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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,929 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Kia Spectra Owner Comments

problem #12

Mar 192015

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


Front end collision going around 30mph and no airbag deployment. Car is totaled.

- Goodyear, AZ, USA

problem #11

Nov 072012


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Spectra. The contact stated while driving approximately 20 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated. The contact also stated months later the seat belt springs from the driver and passenger side exploded. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for a diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000 and the current failure mileage 143,000.

- Riligh, NC, USA

problem #10

Jun 202011

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 60 miles
The warning light on the Spectra 2005 4-door has been a problem from day 1. the light keeps going on and off. When I brought it back to the dealer on a number of occasions, the light went off so they were never able to determine the problem. Now the light is permanently 'on' and I don't know if it is working or not. It is definitely a concern and it is a definitely a problem. In addition, the timing belt keeps loosening on a continual basis. I have repeatedly bought it to my mechanic to get it tightened. This should not be the case. The timing belt, once fixed, should remain in tact at least for a length of time (not a month!). that the warranty has expired, the light remains on. Whatever, I have been very unhappy with the car. Am disappointed. I realize the cost was a significant factor upon purchase, but my Hyundai at the same cost break (actually lower) proved to be a significantly better car. I gave the Hyundai to a friend of mine and it is keeps on ticking. It is still in service and runs better than the Kia at over triple the mileage. In addition, the entire suspension replaced at 65,000 which is unusual as I do not drive the car hard and I avoid bumps.

- Eastchester, NY, USA

problem #9

Jan 132010


  • 110,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Kia Spectra. The contact stated that the seat track on the passenger side was located where the air bags were. She assumed that because the wires for the air bags were run close to the seat track, the air bags were disconnected when the seat was moved back and forth because the air bag light was illuminated. The contact called the local dealer who stated that the seat mechanism would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was approximately 140,000 and the failure mileage was approximately 110,000.

- Sylva, NC, USA

problem #8

Jun 062010


  • 57,800 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Spectra. The contact received a recall notice for recall 05V431000 (air bags) and the repair was performed. However, the air bag light illuminated again and stayed on. The passenger air bag sensor was non-functional. When someone sat in the passenger seat, the light did not illuminate indicating that the air bag was activated. The dealer stated that the failure could result in the air bag not deploying in an accident or it deploying at any time. The failure mileage was approximately 57,800. The current mileage was approximately 58,000.

- Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

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problem #7

Nov 252008


  • 55,000 miles
Black ice on roads I ended up turned upside down in a six foot ditch. Car has been totaled. No air bags deployed. Upset that a crash like that the air bags would not deploy. What is the protocol for something like this?

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #6

Feb 092007

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,485 miles


2004 and a half Kia Spectra had the recall of the air bag light done, #05V431000. The light still comes on intermittently still. The dealer said that the airbag will still work if someone is sitting in the seat. Happens too much. Is it really safe.

- North Wales, PA, USA

problem #5

Oct 152005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,804 miles
Problems began October 15, 2005 details of problems: 03/25/05 - A/C vents broken - dealer replaced "nozzle assy - ctr ai" 10/15/05 - check engine light is on - dealer states 'heater circuit malfunction' replaced "02 sensor assy" and reset codes 10/28/05 - check engine light is on and battery went dead (I had it jumped by aaa)- dealer cannot find problem 10/28/05 - emblem cracked on steering wheel - dealer states 'flaw in material' replaced driver side SRS bag 11/29/05 - check engine light is on - dealer states P0442 gas cap not sealing & P0455 canister not sealing - dealer replaces gas cap and canister, also orders new ECM 11/29/05 - dealer recalled: SC053 reprogram OCS seat control and SC055 Spectra air bag -dealer replaces items for recall 01/03/06 - check engine light is on - dealer states 'logic error in ECM - dealer replaced ECM 01/11/06 -check engine light is on - dealer states 'poor ground at ECM' was instructed by tech line to replace spark plugs; dealer repaired ground and replaced spark plugs 01/23/06 - engine light is on - dealer states problem at ECM - kept car for repairs 02/13/06 - dealer states that Spectra cannot be repaired at this time. They also state that another car with a similar problem has been sent back to Korea so that they can find the problem. Dealer's estimated time to repair my car 2 months from now (has been at dealer since 01/23/06 - 20 days) as stated by keith emmerman, Kia palmdale service manager. Mr. Emmerman also stated that I am required, as the Spectra owner, to come pick up my car un-repaired and drive it anyway. I have been told by the Kia dealership in palmdale, that the problem the Kia is having is in the computer. They do not know how to fix it and want me to drive it any way. The car has been in the shop several times for different problems and now 3 times for the ECM. Now they want me to pick up the car and drive it even though the problem has not been fixed and they don't know how to fix it.

- Quartz Hill, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 222005

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
The contact's daughter was driving at 40 mph and she ran a stop sign. She hit another vehicle head on. Upon impact, the air bags did not deploy. Seat belts were in use. The vehicle was totaled. The manufacturer was contacted.

- Long Mont , CO, USA

problem #3

Sep 012004


  • miles
Passenger side airbag sensors in 2004 Spectra. The air bag sensors in the front passenger seat did not always detect when adults were sitting there.

- Kihei, HI, USA

problem #2

Sep 012004


  • miles
The dealer never disclosed the existence of the air bag sensor system. The air bad posed a possible safety risk to consumers that were petite and weighed 125 pounds or less.

- Kihei, HI, USA

problem #1

Jul 312004

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
We were involved in an accident our seat belts and airbags failed to work. We were both thrown into the windsheild. Suffered injuries to back, head and neck. Transported to hospital by ems. Our vecicle 2004 Kia septra 4 door was a total loss.

- Hiawassee, GA, USA

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