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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,662 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Kia Rio Owner Comments

problem #6

Apr 072009


  • 11,462 miles


While driving down the road with my two year old in the car, the engine seized up and stalled. The car currently wont start and had to be towed to the repair shop. However, we just had all of the routine maintenance to the car less then 300 miles prior to the engine seizing. The check engine light never came on. As of today, they don't know what the problem is except that the engine seized. There was no prior incidents with the car and it was always serviced on time.

- Marshfield, WI, USA

problem #5

Sep 262008


  • 72,000 miles
Timing belt broke at 72000 miles without warning. Kia says change at 60000 miles in ky, but warranty in ca allow for 105000 mile change. Kia refused to honor warranty. Stranded for 45 minutes. Had to pay diagnostic testing at Kia dealer.

- Mayfield, KY, USA

problem #4

May 212008


  • 112,000 miles
Bought 2003 Kia Rio new. In Jan 2005 at about 53,000 miles I heard a rattle at about 50 miles per hour. In a few seconds the engine just shutdown (timing belt broke which destroyed the engine) Kia replaced under warranty. May 21 2008 while driving about 45 miles per hour we heard a squeal and again the engine shutdown. Coasted to a stop, once again the timing belt which means another engine (58,000 since the last engine) no longer under warranty (an engine cost almost as much as the car itself).

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #3

Sep 012003

Rio 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 260 miles


The consumer took the vehicle to dealership to check for a strong odor inside of the vehicle. The fumes/odors became very heavy when driving which caused the driver to become ill. The consumer was informed by the mechanic that the odor the driver was smelling was called kosmoline and would eventually disappear. There was a nauseating smell of burning rubber or plastic from the time of purchase. The consumer was allergic to the smell after breathing the melting kosmoline and or undercarriage for over 3K miles. The smell had come from the vents as well when the vehicle was stopped. The vehicle experienced a hard start from a cold start the dealer was unable to duplicate the problem.

- Parlin, NJ, USA

problem #2

Oct 032003


  • 250 miles
While driving 35 mph steering wheel would pull to the right, and a loud noise would be coming from the steering wheel. Also, vehicle would stall for no reason while driving. Driver would maintain control and pull to the side of road. Had vehicle towed to dealership, and mechanic could mot determine the cause of either problem.

- Canoga Park, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 302003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving vehicle would run hot. Dealer has replaced the engine once, and replaced automatic transmission twice. However, problem continued. Dealer had not found a solution for the problem.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

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