Kia Motors Spectra

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Memory fuse
Posted by on
This car's battery voltage will drop below the voltage that will start the car if the car is parked for more than overnight and the memory fuse is not pulled up.

I bought this used car in December 2009 and neither the salesman nor the sales manager mentioned this fact to me at the time of sale.

Shortly after I purchased the car it was parked for three days. When I went to start it the battery didn't have enough voltage to turn over the starter. A 10 amp battery charger got it going so no real problem but got me worried that may be the battery would fail while I was in town. But it didn't. If the car is only parked overnight, there is no problem starting it the next morning. But let it stand for two nights and the car won't start on the third day.

That's when I went looking through the manual that I had to ask for because it wasn't in the glove compartment at the time of sale.

Buried in the Kia manual there is a procedure to go through when parking the car for a "prolonged period"--the fact that this "prolonged period" is only two days was not revealed to me at the time of sale. Yes, that's right. The battery will not start the car on the third day if it has been sitting parked for two days. Overnight parking is no problem but leave it parked for another day and the battery will not start the car.

What is the procedure described in the Kia manual, you ask? "Turn off the headlights and tail lights and pull up the MEMORY FUSE in the fuse box that sits in front of the driver's left knee"--this procedure disconnects the clock, the audio (radio), the door chimes, and the interior lights. But the rest of the electrical components in the car work (ignition, headlights, tail lights, etc.). But if you drive the car with the memory fuse pulled up then the Tire Pressure Monitor check light comes on.

Following this procedure, I was able to leave the car parked for four days without having the battery go dead.

Does following this procedure mean that when one is ready to drive off in the car, the clock needs resetting as does the radio? Yes they do!

This is a real pain in the you know what. I feel the salesman and everybody else involved in selling me this car were deceptive by not telling me about this 2007 Kia spectra quirk.
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Anonymous on 02/01/2010:
Something seems wrong with your car. your battery should last longer than 3 days. Either you need a new battery, or something is draining the battery. That just doenst seem right. As far as Kia's handbook, I would assume that means if you were planning on not driving the car for a few MONTHS not a few days. Id go get it checked out. Doesn't seem right to me.
Kia owner on 12/19/2013:
I have a 2007 Kia Spectra, that I bought in 2012, and it had been very reliable (in spite of not having a tune up for 18 months). The one time I did have trouble with the battery (which was the factory battery, btw), it was because there was corrosion on the posts, and my kid had left the head lights on all nite. New battery, no more battery problems!
Kia owner on 12/19/2013:
And may I add, my car had literally sat for a week at a time and there were no issues with the battery. Started right up every time! *except now...almost made me a believer. Now, I can see indications of power from the battery, but it won't turn over. Strange! Its only 37° outside, but my car has started in below 0! And it was just driven the night before with no problems
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Kia's cars suck and they discriminate
Posted by on
HAMBURG, NEW YORK -- I am a 21 year old female. I bought this car when I was 20 and it is my first car. I had also bought this car new. About six days after I bought the piece of junk I didn't want it any more. I thought that there was something wrong with the car. I know a little bit about cars but I can't fix one. It turns out my car has a bad transmission sensor (automatic)which meens that the car doesn't know when to shifts right. The funny thing is that Kia and the dealer I bought it from can't figure out what is wrong with it. I have been fighting both companies since I bought it. I even got into an accident at my local car wash because the car would not go into neutral. After the accident I stepped up my fighting. A couple days after that I got a call on April 7, 2005 from a rep from Kia Motors and he started to yell at me telling me that Kia doesn't want to do anything to make me happy. I was shocked because of this treatment. I feel that I got taken advantage of because of who I am. Now I have a car that is "the walking dead" with a bad transmission. The car's engine is now shot because it has been running for a year and a half with a bad transmission. So even if Kia does actually fix my transmission the car is still screwed. The whole car is going to end up dying because of te condition it is driving in right now. My whole reason for doing this is that I had my car in for service and I get treated like some dumb stupid little girl who knows nothing about cars. This car company called me up to harass and yell at me on the phone and why would I want to do business with this company let alone drive this car.


I plan ongoing to the State of NY or The US dept of transportation and force Kia Motors to buyback my car because they don't know how to fix it.

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cycolbur on 03/15/2006:
did you have a warranty and second is there a lemon law in your state. good luck kia do suck.
Anonymous on 03/15/2006:
Wasn't the car under warranty? If it was running that bad why would you continue to drive it? I don't see anything discriminatory on here. Good luck.
Mad Eye Moody on 03/16/2006:
Make sure you document everything.
DebtorBasher on 03/16/2006:
What does being a 20/21 year old female have to do with it? If a 40 year old male bought the same car, would he have not had the same problem?
srupert85 on 03/29/2006:
I'm 21 as well, and I bought a brand new 2004 Kia Spectra in June of 2004. When I took it for a test drive, it kept stalling, but the salesman reassured me that there were no problems, that they just had to adjust the idle. I believed him, and drove the car once more, and bought it. Well, I had problems with the transmission shifting gears in the beginning, but then they seemed to go away. Then in October of 2005 the transmission completely went out on me. I don't live near the kia dealer, so when I would need my routine maintenance I took it to a local mechanic - BIG MISTAKE! The dealer said that because I didn't take my car to them for all of the maintenance I that meant that my warranty was void. I ended up paying for a new transmission in a car that was barely a year old! I will never buy another kia, and I urge everyone else to stay away from them as well.
Inky on 12/22/2006:
Newer Kia vehicles are allegedly of better quality. I think it is way too early to know for sure how they will perform long term. I have already read complaints about the new ones and Kia continues to refuse to honor their warranties.
kiad00d on 03/10/2007:
I am an mechanic at a kia dealership.. and I won't even buy a Kia, seein too many problems with these cars from transmissions to engines with cars under 20,000. I drive a Chev
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Kia spectra 5 fuel consumption gas cap fuel tank sensor
Posted by on
BATON ROUGE -- Kia Spectra 5 fuel consumption gas cap fuel tank sensor

3 visits to dealership. replaced 3 gas caps. this is under first
1500 miles. gas mileage was 15-17 mph.
The engine light never came back on for another 5k miles.
followed Kia service manual to the letter on all changes.

then another round of 2 gas caps, until tech said that it
was the fuel pressure sensor. and no check engine light.
but he insisted that the light had been on for the last 5k miles
and that had voided the warranty.

basically I had to pay 1383.00 dollars and now I'm told that
all subsequent problems will not be covered due to me violating
the "service" agreement.

Kia is ka ka. their car is ka ka. there whole design is ka ka.

I will never never never get a "ka ka" Kia again !!!

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Alain on 02/10/2010:
If you haven't done so all ready, go to click on owners and then click on contact to explain your situation. I just looked there and it is a cumbersome process (it also goes through a third party website which isn't very friendly). Also, again if you haven't done so, e-mail or write your Better Business Bureau with a detailed summary of your complaint to make it a matter of record. Good luck.
jlog on 02/21/2011:
I recently had a problem with my 2008 Spectra. After filling up with gas, the car started cutting out. Took to a dealership for repair. They say it is gas contamination. The company where I got the gas said their gas was not contaminated. This is a $500 repair that I don't feel I should be responsible for. In the warranty, it says wrong fuel is not covered. I used regular unleaded as I was supposed to. Any suggestions on how to handle this?
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I would never repeat this buy
Posted by on
I bought a 2006 Kia Spectra5 within the first year of owning the vehicle we had to take it back for reprogramming because there was a computer defect that left the automatic lights on. The car began shutting off and stalling out at stop lights and on busy interstates so we returned to the garage once again and the oxygen sensor had gone bad, the oxygen sensoer went bad 2 times since I have owned the vehicle while I had my children in the car. I have also taken my vehicle for my regular oil changes and have been told that I have build up in my oil. Now the check engine light keeps coming on and I have to keep putting in a fuel cleaner to get it to turn off. I had a diagnostic run on my check engine light and the cadallatic converter is running under threshold! I also am having a problem with the rear drivers side brake wearing too fast and I am probably going to have to replace my roter.
The last time I had my vehicle in the shop at the Kia dealership they refused to release my vehicle back to me unless I paid an $85.00 fee? Did you know that it costs you $85.00 just to pull your vehicle into their garage? I was not made aware of this "Policy" until I could not get my car back. Even though I was just having my car looked at.
I am furious with this company and its 100,000 mile warranty is just a safety cushion to tempt you to buy and because your car is in the shop so much! The problem with the oxygen sensor also happened with my previous Kia spectra so this is not a fluke and that also went bad several times.(meaning 3 times!)
Therefore my experiences with this company have been far less than positive. I will never own another Kia due to the costly repairs and the times that I had to miss at work because my car was in the shop.
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old fart on 01/16/2010:
For what it's worth I have a 2001 KIA Sephia with 46.000 miles.
I did have a problem with the transmission and dealer dealer replaced it, no questions asked!
Other than oil changes and the like, the car has cost me nothing extra to maintain.
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Scary Fuel Delivery System Issue
Posted by on
I have read a number of complaints about this issue on the Web and thought I should add mine since this appears to be a design flaw and not customer related as Kia defines it. This involves the fact that if the fuel tank gets regularly over filled it will cause the engine to arbitrarily shut off at different times regardless of whether you are on the highway or in the driveway. Apparently there is a valve high up in the fuel tank that gas can get into and goes into a canister that leads to the stated problem. In all cases I have read, Kia states it is the result of the consumer overfilling and not a warranty issue. Most customers, as I did, state 'we are not idiots and know better than to overfill' to no avail. Anyway, I am paying $1500 to replace the fuel tank and supporting components with no warm fuzzy that will not happen again.
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Faulty Airbags
Posted by on
Last week I was in a auto accident, I rear ended another vehicle at 35 miles an our. My son was in the passanger seat, we both had on seat belts but my son only had the lap belt in place. Our air bags never deployed and as a result I hit my head on the stearing wheel and now have 35 stitches in my forehead. I was told by all parties (state highway patrol and local police) that my bags should have deployed. I will now have a perminant scar on my forehead. My car is being fixed even though there is 5800 dollars worth of damage but this will not include the air bags (insurance states that it is not their problem). So I have to drive a car that is unsafe for accidents even though I bought this car used from Kia and still make payments on it. I am contacting Kia as well as a lawyer. I have also filed a complaint with the public safety commission.
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Ben There on 09/08/2009:
What type of accident was it? Did you hit something head on? If the only damage was one scratch on your head there is a good chance the bags should not have deployed, despite what some bystanders said... Airbags are also known do damage faces as they hit you in the face rough materials with extremely high force... You could have had a scar AND a broken nose.
DigitalCommando on 09/08/2009:
KIA, why are you not taking care of your customers? Is it because your hanging out here too much?
Anonymous on 09/08/2009:
Oh, DC, I do have quite a line out there. I'll have to go see what they are wanting.
DigitalCommando on 09/08/2009:
The car USED to come with an engine and now your making them pay extra? You may want to try to appease them all with a nice framed picture of Nancy Reagan's China set.
Anonymous on 09/08/2009:
LOL. That's about what it's coming to, DC.
laklisa on 09/08/2009:
BBLee stated that she rear-ended the car in front of her at 35 mph...I have a few questions and I am sure I will be corrected. Number 1-could you really have hit your head and had a gash that required 35 stitches if you were going 35 mph? Number 2, I don't think 35 is considered a high speed and maybe the bags don't deploy at that speed?
Ben There on 09/08/2009:
Getting rear ended alone should not deploy the bags. If she was pushed into something else because of the rear end hit then maybe they would come out.
BBLEE23 on 09/08/2009:
I rearended the car, I hit at around 35 the posted speed so it could have varied (32-37), it's not just a scratch, its four inches long and was two inches wide before it was stiched up I also had two blacks eyes that swelled shut...I know that air bags can cause injuries but I would have taken my chances a broken nose will heal, I will have a scar for life..The state highway patrol was the one who informed me that the airbag should have deployed as well as the local police..I saw the car today for the first time and the whole front end is pushed up against the motor, both lights are broken out...
Ben There on 09/08/2009:
Airbags are not designed to protect you from scratches to your face. As I mentioned, they can do much more harm that you currently have... think of running sand paper across your face at 100 miles per hour. Airbags are there to protect you in high speed accidents and are intended to offer a cushion for much more violent impacts than you sustained. They protect internal organs, not skin. They have been known to break a few ribs which is better than having your skull hit the windshield at 50 miles an hour.

As for the cops - while they tend to see a lot of accidents they are not the final call if a bag should deploy. If you plan to sue Kia you will find that out quickly enough, but as you have mentioned that your son was not properly wearing his belt then it will be a tough battle.

Hopefully your insurance can cover some plastic surgery.
PepperElf on 09/08/2009:
To the OP:

Yes, a lawyer and obviously have the car examined. Document EVERYTHING and make copies - you'll need them for the court case.

As for what Ben said - yes he's right. Sometimes the airbag does more damage than good. One of the guys on my first ship lost an eye to an airbag. He had to sue the company that made the airbag and the woman who rear-ended him to collect... and I'm pretty sure he'd rather have the eye back.

and, how did you rear-end someone @35mph? Is the other driver/car OK?
laklisa on 09/08/2009:
Well my first question really wasn't answered...I just find it a little doubtful that a person can sustain that damage while going at 35 mph. I can be wrong though.
PepperElf on 09/08/2009:
That's not really surprising to me. I still remember Driver's Ed class.

For rear-end collisions take the speed of Car A - Car B & that's your "crash speed"... basically imagine driving into a brick wall at that speed.

(head-on is worse cos it's Car A + Car B)

But even at 5mph you'll have damage.

I hit someone @ 2-5 mph cos I wasn't paying attention (was holding my head w/ a bad headache) and I had paint damage. Just imagine that X 7.
madconsumer on 09/08/2009:
depending on where your frontend hit, airbags are not supposed to go off under a 40mph accident. this is for your safety. otherwise, you would have tewo blackened eyes, and a broken nose. with possible jaw fractures.

35 stitches?
PepperElf on 09/08/2009:
blackened eyes aren't bad. it's when the bad destroys your eye that it really sucks

a lot of people on the ship were like "oooo, you won over a million dollars in the settlement?"
dude was like "I'd rather have my eye"
JR in Orlando on 09/08/2009:
The problem at those speeds is that the other vehicle's rear end may have come up when it stopped and the op's front end went down when she stopped. As a result the rear bumper of the front car could have gone over the front bumper of the rear car. In that case, the bumper and the air bag triggers were never hit or hit weakly.

At thirty five mph, I would think one could have substantial facial injuries from hitting the steering wheel, in part depending on where one hit. Maybe she had an old "necker" knob on there so the driver can steer with one hand with their loved one schuched up close.
madconsumer on 09/08/2009:
right jr in orlando!!

I also wonder why the seatbelt did not hold her back.

a friend of mine in dallas had the same type accident. she was in hospital for 14 days. all because, the air bag deployed.
PepperElf on 09/08/2009:
Good point JR!

I'd stil like to know how she hit them too... the OP didn't say *how* the accident happened, just that it did.

Could that play a factor in how the insurance handles the claim?
JR in Orlando on 09/08/2009:
Upper shoulder strap could have been looped behind back, had too much slack in it, or malfunctioned, among other reasons. In an accident these do not pull back. I understand there is a pendelum in middle column behind front door, which swings back and forth as we drive. When the vehicle stops suddenly, the pendelum swings far forward catching the strap between it and the interior wall/plate of the column so the strap cannot be pulled out any further. At that point the shoulder strap stops. If there is slack in the strap to start with, stopping the strap from pulling out further does not prevent the person from going forward.
laklisa on 09/08/2009:
Okay I stand corrected! :) I just never had facial injuries when I have been involved in my accidents. I have never had the air bag deploy either. I've hit trees at about 35 mph, but it hit between the tire and driver door and flipped the car back around...and I was just sore and more scared what my parents would say than anything (I was about to do something that they would not have approved of LOL)
jktshff1 on 09/08/2009:
Not bashing officers at all, but don't trust the leo to know the particulars. Half the time they don't know the laws they are protecting, much less the mechanics of a vehicle.
PepperElf on 09/08/2009:
good point.
the opinion of a police officer, although nice, isn't the same as having it reviewed by a trained mechanic or expert
DebtorBasher on 09/08/2009:
BBLEE...there has been issues where used cars have used airbags and they are faulty. Once an airbag deplodes, they shouldn't be used again...but some dealers are using used airbags that have previously been deploded in their cars. I don't know how you would be able to find out for sure about yours, but it's something that would be worth checking out. Airbags are supposed to be a one time use.
BBLEE23 on 09/09/2009:
Thanks all for responding, yes I am happy that I did not lose an eye or worse. Ya it sucks that I will have a permanat scar on my forehead but I'll get over it. I have contacted Kia and am supposed to be getting a call back, will see about that...The questions regarding how the accident occurred (I was following traffic about two car lengths away when the car in front of me breaked to a stop I slammed on my breaks skid the whole way but could not stop, I think he was able to stop due to the weight of his car, mine could be picked up by four guys if they wear inclinded to do so, wish I had gone into the turning lane but we don't always act so fast faced with an accident).
laklisa on 09/10/2009:
Now that makes a lot more sense to me BBLEE! Sorry it happened!
Bobbie L. on 09/25/2012:
I had a 2006 Kia Spectra 5 and was in an accident. Not only did my airbags not deploy but the engine block was pushed straight back, crushing my foot. I eventually lost my leg from the knee down. I do not have the car since my insurance adjuster totaled the car and the tow company sold it. (I had liability only) I was hospitalized for over 4 months. Does anyone know of a law firm who would handle my case without the car? Any suggestions would be helpful. Time is running out for me to file suit against Kia Motors. My accident was almost 2 years ago.
ken on 02/09/2014:
my 2006 kia sprectra 5 has had blinking air bag light for over 3 years with each visit to the service dept they made adjustments which never lasted after warranty ran out they told me the sensor was bad under passenger seat and it was around 2000 dollars and nbsp
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Town Center Kia Kennesaw Ga Bad Service
Posted by on
KENNESAW, GEORGIA -- I live in Kennesaw Georgia. I purchased a brand new Kia Spectra 5 in 2005. After about 6 months of owning the car the battery went dead for new reason. I was sitting at my sons school waiting on him to come out. The car was off as was the lights. When I went to start the car the battery was dead. I called the Kia roadside service number and waited an hour for them to come get me. This happened again repeatedly for the next year. I took the car to Town Center every time it would do this. The service dept said there was nothing wrong with the car that I was leaving the lights on. It was not the lights. We were on vacation once. Had been driving for about an hour and stop to get gas. In the time it took to fill my 12 gallon tank the battery went dead?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Skip ahead to last month (Aug 07). We decide it's not worth being stranded at school, and at the grocery store, and on vacation and we need to trade it in. We were not too keen on the idea of another Kia so we went to Hyundai Cartersville. We were given a price on a 07 Hyundai Entourage Limited edition. Leather, power seats, power locks, powers door and trunk, tri zone air. Of course we were going to "trade in" the Spectra 5 so that added 14k in rollover debt. After getting this price we thought MAYBE Kia would work with us more knowing the trouble we had had with the car and that they were not able to fix it. And the fact that they owned the car.

Kia was going to put us in the basic model Kia van, no leather no nothing for almost 1000.00 a month. We honestly said Hyundai can do better. We gave them the deal from Hyundai and the manager laughed in our faces. He said there was no way Hyundai was selling us a van for that little. And that is we could get that deal to go do it. Very rude. He told us to take the van home for the night and sleep on it. So after we had been in Kia for about 2 hours while the idiot of a manager laughed at us we leave unhappy with this van. On the way home I told my husband I did not want it. I do not want another Kia. Saturday morning as soon as Hyundai opened we went and bought the Entourage.

After words with my husband driving the Kia and me following in the Hyundai we returned the Kia to the dealership. The dealership manager came up to us and said "so you decided to sign those papers?" My husband said No. We bought the Hyundai. The manager said so you paid more. My husband said DO I look stupid.

We got a top of the line model for less than Kia's bottom line!

Moral of the story. Do not buy anything from Kia Town Center. The black manager there sucks and is very rude and the dealership manager is a jack ass. I hope they read this. And I hope they get fired.

Thanks for loaning me a soapbox.
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ThinLazyAmerican on 09/01/2007:
If I was the manager and you asked me if you look stupid?...

I wouldn't say anything, but you did buy a Kia and now you have a top of the line Hyundai.

Hyundai is a short step up from a Kia.

Hyundai's 100k warranty may actually add to the overall cost of your new car.

It's an unspoken rule that you are expected to go to the same Hyundai dealership for all vechicle maintenance and if you don't, they will use that against you when your car does need warranty service.

That 100k warranty makes you the dealership's b*tch! You can't go elsewhere to service your car and save money.

For 14k cash you can buy a brand new Nissan Sentra fully loaded.

MRM on 09/01/2007:
KIA autos has been known for Killed In Action. For $14,000, you can buy a brand new 2007 Jeep Patriot, which is what I'm planning to purchase in December. But hey, different strokes for different folks.
BBrooke on 09/01/2007:
I am not worried about getting a better name than Kia the name does not make the car. My concern was getting rid of a lemon and into a car I can rely on. I always take my cars back to the dealerships for work so keeping up with the warranty is not a problem. Until my lemon of a Kia I had NEVER had to have work done on a car. I "save" money on repairs by doing regular maintanence oil changes, tire rotation yada yada yada.

If I had 14k cash I would have paid off the Kia and let it rot in a dump. And I didn't want a Sentra. I wanted a van.

Thanks for the insight!
ThinLazyAmerican on 09/01/2007:
A car you can rely on, what's that? A Hyundai???

I am told that Hyundai's have 100k warranties because they spend so much time in the shop.

I am told, you are expected to get the regular maintenance (oil changes, etc...) at the Hyundai dealership, thus no savings for you.

If you don't then the dealership will use that as a "loophole" to get out of honoring your warranty when you need it.

If you have a problem with the engine and you got your last oil change at the local Jiffy Lube with a coupon for a discount, and the service manager at the Hyundai dealership tells you that you didn't have regular maintenance done when he checks your records, you say you just had an oil change done at the Jiffy Lube he will tell you they broke your car so they cannot honor your warranty.

jktshff1 on 09/02/2007:
your post is actually a testimony of why you shouldn't purchase one of these vehicles.
However, the remark about the manager being blakc (if I understand your insuation) was totally uncalled for.
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car problems and bad product!
Posted by on
we bought a 2003 kia spectra car in September of 2003 it has a lot of road noise, the windows leaks air into the car from outside, the paint peal off the hubcaps, and the door trim on the drivers side came off. The dash around the steer wheel makes a a lot of noise, at 70 mph the car makes a lot of noise. The Dealership where we bought the car in Dallas Texas was southwest kia the car was stickered at 14000 and somehow it came out to be 16500 without even telling us we never got a copy of the contract until 3 months later and it was not from southwest kia. The bank that finance the car was wells fargo their interest rate was so high that it made the car cost 31650 that's with a down payment. Also they added a extended warranty without even telling us so please don't buy a kia or any car from kia or southwest kia of Dallas Texas.
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Anonymous on 01/02/2004:
Kias are good vehicles for people that don't have a lot of money, yet want a new car. They serve this purpose well. It's not Kias fault you are financing through Wells Fargo at an outrageous interest rate. I find auto warranties and extended auto warranties extremely helpful, and so will that you own a Kia. ~just kidding...hahah..couldn't resist. So quit whining and enjoy your new car. Idiot.
Anonymous on 01/03/2004:
Here's an idea...when you buy something, especially something expensive, read the contract before signing anything. I find it hard to believe that even stupid people don't look at the final price, the interest rate, and other data. Also, based on what you wrote about the car falling apart, it seems to me you should be thanking god that someone sold you an extended warranty. So here's another idea... USE THE WARRANTY you paid so much money for. Oh, and here's yet another idea... refinance your car through another bank at a lower rate. And if you can't get a lower rate because you don't know how to manage your money, stop complaining about the high interest rate. You wouldn't have been able to get a lower one even if you had known it was going to be so high.
Anonymous on 01/03/2004:
here the thing you two people who resposed to this. I did read the contract when I finally got it 3 months later and had no choise about it I my state their no backing out on a car deal so it yours. The car is falling apart but kia dose not even honor their 10 year 100 thousand mile warranty much less a extended warranty. ya kia is a car built for people who are poor but so is ford and I don't see them taking advantage of people like kia does I know someone who pulled right out of a kia dealership and the motor blu when he pulled onto the main highway get that on. o I am going to enjoy the car alright if anything happens with it it going to get fixed but I going to tell you it a piece of junk and I bet ya all kia's are.
Anonymous on 01/03/2004:
also I forgot to tell you wells fargo dose not let you take you note to anybody else.the car pice went up it not even worth 15 much less 30 thousand. if your a kia owner and you have not unhappy with it yet give it time yesterday I was at a kia dealship for service and about 25 kia's come in in one day 10 I know by toe truck.
Anonymous on 01/03/2004:
KIA stands for Kick In the Ass which is what you need for buying one. That's like buying a Daewoo or Suzuki.
Anonymous on 01/04/2004:
I kicked myself in the head for buying the thing never again tho. I not sure about Daewoo but Suzuki seems to be good but the next thing I will buy will be a ford or a dodge never a kia or anything form overseas.
Anonymous on 01/20/2004:
I made the mistake of buying a 1999 Kia Sephia brand new. I had similar problems with Kia and their "warranty". I finally traded that piece of you know what in because I was still financing it and on my 3rd transmission. I to, was suckered into a high interest rate. Sorry to say but, because I didn't do my "homework" ahead of time, I screwed from behind dry. But, the best thing and only thing you can do at this point is PERSISTENT with Kia. INSIST on getting the car repaired to your standards. Threaten lawsuits if necessary. Next, suffer for about a year with the high interest and refinance the car in about a year. Both of those I did. It won't alleviate the problem completely but, you can get some results in a positive manner. Good luck.
mpalze on 03/28/2004:
Actually, you're wrong about Wells fargo. They'll let you take your loan elsewhere. How do I know? Cause I just did. Also, you had to sign the contract at the time of purchase. You should have read it then. The final price, the interest rate, the total of all the payments would have been shown to you before you signed it.
tidbit on 08/12/2005:
I too bought a KIA:a 2002 Rio Cinco. The price was OK, but when I needed to trade it in for a larger model 3 years later, KIA did not want to take it on a trade in deal. I went into the dealership on one of their "special" promotions but got rooked into a $1000 down payment on a "bring your paystub" promotion. Fortunately, we did not get Wells Fargo as our bank...we got AmeriCredit, which had numerous problems internally & was the subject of some interesting newspaper reports.
I also had problems with the steering wheel making noise & a loud whistle when I reached 60 mph. Mine was a 5 speed & the clutch had a squeak that would come & go as it pleased. The tires that came on the car were nothing but a problem. I had to replace all 4 tires by the time I reached 30,000 miles, 2 of which had blown while I was driving. The warranty on the tires only covered manufacturer's defect, which was a joke, because the tire company denied that there was anything wrong with their product (tells you something about their suppliers).
Furthermore, don't even try to get air filters, oil filters, or even lug nuts for the POS, because they are not standard or common metric sized. I searched for 3 months for a new air filter & never did get one without having to order it & pay extra money, which also spawned the question of whether or not my oil filter was getting changed when I got oil changes. The best thing about the car was the door edge guards, they actually protect...must have been domestic made part. Oh yea...the carpet in the car was cut too small & constantly was coming unfastened.
I did finally voluntarily surrender the car to the finance company because I was tired of the headache of dealing with the idiosyncrasies. Lastly, DO NOT GO TO SOUTHWEST KIA FOR ANY HELP!!! They were the dealership that would not take the car as a trade-in....imagine that, a company that doesn't even want their own brand vehicles.
karbyk on 10/25/2006:
Lara on 08/18/2008:
I’m assuming that this review is for the Southwest KIA on I-20 at South Hampton. I bought a 2008 KIA Spectra SX from this dealership on 7/1/08 and I love my car. I had one minor problem with the car and the dealership was quick to resolve the issue. The salesman that sold me my car was great and I’d recommend him in a heartbeat. He was very helpful and he wasn’t pushy like other salesman I had dealt with from other dealerships during my car search. I’ve put a lot of miles on my car commuting for work so I’ve already had to get my oil changed and the service department was very quick and friendly as well. If you’re interested in purchasing a KIA, I recommend that you go to Southwest KIA and see Garry.
Jim on 03/21/2013:
I bought an '06 Spectra from Muscatell Kia of Moorhead, MN. I carefully maintain it myself. It has 86,600 trouble-free miles on it. Total repairs have been the headlight bulbs in 2012. I change the oil at 4,000 miles, using only Mobil 1 full synthetic 5-30. I do not need to check it between changes. I do admit the miles are all highway-no city driving. I am happy with it.
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Air Bag Not Working Light Keeps Coming On
Posted by on
My husband bought a used 2005 KIA Spectra in January. More than once after getting in the passanger seat I saw the light come on saying the passanger airbag is not working. I always sit as far back as I can and ALWAYS wear a seatbelt.. Kia tells me I AM AT THE BORDERLINE WEIGHT for the airbag to work and that it really isn't their problem - that the seatbelt is what really protects me.

I have found federal law that says no such thing, under Dept of Transporatation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 49CFR Parts 552,571,585 and 595 tell me that I am entitled to MANDATORY PROTECTION regardless of how much I weigh even though I sit 'properly'.


I am looking for others who have the same problem we do. Car is under warranty until August 28, 2010 and KIA is stalling for time.

You may e-mail me at:

Thank you.
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User Replies:
bcd on 07/25/2010:
Are you borderline heavy or borderline light? Does the warning light come on when somebody heavier or lighter (whichever is appropriate) uses the passenger seat?
Skye on 07/25/2010:
We do not drive Kia's, but know in our vehicles, the light for the passenger airbag only comes on to say, that airbag is turned off, because there isn't anyone sitting in the passenger seat.

Good question bcd, I to am curious as to what bordeline weight means? Do airbags have certain weight limits that they can only accommodate, in order to work? If that weight is exceeded, maybe it does not work, because, it would cause more damage and injury to this person, if this person is above the weight limit, meaning there would not be any space for the airbag to spread out.

I don't know, I'm confused.
Ytropious on 07/25/2010:
There's no law that says cars HAVE to have an airbag, especially a passenger one. My car has no passenger airbag. All they need is seat belts that properly work, and they do. That is what "mandatory protection" is. Airbags are NOT mandatory.
Skye on 07/25/2010:
But this persons car has airbags, shouldn't they expect them to work? How scary it must be for them, to be sitting in the passenger seat, and have the light go on, saying the passenger seat airbag is not on. We have 3 SUV's, all with airbags for the driver, passenger and side airbag curtains for the front driver and passenger, as well as rear airbag curtains for the rear seats. Having them, I expect them to work, if God forbid we were involved in an accident.
Ben There on 07/25/2010:
Airbags are designed to not work if the passenger is weighs less than a certain weight. This is designed to protect children and smaller people who might get really hurt by the extreme force of an airbag.
Ytropious on 07/25/2010:
Yes, but if the airbags actually work, and the OP is either too heavy or too light to activate it, the car company can only do so much. I'm not an airbag expert but if the airbag has a weight limit of, idk, 400 lbs, and the OP is 401, should the car company be expected to make an airbag that works up to 500 lbs? What if that is not possible? What if this particular car model can only support up to 400, but other models can do more? Should this be the car companies fault that the OP and her husband have a model that is inadequate for their needs?

Everything in life has weight and height limits, it's like blaming the roller coaster manufacturer because you can't fit in the seat and lock the belt down. They can only do so much to protect you.
Skye on 07/25/2010:
I agree YT, but I can't figure out why the airbags do not work from the review, due to either being too light or too heavy. I just never saw this type of complaint regarding airbags and weight before, and find it very interesting. Good point, about almost everything having weight limits.
Ytropious on 07/25/2010:
I haven't either. My husband's old truck had a thing where you could put a key in and turn the passenger air bag off. His new truck doesn't have that, but the little air bag light comes on when I sit in the seat to indicate that it's "armed". I didn't know others had something that was opposite, where a light came on when it wasn't armed. If anything I'd be at risk for it not sensing I was there, lol

The thing with the limits is, it's only there for your own good. The air bag might do more harm then good if the OP is too large or small for it. The OP has it in her head that air bag = safe, when air bags can cause a lot of damage too.
PepperElf on 07/25/2010:
and even if you are the correct weight the airbag can do more harm than good

one of the guys on my first ship lost an eye to an airbag
people were amazed at how much $ he got from the lawsuit (against the woman who hit him from behind and the airbag manufacturer) but his attitude was "I"d rather have my eye."

mrnmrsweibel on 07/25/2010:
My van has this feature so I just looked through my book. I had read it before and thought it said they could still deploy but if the person was to small they may not deploy properly. After reading it again I am finding it says if the light is on it means the passenger is to light and the air bag will not deploy because it could harm the passenger if it does. All I know is it has been a good excuse to not let my eleven year old sit up front as I do not feel it is safe but he always argues about it. Now I just tell him look, the light is on so if we are in an accident the air bag can seriously hurt you so you can't sit up here till you are big enough for the light to turn off. No more arguments and I feel much better. After all he is an only child and I drive a van, he has plenty of room to sit. I wouldn't worry about it to much OP. Kia is actually trying to keep you safe. Now, if it were a check air bag light then I would be concerned because that would mean they are faulty.
Skye on 07/25/2010:
Excellent reminder Mr&Mrs. I never allow any kids to sit in the front. My kids are only 2.5 years old, but my nieces and nephews, who are all under the age of 12, know Auntie Skye's rules. I always tell them, when they are 18, they can ride shotgun with me. I know they've given me dirty looks about it, but I would rather they give me all the dirty looks and eye rolling, then God forbid, have something happen to them, from the airbag slamming into their precious bodies. I always tell them, I am the QUEEN of dirty looks, and have been at it way longer, lol.
biomajor on 07/25/2010:
Skye, that's awesome! I think you should use 16 though, because it would be funny for them to be able to drive on their own, but not ride shotgun with you ;)
Skye on 07/25/2010:
Hey biomajor, that's a great suggestion. You made me laugh. I didn't think of it that way, that they can drive up front at 16, but not be a front seat passenger, until they are 18. I'm going to take your advise, but I'm not going to tell them, until they are 16.
Ytropious on 07/25/2010:
For my mom it was 12. We weren't allowed to sit in the front until we turned 12, because I think that's what her warning sticker said.
mrnmrsweibel on 07/25/2010:
Skye, I read your comment and thought that was a good age until I read Bios' and remembered the driving age. Although with the list of things I want my son to do before I allow him to drive he might be 21 before he gets his license. As for riding up front, he'll probably be 18 before he makes that little light go off. He's over four foot and barely weighs 60 pounds. He has a supper high metabolism and serious ADHD to boot so he never gains weight. I even try to feed him junk food just for the calories but it still doesn't help. I'm not overly concerned because he is very much like me, that is until I had him and everything changed. Lol.
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NEVER buy a 2004 Kia Spectra LX!
Posted by on
I have had my Kia Spectra for almost 3 years. For probably half of that my car has been parked in my drive way. I have had nothing but problems with it! It will start but starts chugging and dies every 10 feet! I have taken it to several mechanics and changed numerous parts on this car and it STILL dies on me! No one can figure out what is wrong with it. It is a piece of Junk! Wish I could return it and get my money back! DO NOT BUY ANY KIA VEHICLE! Trading mine in this week! Can't wait to get a vehicle I can actually drive!
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