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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 9
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,244 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 Sedona electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Kia Sedona Owner Comments

problem #17

Oct 202014


  • 150,000 miles


Fuse panel caught fire and burnt while vehicle was parked and not in use. Vehicle is no longer functional.

- Hulbert, OK, USA

problem #16

Apr 082014


  • 144,000 miles
While driving to the gas station to get some gas the car died. After a two minute wait, we restarted the car with no problem.. this did happen one other time two weeks before and it shut off approaching an intersection. There was plenty of fuel in the system. Again, waited a minute and it restarted. I purchased this vehicle for my granddaughter as a gift on January 2014 from al serra North Chevrolet used car lot. They offered safety inspection along with test drive. I just took it back to al serra Chevrolet for a 90 day complimentary safety check with all fluids topped off. They said all was fine. I can bet the electronics was not even checked. I am afraid that my granddaughter is driving a very unsafe vehicle. The vehicle could stop in the middle of an intersection and with catastrophic effects. Request immediate action.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #15

Oct 012012

Sedona 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I purchased the 2003 Kia Sedona in June of 2012 and by October of 2013 we had to replace the alternator twice in less then a month due to it losing power now the car continues to loose power when driving and while it is stopped. I have taken it to 3 different mechanics and no one can figure out what is wrong with it. The battery is brand new and the alternator is brand new but the battery dies every time it is driven. All the mechanics can tell me is that the alternator is not charging the battery but it is working. It will start hiccuping when you have to accelerate.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #14

Nov 252012


  • 115,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Kia Sedona. The contact stated that while parked, the vehicle caught on fire from under the driver's side dashboard area. Prior to the fire, the horn activated independently. The vehicle was destroyed and was not inspected for the cause of the fire. The failure and the current mileages were 115,000.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #13

Mar 192011


  • 150,363 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Sedona. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start and would have to be jump started every three hours. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated to the contact that the battery was the cause of the failure. A replacement battery was installed yet the vehicle could not be started. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 150,363.

- Bristol, PA, USA

problem #12

Jul 242008

Sedona 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,284 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Sedona. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer because the power windows were inoperative. Upon inspection, a technician replaced the console because it was blowing the fuse in the electrical system. The fuse melted and smoke engulfed the passenger compartment of the vehicle when the engine was started. The vehicle has been to the dealer on four occasions and the console and connector were replaced. None of the repairs have corrected the failure. He called the manufacturer and was referred back to the dealer. The failure mileage was 38,284 and current mileage is 48,000. Updated 02/05/09 updated 02/06/09.

- North Royalton, OH, USA

problem #11

Oct 082007

Sedona 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Heater wiring harness over heated burned out fan switch happened twice cannot get fan to come on now.

- Hamilton , OH, USA

problem #10

Jun 012007

Sedona 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
The junction block (fuse box) located behind the cover near the emergency brake pedal partially burned and melted at two pin connectors. The adjacent wiring harness connector also partially burned and melted. Prior to the failure, the dash indicator for the defroster illuminated and remained illuminated even though the defroster was not turned on. When the car was turned off, the dash indicator for the defroster remained illuminated. The battery was dead the next day. After jump starting the van, it was driven to the local Kia dealer where the machanic identified the junction block damage. Kia has proposed to replace the junction block and entire dash wiring harness for $1,934.19. The cost of the junction block is $19.95, but the cost of the wiring harness is $1,067.65. The balance of the proposed cost is labor and taxes. Kia does not provide the harness connector as a separate part. I called the Kia help line and provided a verbal report to a customer service agent, and was told that Kia can do nothing else to resolve the problem. I located 12 relevant ODI complaints for 2003 Sedonas and 2 relevant ODI complaints for 2003 Sedona ex models, all resulting in dash fires. I did not search other model years. It may have been my good fortune not to experience a vehicle fire, as well as compelling evidence related to the cause of these other reported fires.

- Lake Mary, FL, USA

problem #9

Sep 082005

Sedona 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The consumer stated that 2003 Kia Sedona caught on fire while parked in the garage. The vehicle had been sitting for around six hours. The fire started underneath the steering wheel in the dashboard area. The inside of the van had substantial damage. The van was towed to a body shop until the insurance adjuster looked at the van. The van was driving fine and working in good shape prior to the fire. The fire department came and put out the fire. T a fire investigator came and inspected the scene. The fire investigator concluded it was an electrical fire. The dealer and the manufacturer have been told about the fire. The consumer just told Kia about the fire, and they wanted the consumer to get a copy of the fire report, and then they would talk to him. The dealership told the consumer that they didn't know what to tell him. An insurance and fire report was taken, although the consumer did not have a copy right now of the report. The fire department took pictures on the night of the fire. There were no injuries and no damage to the home. The transmission would not come out of gear for the wrecker to tow it.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #8

Sep 042005

Sedona 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Sedona. The vehicle was trying to start by itself. The windshield wipers were on and there was smoke in the vehicle and flames on the driver's side emergency brake. The contact's husband put the flames out before the fire department responded. The fire was first noticed from the drivers side where the emergency brake was located. The vehicle was not operating unusually before. The vehicle had been parked for about two hours before the fire was noticed. The dealership told her husband at this point they believed this was started from the low jack installation which was installed by the dealership. The police reported to the scene, and after arson was ruled out they handed the situation over to the fire department. The contact going there tonight to pick up the fire department's report. The horn did not work.

- Kenilworth, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jul 262005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Drove 2003 Kia Sedona 4 or 5 miles. Got out to eat and in about 5 minutes or less the inside was full of smoke and the dashboard was in flames behind the steering wheel. Used fire estingisher but did not get the fire out completely and fire department came and put the fire out. I had heard there could be a problem with this happening on other 2003 Kia Sedona's. have contacted Kia and they will not do anything until insurance company contacts them.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #6

Jun 212005

Sedona 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
On the morning of 6/21/05, I double parked my car across the street from my home for street cleaning. I was inside my house @ 10 minutes when a neighbor told me there was smoke coming from my car. I went to the car and saw flames coming from under the area under the driver's side of the dashboard by the brake/gas pedals. Called the fire department and the fire was put out. According to the claims investigator and the body shop the car is at, the fire came from the fuse box of the vehicle. I understand that several fires similar to this have started in other 2003 Kia Sedonas and wanted to report the situation.

- Kearny, NJ, USA

problem #5

Jun 162005

Sedona 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
2003 Kia Sedona with approx 48,000 miles, parked and unoccupied in the parking area of my townhouse community. Went to open the door remotely using the key ring and there was no response. Eventually had to manually open the car and noticed the entire left hand side of the instrument panel and dashboard area had literally melted into the floorboard. Appears as if there was some kind of electrical short. Vehicle was towed to Bonneville Kia and due to my extended service contract immediately set up a rental. The service rep at Bonneville said he had not seen "anything like it" and was to call his factory rep and recommended I contact my auto insurance carrier to begin the claims process. The circumstances of this incident seem way to close to other complaints found on our webpage. Clearly there is some kind of defect that Kia needs to address. Other than service for oil changes and tire rotation, only Kia Bonneville has performed maintenance on this vehicle. Purchase date was Dec 2003.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #4

May 202005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
After driving the car for 10 minutes pulled into a parking lot and got out of car, and while in restaurant for 45 minutes, it caught on fire. Black smoke and flames came out from steering wheel and the windows blew out. Nothing happened before she parked the car. From inside of firewall back was totaled, the engine was the only thing left. Car was towed to dealer. Manufacturer has called her back, and was waiting for investigation. Dealer said it was Kia's responsibility.

- Pittsburg, PA, USA

problem #3

Sep 032004

Sedona 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
We have a 2003 Kia Sedona ex that is one year old. It had 20,000 miles on the car and had no problems at all. On 09/03/04, after dropping our daughters off at school 5 minutes away, we pulled in the driveway, turned the car off and smoke poured out of vents. After that, car started on its own with no keys in it, panic started sounding constantly and then the car started on fire behind the steering wheel and was in full flames within one minute. The chief of the goshen fire dept. Stated it was an electrical fire that started in the dashboard. We are waiting for copy of report. We contacted the Kia manufacturer in ca immediately and sent pictures (can be furnished). It took Kia almost 2 weeks to even contact us after repeated calls to them. They called on 09/14/04 and said we'd have an answer by 2 P.M. 09/15 and they never called. Today, after we called and threatened to sue them (msg. Left on voicemail), they called us right back to tell us they are denying our claim and this is not their responsibility. This was obviously a defective car with a faulty electrical system. This is not an insurance issue by any means and we feel Kia should replace this car. They didn't even ask us any questions or wait for the fire report before denying our claim. The grief this has caused our family has been horrible.

- Goshen, NY, USA

problem #2

Jul 012003

Sedona 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have numerous complaints on my 2003 Kia sodona. I purchased the vechile in June of 2003, we have since taken the van in to the dealership for a variety of problems. The aircondtioner stop blowing cold air with in the first three months of owning it, this has been fixed. Paint has peeled off the front bumper, seat belt ratcheting system stopped working, engine mount needed replacing, tansmition needed adjusting three times, and the last problem was the vechile would lock when ever and where ever it felt the need to. I locked my self out of the car with my children inside many times. The dealship replaced a main panal inside the door. Despite, all the times I have taken it in, at least twice for every problem, the dealership refuses to give me a car, mind you I have two children to cart around all day. I am extrmemly peeved about this van.

- Pasco, WA, USA

problem #1

Nov 102003


  • 11,500 miles
Power locks failed without warning. Dealer states an electrical short occurred.

- Newark, DE, USA

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