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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
2,971 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.

1998 Kia Sephia transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Kia Sephia Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #38

Mar 021999

Sephia 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80 miles

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

I brought a new Kia Sephia in 1998, and had nothing but trouble with it! transmission was replaced 2 times by the mechanic for Kia motors, and needed to be replaced again on 7/2007. Also, the brakes have been replaced 4 times and need to be replaced again. Now the headlights keep turning off while driving at night, but no mechanic can locate the electrical short problem.

- Georgetown, DE, USA

problem #37

Aug 272004

Sephia 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While shifting transmission down shifted on its own, and the shift lock system failed. Consumer was unable to unlock the shift lever in order to move the vehicle. Consumer had the vehicle towed to the dealer for inspection.

- Patchogue, NY, USA

problem #36

Oct 232003

Sephia

  • 100,000 miles
While driving transmission light appeared on the dashboard. Then, the vehicle lost speed.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #35

Sep 092003

Sephia 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

I have had my car for about 7 months, and I have found out that it had 5 recalls and the problems I have had consists of check engine light coming on and O/D light flashing. Also, car acts as if it does not want to go into gear. When it is put into reverse it also seems as if hesitate to crank up as well.

- Fort Dix, NJ, USA

problem #34

Aug 132003

(reported on)

Sephia

  • 12,800 miles
Vehicle wouldn't start intermittently. About a month ago it started to happen more frequently. Shifter assembly was replaced. Vehicle would also roll while in park. Dealer told consumer that transmission would have to be replaced to solve the problem.

- Parlin, NJ, USA

problem #33

Jan 072003

(reported on)

Sephia

  • miles
The transmission was very bad and defective. Vehicle would stop without any warning. Vehicle was taken to dealer 3 times and each time the transmission was replaced for the same problem.

- Ft Wayne, IN, USA

problem #32

Nov 272002

Sephia

  • miles

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

The vehicle stop while driving, engine remain running but vehicle would not move repair was made at the dealer, but the probblem is reocurring.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #31

Jun 092001

Sephia

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
This vehicle has been in the shop 4 times for various brake problems and although repairs were made I do not have any confidence in the reliability of this car. And, now that transmission had to be replaced, with such low mileage, I don't want to drive the car. I find it hard to believe that Kia is not aware of all the problems with their vehicles! thank you for looking out for our safety.

- Norwood, MA, USA

problem #30

Jun 022001

(reported on)

Sephia

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
In 2 years I had to get a new transmission, replace my brakes 6 times, service engine problems 7 times, fuel pump, 8 recalls, wipers, new tires, and many other problems... copies of repairs are available upon request. I have also been discriminated against by the dealer many times.

- Monsey, NY, USA

problem #29

Jan 012001

Sephia

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Engine check light and overdrive light would flash, second time vehicle just quit, this was second transmission vehicle has had.

- Clevland, OH, USA

problem #28

Jan 012001

Sephia

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Engine check light and overdrive light would flash, second time vehicle just quit, this was second transmission vehicle has had.

- Clevland, OH, USA

problem #27

Apr 262001

(reported on)

Sephia

  • miles
11 major failures with my vehicle. Not all are listed in this complaint. No safety defect listed.

- Carver, MA, USA

problem #26

Apr 132001

Sephia

  • miles
I bought my Kia Sephia in 1998. Since then I have had the brakes fixed 2 times and tay replaced once. I have had the transmission replaced also. Recently my car has been riding very sluggish. When I press on the gas it makes a very loud sound. When I TR to accelerate the car does not seem to want to change into gears. It also constantly makes a loud humming sound when I am at about 40-50mph. This car has given me nothing but trouble and $$$. I am tryin to figure out if there has been a whole bunch of recalls I did not know about or if there is something that I may be able to do here to save money. I still owe 9,000 and feel like I am constantly inconvininced bringing the car in for constant repair. Help!

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #25

Jan 012001

Sephia

  • miles
The ignition system is hard starting at times, even right after I got a tune up from the dealer. Glovebox has been replaced once before because the closing mechanism jams and will not open. Transmission has slipped, shifts roughly since new. The brakes grind constantly, dealer has replaced rotors, then replaced brake pads after that, now grinding again.

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #24

Feb 202001

Sephia

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My vehicle stalled on the highway due to the transmission failing in third gear. In addition, the brakes failed as well. I have experienced these issues four times to date. I had to have a total brake replacement in the past two years and the transmission was rebuilt at 6800 miles. Since the transmission was rebuilted, I have returned it four times for additional failure. The problem has not been resolved. This vehicle is defective and unsafe to operate..

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #23

Mar 012000

Sephia

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission has been worked on over past year. ABS light came on and stayed on due to catalytic converter failure. Wheel bearing failed and was replaced. Automatic transmission had no engagement due to half shaft failure. Engine stalled at a stop due to transmission assembly failure. Brakes were noisy and were replaced, including the rotors. Engine will not start due to battery and starter failure.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #22

Feb 012000

Sephia

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission slipped and vehicle stalled/ malfunctioned. Contacted dealer, and dealer replaced transmission, but problem still occurs.

- Queens, NY, USA

problem #21

Jan 312001

Sephia

  • miles
I bought the car with 7000 miles on it, it has needed 4 brake jobs (every 7K -front then rear then front then rear) in the 28K that I've owned it. The rear brakes do not engage so the front brakes wear out. I had it put on a rack and someone step on the brake pedal, the rear tires could be turned easily. With strong pressure on the pedal, the rear tires were hard to move, but still could be moved by hand. The 2X the rear brakes were serviced, the cylinders had cracked and leaked. A friend has suggested this means the hydraulic pressure is going into the cylinders but they were a 'bad casting' and the pressure isn't pushing the pistons out, but eventually causes them to crack. 09/18/00 a flexplate in the transmission needed to be replaced. Less than 6 weeks later, the car went out of gear as I pulled into an intersection. It could not be driven. It was towed to the dealership and they replaced the transmission, drive shaft, and front axle on the car.

- Youngstown, OH, USA

problem #20

Dec 312000

Sephia

  • miles
Check engine light on & O/D light flashes after almost every 300 miles since recall campaign to replace orvr valves was serviced by dealer. O/D light flashes would then follow engine stalling (after driven 150 miles) and would only crank engine but wont start. Also after orvr was replaced, every full tank of fuel ( 12.7 gals.) would cause hesitation but would go away after driven for 8 miles. Engine stalling luckily occurred only on street roads but could pose serious risk if it would happen on freeways.

- Chatsworth, CA, USA

problem #19

Mar 011999

Sephia

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The first problem was the electrical system, the car kept blowing fuses and would not start. After 4 visits to a Kia service center it was learned that the fuse box had been built wrong. Kia had a rebuild kit on hand for this problem and corrected it, as well as replaceing a number of sensors and other equipment damaged by this problem. Next was the transmission, which whould and does switch gears for no reason, jumping into higher gear or downshifing into lower gear without warning and staying there until the car is brought to a complete halt. This problem has not been traced, Kia service technicians claimed to have driven the vehicle extensively but could not reproduce the problem, dispite the fact that it occures frequently for myself and my wife. The brakes started acting funney at around 11,000 miles and upon inspection by Kia personell were found to be worn excessively in the center of the rotors, dispite telling me that it was a very common problem Kia refused to repair it, saying that it was a maintiance issue, and not a defect. The door latches failed on a trip to Indiana and the doors had to be locked or they would not stay closed. The glove compartment latch failed at the same time, falling open at any bump and the handle was falling off, so it had to be left open the entire time. The weather stripping began falling off shortly thereafter causeing water leaks into the car, and sometimes preventing the doors from closeing correctly. I have attempted on numerious occasions to have these issue delt with by Kia motors and they have faid to do so, beyond the bare minimum. I have even been attempting to return the car in accordiance with Michigan's `lemon law' and Kia's only response is to attempt to half-hartedly repair the vehicle at my expense. Dispite the fact that some of these issues could be dangerious.

- Roseville, MI, USA

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