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
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,848 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.

2004 Kia Spectra engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Kia Spectra Owner Comments

problem #6

Sep 112009


  • 115,000 miles


The cruise control unit when engaged it accelerates on its own. Or it tolally dis-engages on its own.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #5

Nov 092008

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Spectra. While slowing down for a red light or stop sign at any speed, the vehicle makes a loud noise and accelerates. The contact had to turn off the vehicle in order for the failures to stop. The failure began in January of 2008. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnostic, but the cause of the failure could not be determined. On November 9, 2008, while driving 5 mph in reverse, the vehicle accelerated and crashed into a tree. The contact was uninjured. The vehicle is currently at the body shop. The failure mileage was 28,000 and current mileage was 37,000. Updated 12/17/08. Updated 12/18/08.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #4

Oct 252007

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,600 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Spectra. When the brakes were applied, the engine revved and the vehicle accelerated automatically. The vehicle can only be stopped by being turned completely off. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The current mileage was 34,000 and failure mileage was 33,600. Updated 03-19-08 the consumer stated the dealer inspected the vehicle and could not duplicate the defect. The consumer also stated problem has not happened again. Updated 03/19/08

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #3

Sep 032004

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,590 miles


The consumer stated that her transmission seemed to be slipping. She had taken the vehicle to dealership three times to be examined. The dealership could not find the cause of the problem. The consumer stated that the problem occurred between 20-40 mph. This was an intermittent problem but occurred more frequently. When this happened the consumer had to pull the vehicle over and place the vehicle in park then back to drive. Even though there was a temporary fix, the vehicle was still hard to pull over when in traffic. The consumer had been in contact with Kia, and they took her information and had the dealership call her back. When the consumer was at the dealer, they simply examined the vehicle, then gave it back to the consumer and told her that there was nothing they can find that is wrong. The dealership made the uncomfortable when they treated her like she made up the problem. The consumer is considered applying for the lemon law in her state. (12/08/05) the rpms would increase but the vehicle would not go faster. Kia replaced the computer board in relation to the transmission. Updated 1/25/2006 -

- Snohomish, WA, USA

problem #2

Mar 012005

Spectra 4-cyl

  • miles
Kia Spectra 2004, consumer experienced problem of sudden acceleration. The consumer had difficulty maintaining control of the vehicle.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #1

Aug 232004

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 900 miles
While driving and upon pressing the brake pedal down, the vehicle surged forward. Consumer took the vehicle to the dealer eight times. Also, there was vibration in the steering which made a banging noise.

- Rome, GA, USA

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