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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,451 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 Spectra brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Kia Spectra Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 042012

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


The car all of the sudden started loosing brake fluid rapidly. My perfectly good brakes were going out and I almost wrecked my car because of this problem. The Kia dealership in dickinson, tx is charging me 300 dollars + to fix this problem. I see that thousands of people have had this problem with a defective manufacture part. My mechanic said that this was the first proportioning valve he has seen completely destroyed like this in 10+ years. This is happening to thousands of people. I have wrote all news stations about this and I am pursuing this aggressively. You all recalled the 2004-2007 proportioning valves then it should be for the earlier models as well.

- Webster, TX, USA

problem #9

Jun 012010

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
2003 Kia Spectra; brake proportioning valve started leaking around 90K miles. Contacted three local dealers, all three stated that this is common for this model.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #8

Apr 012011


  • 99,000 miles
2003 Kia Spectra 99,000 miles. I am having to fill up with brake fluid once or twice a day. Brake proportion valve is leaking. Several sites and complaints about this. Why no recall when this is not a part that should ordinarily need to be replaced?

- Harrisburg, IL, USA

problem #7

Dec 202010

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 80,150 miles


Brake warning light illuminated. Brake fluid reservoir was low ? added fluid. Light came on again after driving a short distance. Mechanic stated brake proportioning valve was leaking on 2003 Kia Spectra; potential for brake failure that could result in fatal accident.

- Erlanger, KY, USA

problem #6

Oct 102010


  • 65,000 miles
Brake proportioning valve leaking on 2003 Kia Spectra, brake pedal went to floor while backing up and resulted in accident. This is a very serious problem, we could have been killed had this happen on the freeway. How long until someone does something about it.

- Okc, OK, USA

problem #5

Oct 082009


  • 102,356 miles
I have a 2003 Kia Spectra that has been running out of brake fluid on a weekly basis. Had to buy new proportioning valve from the dealer. I've read several stories about these valves leaking. Why has there not been a recall.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #4

Feb 012009


  • 114,000 miles


Brake proportioning valve leaking.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #3

Feb 012009


  • 114,000 miles
Brake proportioning valve leaking on 2003 Kia Spectra.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #2

Jun 302003


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Purchased the car in may of 2003, June 30th of 2003 check engine light came on and had to have the tps replaced and 3 more times to present. Have had multiple headlights replaced, heating problem, exhaust replaced. Car is now on 46,000 had transmission replaced (through an att. From lemon law) at 16,000 miles had to have tires replaced. And, now to date tires were replaced for the 5th time, brakes were done 4 times, now to find out the reason tires and brakes were needed to be replaced so many times is because the suspension is way out of alignment which seeing I have had the problem all along I now believe it was a defect all along.

- North Versailles, PA, USA

problem #1

Jul 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
About a week after I purchased this vehicle I started having problems. The rubber weather strip came off and continues to come off after a week after I bought it. I needed to put oil in the car 2 months after I go it, it was almost out of oil. I went to get my oil changed a few months later at Kia of columbus ga, and asked would they top off all fluids and they replied yes. Less than 3 weeks later I had to get my oil changed again and I needed transmission fluid. I have had a constant problem with my brakes squeaking since about after the first week. They have repeatedly told me at Kia of columbus ga that my brakes were fine. My brakes continue to squeak. The light inside the car when the door is open, comes on by itself when all the doors are closed. The light on the ceiling of the car has to stay in a permanent off position, or the light will come on by itself. My car has been kicking back when you put it in reverse while making this groaning noise when in reverse. My seat belt also seems to pull in a locked position sometimes when I am at a red light, I am sitting still, not making any sharp turns for this to happen. I have had nothing but problems with this Kia since I bought

- Phenix City, AL, USA

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