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75 reviews & complaints.

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Beautiful Rotten Lemon
Posted by on
This is a beautiful car however beauty is only skin deep. I bought this car with 66870 miles already on the car on 5/31/11.

3 miles later the check engine light came on and I took it back t6o the local car lot who cleared the code saying it is a faulty code. Four times since then including twice in 9/23/11 within 4 miles, the car accelerated out of control unresponsive to the brakes. I avoided accidents by shifting into neutral and flooring the brakes with both feet. I have contacted Kia who is playing phone tag. I plan on filing a lawsuit against Kia. I have also filed NHTSA and Center for Auto Safety Complaints.

I am stuck paying for a lemon for 4 1/2 more years. An expensive lawn ornament! Please do yourself a favor- N E V E R buy a Kia.
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trmn8r on 2011-09-28:
What was the "faulty code" that the dealer cleared?

I tried searching for unintended acceleration in the 2005 Kia Amanti, and didn't find specific complaints.

You say that you have a "lemon", but have you taken the car to a Kia dealer to have it examined?
macdave on 2011-09-28:
I would blame the dealer who sold the car more than KIA. After almost 67,000 miles and 6 years, who knows what happened to the car. If the check engine light keeps coming on, that's a sign of problems, not just a faulty code. I would press the dealer to fix the issues that you are having, although if you bought as is it will probably be a tough fight.
Debbie on 2012-04-12:
I have owned 2005 amanti for 5 years, it has scared me many times "surging" forward, now it has developed the problem above, Kia says "can't find nothing" AFTER replacing several sensors, don't blame the dealer, blame KIA! We are over $1000. trying to fix it, last mechanic called said fixed, we got there to pick up, he was back under hood, replaced fuel pump, husband is now picking up still broke car after another $400.00
Jack on 2012-08-06:
My wife's 04 amanti with 120K on has had multiple cases of unintended ecceleration. Luckily no one was hurt. YET! our local dealers tells her they've never heard of the problem. Based on sites like this one, either they live under a rock or are flat out lying! Where's Ralph Nader when we need him?
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Acceleration problem with the van
Posted by on
I have had the same problem now with my van. I originally had a 2002 Kia Van and then one day making a slow right turn and stoping in to the parking spot my van accelerated and hit a pole. My car got totaled. Everyone thought that since I was pregnant I hit the accelerator instead of the break. I really didn't believe them but no one could prove otherwise so we looked for a new car. I did love that van. So a year later I bought a used 2004 same color and all Kia Sedona Van. Today, I took a slow turn and tried to stop, it accelerated and I hit the cement in the parking lot so I was safe this time. Now I know, there is an acceleration problem! I will take this to the dealer immediately and I will not accept that its my problem. I will keep you posted on what they find. There is a serious issue with this in the van!
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trmn8r on 2011-09-25:
It is quite possible that your body movements during the identical maneuvor are such that your foot is unintentionally pressing the accelerator.

I have had unintentional acceleration in two completely different cars in my life, and both times it was my foot causing the problem.
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Customer No Service
Posted by on
8560 OLD TROY PIKE HUBER HEIGHTS, OHIO -- Had my 2005 Kia Optima in for service at the dealership Kia in Huber Heights Ohio. The problem was that it would just die out going down the road. They said it was the tact sensor and it was fixed. A few days down the road it did it again, I called them right away took it in. They couldn't find anything but the coils were bad. Once again it's fixed. After a few more days it happens again. I called them again they test it saying it's a crank shaft censor. So after already spending over $1000.oo on repairs that they haven't yet fixed he informs me he would take $75 off the almost $600 that he wants now to fix it. After taking some time to think about it I call him back to again let him know how it has been handled asking if he can after all the labor I have paid and still not fixed if he would cover the labor. Its not like I am at some shoty mechanic shop, this is their vehicle for heaven sake. He then said "the offer is on the table and if I don't like it take it somewhere else." Which is exactly what I am doing. I believe this is the worst customer service reprsentation of a company I have ever dealt with. Maybe I should have taken it to my neighborhood mechanic I would have had better service.
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trmn8r on 2011-03-23:
Dealers usually don't do work for free. That said, they can't find the cause of your intermittent problem. This kind of gremlin is probably best (most cheaply) addressed by an independent mechanic, though I can understand going to Kia thinking they are the experts. Good luck.
leet60 on 2011-03-23:
I empathize with the OP. I can clearly remember being able to take my car to the local MECHANIC (note this is not a "certified technician") and have him simply listen to the engine or drive the car a short distance and diagnose it.

Sadly, this is no longer the case. True, full-fledged mechanics are a rare breed. Now we must suffer with the "certified technician" who will simply check the computer codes and diagnose the problem as the first code that comes up. Thus, requiring additional visits, additional attempts at diagnosing the problem, often an exercise in futility.
trmn8r on 2011-03-23:
leet60 > right! I went in to a dealer, after having an inpendendent mechanic diagnose the problem (in 5 minutes), for repair under warranty. The guy agreed the diagnosis was probably correct, but said he had to go through three other debug steps first by manufacturer procedure. An hour later he determined it was what we thought in the first place.
azRider on 2011-03-23:
kia's suck, sell it. buy a better car. almost anyhing is better than a kia.
olie on 2011-03-23:
Think about it this way: They narrow down the problem to, say, 4 possibilities.

First, they try the cheapest fix. If that doesn't work, they try the next one. And then the next. And finally, they suggest you put a brick on the accelerator and let the thing drive over a cliff.

You'd be more upset if they'd tried Fix #3 first, and it didn't work, and it ended up being a $45 process( parts AND labor).

This is just what we do as parents. First, we throw Tylenol and cough medicine at the kid. Then we trudge in to the Urgent Care or Nurse Care. We don't just go straight to the ER. We try easier, cheaper options first.
Anonymous on 2011-03-24:
Your issue should be a complaint against the dealership, not Kia. The company who built your car is not responsible for the dealership not diagnosing the problem correctly.
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Air bag
Posted by on
I have a 2006.5 KIA optima, my passenger air bag is supposed to turn on when someone sits in the seat, the problem is they have to move around, raise up and sit a few times before the light goes out and the airbag is active, took it to KIA dealership where it was purchased brand new and was told it has a balance type switch under the seat to turn it on and off, that the passenger did not get in or sit in seat the right way to activate it, what a lot of bull, a brand new car that your passenger has to move around raise up and down a few times to activate life saving equipment is pure bull, I have owned 3 KIA but I promise KIA one thing I WILL NEVER OWN ANOTHER, if you can't so much as be concerned about the people who purchase your automobiles you should be put out of of business, I have read numerous complaints about every model made with problems with air bags. we as Americans should have already had enough of this and demand our government stop such practices and make these auto makers fix such problems and not blame it on how someone sits, in a collision are they going to be sitting flat and level? I think not, one consumer who has had enough
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dan gordon on 2011-03-20:
I believe you may want to contact the govt re this. It would seem that safety equpt is mandated to be working.

Ytropious on 2011-03-21:
A lot of the time it has to do with the weight of the passenger. If they are too light or too heavy they are considered not in the safe range and the airbag won't turn on.
SEAN on 2011-06-22:
and believe it or not...the shape of the persons butt matters too. A larger rear end will hit the bolsters on the seat, and the systems sensor mat may not be able to detect a person sitting there. I actually witnessed this happen.
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Warranty loop hole - read your warranty before buying the car!
Posted by on
My family owns plenty of Kia vehicles. I have 5 family members who all own Kia, so when I went to buy a car... I chose Kia. I love my car, its nice, but the warranty is horrible! My car is broken (under warranty) it broke a few months earlier, and a Kia dealer in Indiana "fixed" my car. Well yesterday the piece they "fixed" fell off of my car while I was driving. And I have to say their road side assistance is pretty good. But now I am car-less for a week, until they get the replacement part in. Because their warranty does not cover car rental... even if it is a part that is covered under warranty. So read your warranty carefully. Because there are better deals out there.
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Kia: Worst First Car Experience
Posted by on
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 hardcopies I had walked away with. Kia Finance had inputted the wrong monthly mayment amount. It may not seem like a lot but @ $3.17+ more a month ($135.00+ over the total lease time frame) adds up. *Thank goodness my dad caught their error.
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 tred wears very quickly. I am about 7,000miles 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 time..joy.

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 2cents...thanks for listening. Good Luck!

-Never again Kia, never again...-
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Airbag Failure To Deploy And Seatbelt Failure To Lock
Posted by on
A few days ago my child was involved in a frontal collision while driving her 2005 Kia Rio, while she was braking her seatbelt locked but then released on impact; in addition to this, the front driver side airbag also did not deploy on impact. As a result of these malfunctions, my child was injured when the face hit the steering wheel. Considering the severity of the crash my child is lucky to have survived. If the seat belt had worked properly and the airbag deployed as it was supposed to do, my child could have been spared the injuries and the pain. I am afraid that if the same thing happens to someone else while driving a Rio, they might not be as lucky.

Kia needs to correct the seat belt defects and most importantly the airbag defects before they kill somebody.
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Anonymous on 2008-12-11:
You should also file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They can then add it to their database of safety issues. If enough of the same issue is reported or if they deem it severe enough, they will be able to initiate some formal action against KIA.

DumdHead on 2008-12-11:
Having worked for the campuss police for 4 years: 1. was your daughter wearing the seat bealt. 2. How fast was she driving, air bag do not deploy for every accident and they themselve cause more injuries when they deploy at a slow speed accident. The most common occurrence is a broken nose and or wrists depending on how the wheel is being held. It is not always the car to blame. Take it to a mech. to have it chechked out before you hire the lawyer.
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Timing Belt
Posted by on
ROCHESTER HILLS, MICHIGAN -- I took my 2002 Sedona in for its 60,000 mile check up as required and was told that the timing belt needs replaced. I checked in the warranty book and this is considered a part of the power train and is covered under the 120 month/100,000 mile warranty that they advertise so proudly. Well guess what, they would not cover it with the excuse of "we won't cover that because it falls under normal wear and tear". The almost uneducated call center person then said that is the same as tires or brakes, they are not covered because of normal wear and tear. I asked her why this part is in the warranty manual and she said well if it would have broke, we would have covered it, but since it was only worn, that falls under normal wear and tear. The KIA tech told us "You need to replace it as it is worn and will probably break before too long". I asked the service rep then if it would have been better for me to just not have it replaced until it broke? She then said, we would not cover any damage at that point because you were advised that it was bad and needed replaced.

Talk about double talk, I had it replaced as per the KIA tech suggestion, and then am told it was not covered because of wear and tear, but then told that if it broke it would be covered, but not really because I was told it was bad. Can you say what a bunch of double talking crap to avoid paying a warranty. NEVER will buy a KIA again, they will not honor a warranty regardless of the circumstances.
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Hugh_Jorgen on 2008-07-24:
I don't think anyone's warranty covers the rubber timing belts - they are considered a consumable or wear and tear item like tires and brake pads.

Their answer was correct - if the belt failed due to a defect in the belt, then they would have paid for the resulting engine damage. But if you ignored their service recommendations and the belt failed at 70,000 miles due not to defects, but due to lack of maintenance, then they would not cover it.

Same thing as oil and filter changes. You do them as they suggest and they will pay for engine damage as a result of oil system failure - but fail to keep up with oil changes and they won't fix a thing.

This is all spelled out in your owner's manual - what is considered scheduled maintenance and what you are required to do.

Anonymous on 2008-07-24:
Well said Hugh.
MTD324 on 2008-08-05:
Hugh and dealerdirect are both perfectly accurate. I managed an auto parts store and had to deal with this type of circumstance all the time. Your timing belt is warranted against manufacturer defect only. Not normal wear. The timing belt is designed to be stable for at least 60k miles. After that it is considered worn, which is why it's in your maintenance schedule. It may very well last 100k miles, but you don't want to chance it. It is an expensive part of general maintenance but it is very important to get it changed. No dealer regardless of warranty length will cover changing the timing belt. Just be happy its only a couple hundred dollars. In some cars this required maintenance can cost well over $1000.
brutus1961 on 2009-01-19:
sorry to disagree with you but it clearly states that it is only covered when it is caused by a non-wear item,then and only then will a wear item be replaced.ALL car mfgers are the same on this.its not unusual.
Conchita. on 2009-08-19:
I don't know what drives people to buy a Hiunday or a Kia. When you can just buy a Toyota or Honda, Satur, Buick (the best cars) for just a few more bucks, why take the chance?
Pedro Talavera.
fc on 2012-04-30:
It is not the brand Kia, Honda,and Toyota etc require the vehicle owner to replace timing belt. A job that would be $800 is now costing you 3k-5k to replace engine. Kia and Hyundai, Honda have interference engines so change it when they recommend it
Tom on 2014-03-12:
I have a Kia Sportage and the dealer made sure I understood I have to have the timing belt replaced (at my expense) at 60,000 miles in order to keep the warranty in effect. I am assume your car has the same type of warranty. It is never better to let it break before you replace it because you can do serious engine damage NOT covered by warranty.
Bellyupinmi on 2008-07-24:
Thank you for your response, however the KIA warranty states that this IS a covered part under the power train and engine warranty. What part of the engine does not suffer wear and tear? To compare brakes to a Timing belt is not accurate as I have control over how the brakes are used, when to change them, a timing belt is an internal engine part, it is a part of the power train and nowhere in the warranty booklet does it exclude this part. This part is listed in the book under POWER TRAIN COVERAGE and also in the ENGINE section where it is grouped with Cylinder block, Cylinder Head, ALL INTERNAL PARTS, Timing gear, Seals and gaskets, TIMING BELT, and cover, Intake and exhaust manifolds, valve cover, flywheel, oil pan, water pump, and engine mounts. Nowhere does it say except for wear and tear. What items mentioned above does not suffer from wear and tear?
Ponie on 2008-07-24:
Yeah, Hugh, you're right. Last time I bought a new car it was delivered to me with a few gallons of gas in the tank. When it ran out, I tried turning it in for a new one and got the same answer: It's considered a consumable and wasn't covered under the warranty. I'm sick of such double talk! :)
lobo65 on 2008-07-24:
I've never heard of a timing belt replacement being covered under warranty. That almost always falls under routine maintenace. I wouldn't put off getting it done either. You don't want to pay the repair bill when it bends your valves.
lobo65 on 2008-07-24:
Never mind. Didn't see the part where you said you already had it done.
Anonymous on 2008-07-24:
Sounds like double talk to me. If they're not going to cover the timing belt then don't list it in the warranty. Pretty simple. So I guess if you blow a head gasket then that would be normal wear and tear as well.

Good review.
Ponie on 2008-07-24:
Aw, c'mon, Bellyupinmi. Don't recognize sarcasm? Didn't see the ---:)--- at the end of my post? You're giving us Michiganians a bad name. I'm just about six miles down the road on Livernois. On a serious note, doesn't your manual state the timing belt should be changed at 60K miles as part of regular maintenance? How much does it cost? About $100 or so? Of course those labor charges will get you every time. Did you have it changed?
Anonymous on 2008-07-24:
Hugh, Best Answer. I have always expected to pay for belt replacements. I have never considered them to be a dealer replacement if changed due to normal wear and tear. I guess if I ever had one go out within the first year or so I might press the issue.
Anonymous on 2008-07-24:
Hugh is correct, the problem here is the terminology the people at KIA used. Try this, your engine is covered under an oil related failure unless you did not change the oil under recommended intervals. If the timing belt had broken prior to 60K miles the warranty would have covered it, if you had not changed the belt at the recommended service interval of 60K miles and the belt broke on you then the expense to repair would fall on the consumer. Hope that helps. Good luck
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Headlight Bulb Replacement
Posted by on
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND -- I can only hope that some highly placed executive at KIA reads this complaint and gives it reasoned consideration.

Headlight bulbs burned out on my 2005 KIA Amanti. Such an assumedly simple procedure as changing a bulb turned out to be the equivalent of brain surgery at Johns Hopkins. Consider this: (1) the owner's manual is useless depicting a procedure not applicable to the car; (2) a superfluous engine shroud needs to be removed; (3) the front bumper!!! has to be removed for adequate access to the headlights.

Only two possible reasons for this engineering absurdity: (1) incompetence in design; (2) a conscious corporate decision to force the consumer back to the dealer for trivial yet costly maintenance.

Either reason is unconscionable.

This incident may seem like a triviality but it isn't. It's emblematic of corporate disdain for the consumer who it is assumed will sheepishly concede to insane requirements to keep his car in good driving condition.

A true and valid picture of an enterprise can usually be seen in microcosm and, therefore, the microcosmic matter of the headlight bulb replacement reflects very badly on KIA.

Is my dissatisfaction sufficient to reject KIA in future plans for car buying or to badmouth KIA to my considerable circle of family, colleagues and friends? That'll depend on any answer I might get from KIA re this complaint.
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Anonymous on 2008-06-23:
I looked in a couple of forums and found that you don't have to go though the procedure. Apparently the bulbs can be replaced from the engine compartment. But people are reporting it's a real pain in the a** to do.
tnchuck100 on 2008-06-23:
I have always contended that if these design engineers actually had to work on their stuff they would do a better job.

The fact is it is probably based on making the assembly process as efficient as possible.
Starlord on 2008-06-23:
When I was a mechanic, I often voiced the opinion that before an automotive engineer got his degree, he should have to work as a mechanic for three years. If they had to fix the cr@p they put out, they would do a better job of making the stuff mechanic-friendly.
Brad V on 2008-12-18:
Easy. 5 minutes. just follow instructions in the manual.
Conchita. on 2009-08-19:
Sell the piece of crap
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Bad Transmission
Posted by on
PENSACOLA FL, FLORIDA -- I have only had my KIA RIO for 3 years. I bought it new and was impressed with the 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty package. However, this week, my transmission blew. Now Kia does not want to honor their warranty because I did not use the RECOMMENDED transmission fluid last time I had it changed. It was one year ago, I changed the fluid and now they are telling me that this caused the problem. Come on. For one thing, the transmission should not blow after 3 years.

For another thing, I took care of the car and they still do not want to honor it. I am wondering how many KIA owners have run into this problem. I am not sure what to do at this point, other than make all phone calls I can and stir up as much ruckus as possible until someone from KIA can explain this to me about the quality of their vehicles. I will never buy another KIA.

Their product sucks and so do their warranties. Its a hoax to get you to buy and that's it. Very depressed and disgusted! And soon to be broke for having to buy a new transmission!!!!!!!!!!!
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Anonymous on 2008-04-03:
It's not just KIA. Look at any vehicle warranty. If the owner does not have routine maintence at the recommended intervals, using the recommended fluids and parts and doesn't not keep a record of the maintenance, they are SOL.

It's really the only way a manufacturer can be assured that the problem is caused by a manufacturing defect and not caused by abuse or sub standard parts or fluids by the owner.
Aerocave on 2008-04-03:
If it states in the warranty manual that you are to use a certain transmission fluid, well, I hate to tell you this, but you should have read about this before changing it on your own. It is the owner's responsibility to follow recommended service intervals/methods as well.

As I have said time and time again...you get what you pay for...When Kia and Hyundai first introduced their 10 year/100,000 mile warranty back in (I think) 2001 it created quite a stir in the automotive market...it put them on the "shopping list" for many consumers. We had some of our Honda customers comparing a KIA to an Accord or Civic--yet rarely bought one despite a $5k to $7k price difference...fast forward 7-8 years later and yes, Kia is still selling cars...yes, 2007 marked the 14th consecutive year of "record sales" (as Kia states)...The bottom line is they are barely selling 300,000 cars per year (305,000 sales in 2007). The dealer network is filled with many of the "rejects" from Honda, Toyota, and Domestic stores...ones that still use deceitful, high pressure, and bait and switch tactics (not all, but many)...My point is, in a market that has really become sensitive to fuel economy, price, and value, one would think that KIA would be selling a whole lot more cars, as there products are certainly competitively priced--but the reality is the sales increases over the past 7 years have really been insignificant in comparison to the alleged "great value." (Through March 2008 sales are down 8% by the way) Now I realize there are consumers out there who would disagree with me and say they own a KIA and it has been a great vehicle...but you have this with every make.

I think consumers have been the testimonial to the fact that its long term quality and value plus desirable products--not just a great warranty--that sells cars.

Throw a 10 year/100,000 powertrain warranty and a 5 year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty on a Honda, Toyota, or even a GM--and watch where their sales will go...
abobo on 2008-04-03:
Take your car to another mechanic and have him be sure that this fluid caused the problem.

Legally a manufacturer can set a service interval, but cannot say aftermarket parts void your warranty. If they prove that the specific aftermarket part (the tranny fluid) caused the failure, you're out of luck.

Either way, if you press it you're in for a nasty fight.

Here's a good reference where a poster talks about the aftermarket parts voiding warranty misconception. I'd search more, but I'm at work:

sarahnkrystal on 2008-04-03:
I believe that these "rules" are in place because there are people out there who buy brand new cars, never do any maintenance and don't even know they are supposed to change the oil and then when their engine blows they want the dealership to fix the car they completely neglected. I am not saying you neglect your car, but I believe that's why they want all maintenance done in their dealership. They have proof of everything done to your car.
Anonymous on 2008-04-03:
If the transmission fluid can be shown to be equivalent to the recommended type, you have a leg to stand on. If the label on the fluid said "Approved for ALL transmissions" you may have a claim against the fluid manufacturer. My owner's manual says not to use 20-50W oil in the crankcase...I should not do so. If I do, my warranty is shot. BUT, if I use any brand of recommended weight oil with at least a SE or SM rating...the motor should be fine. Hopes this makes sense. Good luck. If you did something wrong, please don't blame KIA.
cargenius on 2009-08-03:
OK for starters [snip] It it si YOUR responsibility as a consumer to follow the recommended service intertvals and fliud requirements for you vehicle This is why the warranty is in place for stupid people like you that use the wrong fliuds and such can you read your service manual that came with you KIA ??? oops guess not since YOU KILLED your TRANNY pay for a new one and learn your lesson
Richard From Charlotte on 2012-05-05:
My 64 year old wife's 2009 Sportage EX, transmission "burned out" (dealer's words) at 35,000 miles. Folger Kia would not honor the warranty because we had the regularly scheduled flush done at Valvoline. We're sure the transmission was malfunctioning before we went to
Valvoline. Folger won't even listen, saying our
claim is "undocumented." I'm beginngin to see a
trend - late model Kia transmissions with serious
manufactuiring defects.
JR on 2012-06-28:
Actually, if you do a search there was a court case (I think it was in 2010)...Kia wouldn't cover the engine repair after during the warranty period because the customer could not provide service records...and admitted in court to no having the 30,000 and 60,000 mile services done. At 84,000 miles the engine needed to be replaced. The customer eventually sued them, and the court ruled that if 100,000 mile warranty is offered then there is a reasonable expectation that the engine should last that long...regular maintenance or not...and ruled that Kia must fix or replace the engine for free under the terms of the warranty.
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