Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
114,612 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2012 Kia Forte engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Kia Forte Owner Comments

problem #9

Jun 022016


  • 62,000 miles


I bought a 2012 Kia Forte ex hatchback with 60,000 miles about a month ago. Two instances have occurred which I believe might be related. First time I was traveling @ 65mph around a 50mph curve on cruise control. I hit a bump, and cruise control shut off automatically. No big deal, I just put my foot on the gas and reset the cc after the curve. However, yesterday, I was nearing the beginning of a merge ramp to get on the interstate. I was turning and accelerating when I hit a pothole and the engine shut off. Instead of merging onto the interstate, I coasted @ 5-10 mph until I could reach the side of the road. I put the car in park, turned the key off and then immediately started the car back up. There were no warning lights and the car ran like a top. This is a serious safety problem and I am lucky I didn┐T get rear-ended (this was an on/off ramp, so cars were piling up behind me and honking due to my slow speed). I had the car checked by a mechanic before I bought it and he said that although there was no cel, there was a code in the computer for the ┐yaw┐ sensor (he told me if the car runs ok, he wouldn┐T worry about replacing it). Knowing this, I have turned off the electronic stability control in hopes that the issue is related and will not happen again if the ESC is off. Car is in good shape and was well taken care of by previous owner.

- West Columbia, SC, USA

problem #8

May 162016


  • 28,000 miles
Back in April 2016 the hose that transfers transmission fluild was recalled I brought my car in to have it fixed. On 05/16/2017 my car started shifting weird and then (while I was driving on a city street with my two month old daughter) is now leaking transmission fluid and the hose is broke that was supposed to be fixed and is not safe to drive due to the fluid and broken hose it shifts out of control and stalls.

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #7

Mar 072016


  • 770,000 miles
I rear-end a SUV at 50 miles per hour, hit my nose and mouth on the steering wheel. The front end is severely damage, the engine caught fire, fluids were leaking but neither air bag deployed.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #6

Jan 072016


  • 54,000 miles


The contact owned a 2012 Kia Forte. The contact stated that the vehicle caught fire as he walked outside. The contact noticed that the windows were black from the residue of the fire. The vehicle was destroyed and towed. A police report was not filed. The fire extinguished itself before the firefighters were called. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 54,000.

- Freemont, CA, USA

problem #5

Jul 172015


  • 26,050 miles
On four separate occasions, June 5-July 17, 2015 our Kia Forte 5 door hatchback failed to start. Tow company personnel attempted to jump start the car without success. Car was taken to two separate dealerships and the failure could not be replicated. Repairs will not be made until the condition can be replicated. After sitting for a prolonged period (1-3 days) the car will start. We replaced the battery on June 23rd at the suggestion of a tow truck driver who refused to tow us. He related that in hot weather Kia cars often will not start if the battery is weak. With a new top of the line battery, on July 17th the car refused to start. When the 105 degree temperature dropped to 90 degrees, the car started. We are stuck with a new car that will not start reliably in hot weather. Dealers cannot fix it. Our warranty is "valueless". Kia corporate has assigned a case number and we are seeking repair or replacement. Until this happens, we are frightened to trust our Kia in our remote Sierra Nevada mountain location where being stranded can be life threatening. We have made a $21,000 mistake and lemon law court is our only recourse.

- Coloma, CA, USA

problem #4

Apr 012014


  • 50,000 miles
My 2012 Kia Forte has a problem with the engine suddenly racing, and acting like it is out of gear. I have taken it to my mechanic and they keep telling me that they can't find the problem. I also get problems with the brake lights: I get told that they're out when they aren't. I do regular maintenance and oil changes on my vehicle. It started in April, 2014, at first occasionally, but now it is almost constant. If the problem is not found and fixed, I am in danger of losing my transmission and worse....updated 12/10/15

- Indianapolis, , IN, USA

problem #3

Dec 092013


  • 15,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Kia Forte. During cold weather conditions, the vehicle failed to exceed 2000 rpms. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 15,000. The VIN was not available.

- North Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jan 022014


  • 17,560 miles
300 miles after complaining to dealer of slipping floor mat stopping braking and random high acceleration-a real accident occurred against a barrier in a parking garage. Mats flip far more that Audi and Toyota recalls. Entire car damaged by previous acceleration(random) or brakes not working due to mats. The parking garage incident occurred at 15 mph and square head on to cement barrier severely damaging bumper, hood, fenders, grill, headlights and interior engine. I injured both arms and skin abrasions on chest-due to airbag not deploying-similar to recent recalls. Dealer response was that floor mats always give away from wear and tear at 17K miles without warning-causing me near fatal other accidents.

- Kirkwood, MO, USA

problem #1

Sep 272012


  • 8,900 miles
We were driving our 2012 Kia Forte ex (sedan) which we had purchased brand new in December 2011 to the store to get bread and were on our way home (only about 2 minutes into the drive) when we saw smoke coming from the front of the car. We pulled over within about 50 feet of seeing it, put it in park- which by the time we did so, we lost all power and couldn't even get the key out of the ignition. We got out and my boyfriend tried to pop the hood but it was already so hot he couldn't do it... I ran about 20 feet away for safety reasons, so I am not sure where it started, but within about 30 seconds, the flames came out of the sides and front of the hood. My boyfriend thinks it was about where the fuse box is, because that is where he noticed the paint start to bubble off. He is a mechanic and has never seen anything like it. The entire front of the car, through the dash is disintegrated. My airbags melted and poured out of the dash and roof, upholstery melted off the seats, and door panels bubbled up. All the speakers blew and melted. It happened so quickly, if I had kids in the back or couldn't have pulled over in time, there could have been very serious injuries or deaths. I am very thankful it didn't happen on my way to work, as I drive in traffic on a highway with no shoulder. I had no electronic modifications. It was entirely stock, with the exception of window tint, exhaust, a lowering kit, and aftermarket tires and wheels--all which were installed by professionals. The car had 8900 miles on it and all maintenance work had been done. Even 3 oil changes- even though Kia claims the car can go 7K without one. My insurance company is going to treat it as a total loss and do an investigation on it. Kia has a case going but have not yet sent an engineer out.

- Algona, WA, USA

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