia Customer Service. This VIN is CURRENTLY outside the engine recalls---you can't tell me that there are not more engines involved in the current recall!!!!! Kia and Hyundai are just waiting us out...and I'm getting pissed off!

- Eileene K., Ball Ground, GA, US

problem #6

Feb 142017

Sportage

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

My daughter on I45 going into Dallas - nursing school - at 5am in the rain, car died at 70mph in traffic. No apparent warning. So she calls her new husband and then Mom & Dad. I look online and suggest it is likely the ECM 'service bulletin' but try filling it with gas (showed just under 1/4 tank) as that was also noted as a recurring issue. Two hours later the car is moving, but very scary losing all power at 70mph - and in the rain, in the dark, entering a major US city in traffic. Will try to update once KIA runs the codes and responds.

- Jim W., Magnolia, TX, US

Read the next 5 complaints »