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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,203 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.

2003 Kia Rio brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Kia Rio Owner Comments

problem #7

Dec 282010


  • miles


My brake proportioning valve on my 2003 Kia Rio cracked. My mechanic says it should never crack no matter the temperature climate etc. He says he has never seen a cracked one before and my car would have no signs that it was bad. I would go from perfect brakes to no brakes. That is pretty much what happened. I was lucky and had just got gas and leaving the parking lot. The brakes went out while I driving slowly to the street. I had enough break to stop. My complaint is not for me so much as someone else who may not have been so lucky. I fear for others. Please check this out on further vehicles.

- Palmer, AK, USA

problem #6

Feb 222007


  • 52,067 miles
2003 Kia Rio with defective engine. Customer states that the dealership told her that a new engine was put in the car in June 07 but it continues to smoke, overheat and cut off* the consumer was told the head gasket needed to be replaced. The tail lights were inoperative. The dealer replaced the bulbs. The lights inside the vehicle were inoperative. They replaced the main wiring harness. The consumer had to place the gear into neutral, in order to start the vehicle. The dealer adjusted the transmission range switch. The consumer stated that her vehicle is at the dealership yet again being fixed. Updated 08/23/07.

- Galloway, OH, USA

problem #5

May 012006

Rio 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Aug. 12, 2006 the harrell-swatty cos. 6 concourse parkway ne atlanta ga 30328-6117 dear Mr. X: I am extremely disappointed in Kia at arbor place. I took my car in for warranty service in March because the brake light kept coming on. I brought it back three more times, but the problem has not been fixed. Now that the car has more than 60,000 miles on it, the department would not work on it again unless I paid them. But they took it in to diagnose it again and did not tell me until I came to pick up the car that it would cost me $88 diagnostic charge to get it back. The brakes completely failed once. I was fortunate there was no accident. I keep adding brake fluid when the light comes on. Evidently there is a leak in the brake system. The car is unsafe. I want my $88 back, and I want the car fixed, at no cost to me. Yy zz has not replied to my two previous letters.

- Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #4

Nov 062004

Rio 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,554 miles


203 Kia Rio purchased 12/02 since purchase have had several issues with brakes, I have brought it back to dealer on 5 different occasions have had shoes replaced have had rotors turned a couple of times by dealer to which problem continued. On 11/06/04 car was involved in accident resulting from rear drivers side wheel locking up without using the brakes causing to lose control of the car.

- Citrus Springs, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,800 miles
In April 2003 I bought a 2003 Kia Rio cinco for my family. When I try to start it in the morning it will not start. It takes about six to ten tries to get it started. Then it runs bad for miles. It also runs very hot and it seems the more I drive it the less preformance I been geting. My brakes are also bad when I first drive it after it sits for hours. Kia told me that it all has to do with the reformuladed gas we use in milwaukee and Chicago. After months of people at Kia not calling me back and tring to resoulve this with Kia I am interested in a class astion law suit.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #2

May 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
The car cuts off while driving the car has a hard start, it takes at least 3 tries for it to stay on the brakes squeak loud when coming to a stop

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #1

Jul 012003


  • miles
The lug nuts peeled of the passenger side front wheel. The tires were being rotated. When they were removed the lug nut(s) peeled off. The rear brakes were locking as well and caused the vehicle to skid sideways during the first mile or each morning.

- Lumberton, MS, USA

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