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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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,463 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Kia Spectra Owner Comments

problem #13

Jun 162004

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles

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

I have a 2004 Kia Spectra that has an issue sticking in third gear. It started a month after I bought the car brand new. I noticed it when I first pulled out of a side street on to a main road and when I pushed on the accelerator the car was barely moving. Thank god no on coming traffic was coming, cause yes I would of caused an accident. When I took it in to Kia they said they could not find any issues. Then a month or so later I was accelerating off an exit ramp and the transmission stuck in third gear. I had to pull off the side of the road. When I stepped on the brake it reset and I was off again. I again took it to Kia and they kept it all day, but still said they could not find an issue. It felt like the car was in park and I was pressing on the gas. This has happen 6 more times, but Kia says they have not found any issues on their computer. Now the car has no warranty so I just live with it.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #12

Aug 072005

Spectra

  • 15,000 miles
My fiance's bought a Kia Spectra.... I have noticed for awhile that at freeway speeds its ok... getting to and coming down from freeway speeds however is a interesting time... the car for about 2-3 secs. Revs and doesn't slam but seems to ease into gear then jerks forward... passing other vehicles is not done often due to this problem. And when getting on the off ramp the motor down shifts and revs. Way to high then same as before eases into gear and jerks backwards. Then while on city streets the transmission has a much larger stall before getting into gear 4-5 secs. And this time is slams into gear producing torque steer. I had her take it in and said they couldn't find anything. So I never further persuade it.. because nothing was going to be done. Have worked at a dealership before. They did however see that the speedo would flip out and not work at sit at 40 mph at a dead stop then as you got to 20 mph it would climb insanely then sit there they have fixed it 3 times and the third seemed to be the charm. So I am wondering if there has been a recall about there transmissions. I don't remember when exactly when this happened but mileage was about 15K and still happens till this day at 58K. So I drive it because I worry for her safety and my sons.

- South Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #11

Jan 152007

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Spectra. While driving 50 mph, the engine revved when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The failure occurred four times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but they were unable to find a defect. The failure mileage was 36,000 and current mileage was 40,000. Updated 5/30/08 the consumer stated the transmission slips from a stop it feels as though it is in neutral. Updated 05/30/08

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #10

Apr 042006

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,400 miles

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

: the contact stated while shifting gears, the transmission lurches. The dealership determined the computer is not sending the proper signals to the transmission to shift gears. The dealership is unaware of how to repair the vehicle. Updated 5/3/2006 -

- Hamburg, NY, USA

problem #9

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 #8

Jul 152004

Spectra

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30 miles
Transmission gear will not change. Vehicle locked while in traffic. Dealer was not able to duplicate the problem. The transmission continued to lock up and produced a burning smell.

- Carrollton, GA, USA

problem #7

Apr 022005

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles

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

The gear shift slipped out of drive into neutral and pulled to the right striking a parked car. Extensive damage to both cars, no injuries however. In October of 2004 the transmission slipped out of drive as a truck was approaching while making a left turn. The car did move by putting gear shift into neutra as the driver tried anything to get out of the wayl. This car is on it's third transmission, with less than 10,000 miles on it.

- Skokie, IL, USA

problem #6

Jan 032005

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
I was stopped in traffic at a light and upon the light turning green I pushed the accelerator and my tachometer needle went up to 4 and higher until I took my foot off the gas. Upon pushing the gas pedal again it did the same thing (in the middle of traffic) and I had to shift into neutral while going about 35 mph and back into drive. My Kia still didn't want to shift so I put it back into neutral again and pushed the gas pedal to rev the rpms and then put back into drive and it drove ok. This happened a few months after buying the car and the Kia dealer said nothing was wrong with vehicle. It continues to happen unpredictably.

- Port Orange, DE, USA

problem #5

Jul 012004

Spectra

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The vehicle would not accelerate more than 50 miles per hour. The consumer took the vehicle to the repair, but the problem still continued.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #4

Sep 112004

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,500 miles
On several instances my car has not shifted into a higher gear when taking off from a stop sign. I have taken the car to the dealer twice and they have not found anything wrong. This has happened on the following dates: 9/11, 9/12, 9/20, and twice on 9/23.

- Neenah, WI, USA

problem #3

Jun 102004

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles

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

I have had issues with my Kia Spectra where the transmission fails to shift into a higher gear when at a stop sign or light. I have to pump the gas or shift into neutral and back to drive to get it to shift.

- Neenah, WI, USA

problem #2

Aug 032004

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles
Without any notice at all, and without any warning, while driving at any usual city speed, the automatic transmission will not shift gears properly, causing the car to stop gaining speed while in traffic. This seems to happen more when in stop-and-go type traffic. Also, the transmission is very rough, "choppy" and gears slip often. He passenger seat belt will also lock permanently, with only a replacement fixing the problem.

- Oak Creek, WI, USA

problem #1

Jul 012004

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at any speed and no warning the automatic transmission, will not shifting properly when vehicle is changing gears. Dealer has been notified.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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