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Faulty Design in Passenger Seat
By -

ILLINOIS -- I recently purchased a 2007 Kia Optima from a local dealer. The first week I had the car, what I noticed was that when my wife sat in the front passenger seat, the warning light on the dash would remain illuminated, indicating that the passenger airbags were "off". Mind you, she weighs 150 lbs., so certainly the sensors in her seat should be able to detect that a full-sized adult is sitting in the seat, and therefore the airbag system should be fully activated.

I phoned the dealer, and got a guy on the phone from the service dept. After telling him the problem, his answer was it was probably due to the way my wife was sitting in the seat. In other words, she has to sit exactly a certain way, and be very conscious of how she first sits in the car. Otherwise the sensors in the seat will not pick up the proper signal, and the airbag light will not turn off. This of course means, in the event of a crash, her airbags would not deploy!!

Yesterday, I brought my Optima in to the dealer to have this problem addressed by a mechanic to see if in fact there was anything defective with the seat. After nearly two hours of waiting, I was approached by the service manager, who showed me a bulletin he had recently received from the Kia corporation relating to the very issue that I was concerned about. This bulletin went on to say that the passenger body must be positioned in a very exacting way when they first sit in the passenger seat.

The proper positioning on the seat, especially the way they extend their legs, is vital in those first few moments. If the said passenger does not sit properly in the first few moments, the sensors in the seat will not recognize the individual as a full-sized person, therefore the air bags would not deploy in the event of a crash!! I then walked out into the service area, and personally spoke with the mechanic who had been checking my car. He was quite clear with his explanation, and he concurred with the bulletin about how an individual sits in the passenger depends on the way the sensors read the person, and how they then react.

In summation, this design of the sensors is clearly a flaw. Why should I, as the driver, or my front passenger, have to worry about how to sit their body in the front seat??? The airbag system in my wife's Honda, as a comparison, is always "on". The only time it is deactivated is if it recognizes something light on her passenger front seat, such as her handbag when she sets it on the seat. It is only then that the "passenger air bag off" light is illuminated. I love my Kia Optima otherwise, it is a well-built vehicle. But this airbag issue apparently has become an issue with other consumers besides me. It hopefully will be rectified in future models.

2004 KIA AMANTI... a Beautiful Fraud & The Perfect Scam!
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7777 KIA PARKWAY, WEST POINT, GEORGIA -- I fell for the beautiful reminders of the Mercedes and Jaguar. I really wanted and was sold by the price and the 10 year or 100,000 miles "Bumper to Bumper" warranty... As it turns out the warranty is a farce! I have spent so much money on this car. It's not funny at all. I kept bringing in the car for the same reason... over and over again there was always something wrong with the catalytic converter. I looked all over online and did not find any recalls. Does anyone out there know of any recalls for the 2004 Kia Amanti?

When I googled Kia complaints I couldn't find anything... Not until I began searching 20 pages into it. Clearly Kia Motors has a team of people burying complaints so they don't surface immediately, but once you are in 15 to 20 pages deep, all the Kia complaints begin to show up! Just on this site alone there are thousands of complaints! Here is mine:

  1. Kia does not honor a bumper to bumper warranty. That the catch to get you to buy, but then they tell you that it's actually a 30K 3 year warranty for some stuff and a 5-year or 60K warranty for the rest. Their dealerships' service departments won't let you even get as little as an oil change elsewhere before they accuse you of not been able to honor the warranty. I was supposed to get loaners during auto repair as well as roadside assistance... Well that's just before 30K miles. After 30K miles, you are screwed. At least that's what happened to me.

  2. Kia should recall many of their vehicles... They are worse than Toyota. They are just really good at covering up all their vehicles flaws. I have had the same problem with my Kia since I bought it brand new...12 miles. Catalytic converter.

My Kia has well over 80K miles now. I just got finished spending 2K fixing the lack of acceleration and smoke coming out of the muffler problems in January 2010. The service guy told me I should junk my car and trade it in. The car is beautiful. I've never been in an accident and the body is intact. I can finally begin enjoying the car without a car payment, so I gracefully declined... particularly because he said they would only give me 4K for the trade.

I got my car towed back to the dealership for the same exact problem again on March 25, 2010... same symptoms. The service guy told me I needed to replace the timing belt before it broke and that replacing the water pump made sense because of where the work had to be done. He also fixed some other stuff... The cost for the repairs was $1500 plus. Since they did not have a belt in stock, I had to wait a week. They won't give me a loaner or pay for the rental because as they said... "that expired at 30K miles"

So last week the service guy calls me and says that the car was ready but when they took it for a test drive, the car was smoking and the acceleration was weak (note the reason I brought it in in the first place). He said "the catalytic converter needed to be replaced" and that would be another $800.00. My complaint is this: If I bring them the car with a problem and they misdiagnose and fix the wrong thing... how am I stuck with the bill? I feel I should pay for the replacement of the catalytic converter and not for the other stuff.

I am sure that the catalytic converter needed replacement since I purchase the car, but they just kept patching it until the warranty expired. I wrote to Kia and they have been extremely non responsive telling me I must work it out with the dealership... Why didn't I get the Honda in the first place? Screw Kia! They have fake warranties to lure you in with their poor quality product and crappy repair service! DON'T BUY KIA!

Astonishing How Kia Motors and Parent Company Hyundai Has Achieved Growth the Last 5 or 6 Years!
StarStarStarStarStarBy -
Rating: 5/51

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- My entire family has just finished converting all of our Ford, GM, Chrysler vehicles over to KIA and Hyundai cars and SUVs. Most of this was attributed to the poor customer service and warranty service we all experienced, and add that to the shoddy quality of the vehicles we had. Collectively we now have no issues with the Hyundai/KIA vehicles we have now... But the dealer experience was a breath of fresh air... No scamming, no lying or hidden agendas. Every buying experience was great.

The vehicles themselves are well-assembled, quality is obvious a real value with these cars, and the amenities and standard level of unexpected equipment is quite unusual in these price ranges. The paint is perfect... deep and rich and applied perfectly. Issues are non-existent as far as things we had to take the cars back to the dealer for corrections.

Over all, quite a good value, and 4 of these Hyundai and Kias are made in the USA! We are satisfied and pleased, and will continue to purchase these fine cars and SUVs into the future. The dealer we purchased at, is not high pressure. They are honest and above board, have a huge selection, will let you drive anything on the lot without showing an attitude, and really appear to know their cars very well. We live in Orange County, California.

Faulty Air Bags
By -

Our son was in an accident this afternoon. The entire front-end was demolished. The airbags did not deploy. The engine was twisted sideways and the car is a total loss and the AIRBAGS DID NOT DEPLOY! We bought this car for the safety features and price. We now understand that to get the price we were shorted on quality and safety. My sister-in-law's friend also has a KIA and the AIRBAGS DID NOT DEPLOY! I am very concerned and thank God no one was seriously injured. However, this safety problem needs corrected before someone dies.

Miserable Customer Service/Business Practices
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CALIFORNIA -- I would give them zero stars if that were an option. They mistyped my address and my husband's name on some paperwork. When I called to get this fixed, I was able to get the address corrected but they refused to spell my husband's last name correctly unless they talked to him personally, even though they have the leasing paperwork right in front of them and can see that his last name and mine are the same. They absolutely refuse to fix their mistake.

The documents they sent me are something they filled out with an incorrect address and incorrect last name and expect me to get it notarized and send back to them. Otherwise, I will have to pay taxes on a leased vehicle. I honestly think they did this on purpose hoping that I would not notice, or that the time would be up and I would have to pay the $1500 for the taxes on the car. I can't believe anyone can be that ignorant when typing in names and addresses.

The customer service person and supervisor that I talked to just kept saying the same thing about how my husband would have to call and get his name corrected even though they knew it was incorrect and it was their fault. This is ridiculous and there is no reason they could not fix a simple misspelling and send me the correct paperwork.

Of course this is the just one of a number of problems I have had with the financing department and Kia motors. I absolutely will never get another Kia. And I advise anyone thinking of dealing with Kia to seriously investigate other options. I like the car I have but despise the customer service and how they do business. As soon as I can get rid of this leased vehicle, I will never do business with this company again.

Bad Service - Felt They Tried to Intimidate Me- Gender /Age
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS -- Kia 2009 Sorento had new tires installed and back brakes 1-27-2014, & at that time the oil pan gasket and value gasket was replaced. Had been notified of the oil seepage in Dec. 2013 and since they said not urgent I had work done in Jan. 2014. In Feb. 2014, noticed what I thought was oil leaking on my carport; took car in to dealership and was told they had failed to reconnect a coolant hose. April 8 2014, took car in for regular maintenance, oil change and lube; checklist and computerized invoice was folded in half and handed to me with no comment made about any problems.

The next day (4-9-14) I reviewed the inspection checklist and saw the notation that there was an oil leak from the oil pan gasket and the value cover gasket; these had been replaced 1-27-14. On the computerized invoice it stated that work was recommended but not performed that I would have work performed later. This statement was untrue, I had not been notified of the problem. I talked with Ser. Dept. Mgr. 4-9-14. Made arrangement to get loaner car when work could be scheduled; the gaskets had to be ordered. I told him of the false statement on the invoice. He questioned the tech and was told "he thought he had mentioned it to me".

Finally got car in for repairs 4-14-14; drove loaner home, got call car was ready at 245p. When I got home, I compared the inspection sheet from 4-8-14 and 4-14-14... Tire tread depth and remaining brakes front and back were grossly off... From 4-8-14 to 4-14-14 I had only driven 154 miles (mileage is noted on the inspection sheets). I called again 4-15-14. Excuses were made but tech finally said the inspection 4-8-14 was correct. They had hurried to get my car finished and had not done measurements correctly. Things went downhill from there, was contacted by a Manager later that day and told him the entire problem.

On 4-16-14 was contacted by Public Relations who tried intimidation by asking several times "what would it take to make you happy." The third time, I said "pay off my car and give me a three year lease on a new Kia Sorento (no, I did not want or expect that at all but was really tired of this conversation)." I was told, "let me see what I can do."
Long and short is, as of this date have heard no more from that Kia dealership.

Bait and Switch
By -

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY -- Watch out for this Kia dealer Gateway Kia 720 US 1 North North Brunswick NJ 08902 732-325-6100. I was looking for an orange Sportage with the orange and black inter. Called them Thursday, "Oh yea we have 3 on the lot. Call back Friday evening, "Oh ya still have 3 on lot." Got there Saturday before they opened - drove over 100 miles to get this truck. They open - "We don'T HAVE THEM" so we agreed on an slate gray as long as it had all the options I want. Upgraded sound system with the amp and sub woofer and navigation system. They said the truck was on their other lot in PA and would not release it from there until we signed all the paper work.

I keep telling them it better have all the options I want. They keep saying, "Don't worry we'll take good care of you." Did all the paper work. 4 1/2 hours later truck comes in they go, "Here you go. You been here long enough." Did not show us anything on the truck. Go home. Sent them a fast email thanking them. Then I was rushed to the hospital due to my health. Get home next day. Go out to the truck to set everything. Find out it don't have the navigation and the stereo with the amp and sub woofer. Now they are saying they showed use the invoice. THEY DID NOT. Only a picture of the car on one of their cell phones plus the one guy ** said to me call my lawyer. I was taken.

I call the BBB to make sure other people don't get screwed like I did by trusting this dealer. If they want to they can buy the radio I was promised that would be in the truck and navigation. WATCH OUT FOR THIS DEALER!!! If they can get over they will.

Kia: Worst First Car Experience
By -

ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- After much excitement of leasing my first vehicle as a college graduation present to myself, I quickly had buyers remorse. Two days after signing my lease for a '06 Kia Sportage, I received a faxed copy of the paperwork, which was incorrect and didn't match the hard copies I had walked away with. Kia Finance had inputted the wrong monthly payment amount. It may not seem like a lot but at $3.17+ more a month ($135.00+ over the total lease time frame) adds up. Thank goodness my dad caught their error. Moral: CHECK EVERYTHING and then DOUBLE CHECK AGAIN!

Things were OK for the first few months with the new car, but I learned that the paint on my car scratches off very easily. Something as small as a twig could chip the paint. Cost me $100.00 to fix. Also, beware of the stock tires on Kia compact SUVs. The tread wears very quickly. I am about 7,000 miles under the agreed 3 year mileage amount and my tires are barely keeping 1/8 inch tread, and I'm not a car mechanic, but that doesn't sit right with me. I'm sure Kia will make me pay for that too at turn in

But here's the kicker. I'm 6 weeks away from freedom (my lease expires soon!) and looking at other vehicles. After 3 years of leasing, my credit report shows no record of me leasing from Kia. I call Kia Financing to question about this, and the customer service people are rude and unhelpful. Took 3 separate transfers to speak with someone who knew what they were talking about. (I was an account major, and it's really not this hard people!) Turns out, City Kia (Orlando Dealership) faxed a typed copy of my paperwork (not the originals) to Kia Financing with the incorrect SS#. So, joy to the world, now my credit report is screwed up.

Again, it took 3 separate days of phone calls, trips to the Social Security office, the dealership, and my personal bank, multiple faxes and a half dozen rude customer service reps before Kia recognized THEIR error. Correction of this issue is still pending, and my patience is just about up.

Final Thoughts: Buyers/Leasers beware. Perhaps I have just managed to have the worst luck ever with this company, but I will never recommend anyone to buy a Kia. Their cars don't hold up well and their customer service is terrible. I personally had to lease because of my financial status at the time, but I would strongly advise against buying for sure. My 2 cents... Thanks for listening. Good Luck! Never again Kia, never again.

Kia's 10-Year Warranty Isn't Worth It
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

NEW JERSEY -- We bought a brand new Kia Sorento 2014, which ended up giving us a huge problem within the first 30 days of purchase. We got the vehicle towed to the dealership. They sent photos of the vehicle to the corporate office in California, and then proceeded to tell us the deficiency in the vehicle wasn't covered under the 10-year warranty we had paid for, and that we would need to spend $3500 out of our own pockets to fix the car. An absolutely horrific experience with the Kia corporate offices.

For one thing, the customer service representatives were unprofessional and totally adamant in not being helpful. Purchasing the warranty is so not worth it. We bought a brand new car so we wouldn't have to worry about any major issues with the car. But we were proved wrong within the first 30 days. I will never buy a Kia ever again, and will recommend anyone looking at buying a Kia to reconsider their decision. Go with an auto manufacturer that actually values its customers and stands up to their word.

Don't Ever Finance Through KIA!!
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA -- I have two 2011 leased Kia Sorentos, neither of which, by the way, has lived up to the low mileage promises. But the worst of my experience has been dealing with Kia Motors Finance. They have a process center that receives check payments. It's the only company I deal with that repeatedly fails to credit my account even though checks are mailed 10 or more days prior to due date.

I've had to stop payment on two checks to avoid being double-billed because Kia Finance's process center fails to credit my account. Adding insult to injury, their phone in "customer service" center has never once recognized my account number or the famous "last four of my SSN", requiring that I remain on hold for long periods before being transferred to at least 3 departments. Unbelievable!!

Thank the good Lord for online banking through my trustworthy and competent credit union. I would never trust KIA Finance to pay online either. The good from all this? I'll pay cash for my next vehicle and I can pretty much guarantee it won't be a Kia.

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Kia Motors Rating:
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1.5 out of 5, based on 21 ratings and
80 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
Kia Motors
111 Peters Canyon Rd.
Irvine, CA 92606
800-333-4542 (ph)
949-468-4905 (fax)
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