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.

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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
69,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (1 reports)
2002 Kia Spectra transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Kia Spectra Owner Comments

problem #1

Nov 042006

(reported on)

Spectra GS V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles


I bought this car new in 2002 - it had 33 miles on it when I pulled out of the dealership. Never had a problem with the car - always took care of the "normal maintenance". Fast forward to now - the car is 4 years old with 69K miles on it, 90% of those miles are highway miles - I commute 25 miles each way to work 5 days a week. About 10 miles from work one morning, my check engine light comes on - the car is running smooth, so I continue to work. As I go to leave work, the car won't shift out of first gear and won't go over 5-10 miles per hour. Kia towed the car for free to the closest dealership. Ends up, the service department tells me the transmission needs replacing - they don't know WHY, not sure what broke, only that it needs replacing. Then the big hit - it's NOT under warranty because I can't reproduce a receipt of having the transmission flushed @ 30K and 60K miles. Now - my manual says "normal maintenance" is inspect transmission fluid up to 105K miles THEN have it replaced @ 105K miles. Turns out, the state of NC is in the "severe maintenance" schedule - which REQUIRES flushing the transmission every 30K miles - no one ever made me aware of this. They are adamantly refusing to pay for a new transmission - hey can replace it with a rebuilt transmission for $1500, again not under warranty. I had the transmission flushed @ 30K miles - I have no receipt. I would NEVER buy another Kia again - despite this being a decent car up until this point.

Again - the car had NO PROBLEMS until the transmission died. It wasn't shifting hard, nothing that would have pointed to something going wrong in the transmission.

- , Burlington, NC, USA

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