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.

CarComplaints.com Notes: The only reason we don't give the 2008 Kia Rio our top award is because of poor side & rear crash test ratings.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,205 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.

2008 Kia Rio seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2008 Kia Rio Owner Comments

problem #20

Sep 292016

Rio

  • 87,292 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2008 Kia Rio. While driving 25 mph in the rain, the contact's vehicle skidded and crashed into another vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an insurance collision lot. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 87,292.

- Berlin, NJ, USA

problem #19

Feb 092015

Rio

  • 196,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Rio. While the vehicle was parked, the air bag warning light illuminated. The failure occurred constantly. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the occupant classification system failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V244000 (air bags). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 196,000.

- Moriarty, NM, USA

problem #18

Jan 152016

Rio

  • 101,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Rio. While the vehicle was parked, the air bag warning light illuminated. The failure occurred constantly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the occupant classification system failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V244000 (air bags). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 101,000.

- Waynesboro, VA, USA

problem #17

Apr 012016

Rio

  • 0 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Air bag light on instrument panel illuminated over night.(vehicle was stationary) rejection inspection sticker because of air bag light. Kia dealership says that the "passenger pressance module" is messed up and is causing air bag light to come on. Vehicle has never been wrecked, air bags have never deployed. Concern; over 72,000 '06- '08 Kia Rios have been recalled for the exact same thing. But mine wasn't? and now my local dealership wants thousands of dollars to fix something that I feel like needs to be investigated.

- Waynesboro, VA, USA

problem #16

Oct 152009

Rio

  • 3,500 miles
2008 Kia Rio-purchased 10/2008, airbag light illuminates at all times while car is operated, beginng late 2009 early 2010 problem arose. Car has been serviced at Kia since 2009 and they new of this problem yet never resolved the issue.. 7/16/15 Kia motors of kailua-kona Hawaii scanned car for code, code shows B1448 OCS mat defect, they want me to pay 1200$ for a tanaka airbag recall. Why is my VIN# not showing up for recall" theirs other VIN with same recall problems? my car will not pass safety inspection due to this problem done by West coast detailings. Car passed every year before why not now" due to this OCS mat defect code B1448-airbag warning light illuminates at all times while car is operated, safety of lives are key factors not profit before people or reputation of Kia / Hyundai corporation.

- Waikoloa, HI, USA

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problem #15

Apr 302014

Rio

  • 130,000 miles
The red air bag light is on. A sensor in the passenger seat is malfunctioning. There is a recall for 2006 to 2008 Kia Rios for this same fatigue failure on the air bag sensor, but my VIN is not included. The general fix is to replace the entire seat costing approximately 1500 or more.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #14

Mar 022015

Rio 4-cyl

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2008 Kia Rio. Consumer writes in regards to passenger front seat airbag warning system problems. The consumer experienced repeated problems with the air bag light illuminating while his wife was sitting in the front passenger seat. The air bag light indicated the air bag was off. There were other times when the light indicated it was on. The dealer stated the passenger was too light, as they were unable to find a problem.

- Mchenry, MD, USA

problem #13

Jan 072014

Rio

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Rio. After starting the vehicle, the passenger side air bag off warning light illuminated intermittently. The failure occurred only when an occupant was present and while the vehicle was in motion. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V244000 (air bags). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Aberdeen, MD, USA

problem #12

Jan 052015

Rio

  • 33,256 miles
Kia has a recall (NHTSA campaign number: 12V244000) for year 2006-2008 Rio vehicles, my Kia Rio is a 2008 however it is not listed under the VIN due to I'm guessing being manufactured after the cut off date, however the air bag light has now come on and the passenger warning light no longer works. I had my car diagnosed today and Kia informed me it was the sensor in the passenger seat that had cracked. From the recall notification. The front passenger seat occupant sensor mat can experience fatigue cracking. If sufficient cracking occurs, the occupant classification system (OCS) will cease to function such that the system will not be able to detect whether a child passenger is in the seat and the airbag will deploy during a crash necessitating deployment. I'm asking/wondering how I can get my vehicle on the recall list if possible. The dealership is now telling me I need to have the entire seat replaced at $2500 to fix the issue. Is this how the sensor was repaired under the recall or are they able to replace just the cracked sensor? its sounding a little fishy that they cant replace just the sensor. My vehicle is still at Kia so I don't have my VIN# on me at the moment. I would like a reply if possible and can give my VIN at that time.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #11

Dec 022014

Rio

  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Rio. While driving at 30 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the occupant classification system mat needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 106,000.

- Lake Stephens, WA, USA

problem #10

Sep 302014

Rio 4-cyl

  • 110,125 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The airbag light illuminated & will not go off. After having a diagnostics run on it I was told I had to replace OCS mat sensor. You can't buy just the sensor, you have to buy the seat which contains the sensor for $800. When I called Kia $ questioned the recall, I was told my VIN did not qualify. Funny how I see so many complaints that read just like mine about a 2008 Kia Rio. I think the recall should extend further to protect the consumer from being ripped off.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #9

Jul 162014

Rio

  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Rio. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated. The contact stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V244000 (air bag). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 46,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

Oct 172013

Rio

  • 75,852 miles
I have driver/passenger and side airbags. I was blindsided by a Dodge Dakota on the passenger side. Her vehicle slammed both of my doors on the passenger side so badly neither one would open and my daughter had to climb out of my side. One was directly at the side airbag, my car was totaled to say the least as it had multiple damage to it. What should I do about the airbags not deploying?

- Vinton, VA, USA

problem #7

May 012013

Rio 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Rio. The contact stated that while parked, the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the OCS in the front passenger's seat would have to be replaced. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 12V244000 (air bags) but was advised by the manufacturer that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- New Milford, NJ, USA

problem #6

Dec 152012

Rio 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Rio. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the seat sensor would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V244000 (air bags). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000. Updated 4/24/13 updated 05/17/2013

- Eureka Springs, AR, USA

problem #5

May 302011

Rio 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
I have a 2008 Kia Rio. The air bag light on the dash came on May 30, 2011. The dealership says the air bags will not work with this light on. The car has 77,000 miles on it and the Kia dealership says that the airbag system is not covered after 60,000 miles. I have been told that I would have to replace the entire passenger side seat to get the new sensor needed at a cost of over $500. For what I have read on internet forums, the airbag system sensors and/or wires to the system malfunctioning on the 2008 Kia Rio seems to be a common problem, in addition to other models. When I spoke with the dealership in athens, ga, they indicated I could just wear my seat belt. I believe Kia needs to consider a recall.

- Rome, GA, USA

problem #4

May 032011

Rio

  • miles
(2008 Kia Rio) - passenger side air bag fails to stay on.... it comes on maybe every 1 of 5 times.... I have tried every thing to get it to work....when stopped a stop sign I turn the car of and back on (nothing)... it needs a key to turn it on and off. I have even put weights on the seat but nothing..... will not turn on......then some days it turns on just fine..... but!!!!!.... it also turns off while driving ( after a lot of research I found multi able complaints on the passenger side air bag this needs a recall (a on of key) and to be looked at on all cars like this......the Kia lot will look at it soon hope its not on one of its I want to work days so I can show them what I mean......also...the sensor part cost around $400 and several people said they had to replace them 2 or more times....

- Blythevile, AR, USA

problem #3

Oct 012010

Rio

  • 50 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Rio LX. The contact was stopped to make a left turn when another vehicle crashed into the contacts vehicle. The force of the crash pushed the contacts vehicle into a ditch. The contact stated the rear and front ends of the vehicle, including the frame was damaged. The air bags did not deploy. The contact also stated that a month before the crash, a deer crashed into the vehicle and the front air bags did not deploy. The contact stated that two passengers sustained neck injuries. A police report was available. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000 miles.

- St. Matthews, SC, USA

problem #2

Nov 032009

Rio

  • 15,000 miles
I was involved in a car accident. I was headed West down a two-way street when a car ran the stop sign and crashed into me as I was entering into the intersection. The car was going a high speed when the collision occurred. My whole front end of car was smashed in, my car had been hit so bad until the gadgets in the cabinet of my car were all out of place. My passenger head was busted open and I sustained head, neck, back and rib injuries. We were both wearing seat belts. My passenger weighted over 170 pounds which mean her airbag should have deployed as well as mines but they did not. I have filed a claim with the person whose fault it was insurance company. I have did research online and realized that other Kia cars dating back to 2000 models airbags did not deploy either. I have a 2008 Kia Rio LX I bought it brand new off the lot. This problem should not have occurred.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #1

Nov 232008

Rio

  • 3,026 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Rio. The contact stated that when an occupant is seated in the passenger seat, the air bag indicator is supposed to be off. The air bag indicator should always be illuminated unless more than 70 lbs. Is seated in the passenger seat. The contact stated that the indicator will not dim the majority of the time. The dealer has been notified and stated that no repairs will be made because the vehicle was designed in that manner. The failure and current mileages were 3,026.

- Northaurora, IL, USA

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