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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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,622 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.

2002 Kia Sportage cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Kia Sportage Owner Comments

problem #11

Jun 082010


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Kia Sportage. The contact stated that whenever he drove, the check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop where the thermostat was replaced. The failure continued. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the radiator was replaced. However, the failure continued. Also, while traveling approximately 35 mph, the contact noticed that the power steering malfunctioned. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the fan belt was replaced. The failure mileage was approximately 68,000 and the current mileage was approximately 78,000.

- Saint Pete, FL, USA

problem #10

Feb 132010


  • 85,000 miles
Coolant gauge not reading or registering thermostat temperature therefore rendering it unfit for clearing an inspection. It causes the check engine light to stay on even if coolant and/or thermostat, sensors, harness wiring wires and other things/parts connect to it has been replaced or checked for problems it still gives a false reading that the same problem is wrong with vehicle. Coolant thermostat not reaching temperature.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #9

Aug 242010


  • 112,000 miles
While driving my 2002 Kia Sportage yesterday, I heard a loud bang and pulled off the road to investigate. I noticed antifreeze coming from under my car. I opened the hood and found that the radiator fan had exploded and was missing all it's blades and the shroud was in pieces also. One of the pieces punched a hole in the radiator. Prior to this happening, the vehicle was not overheating or having any noticeable problems. I discovered last night that this vehicle was recalled for this exact same problem but Kia motors claims that my vehicle was not included in the recall even though I had the exact same problem as noted in the recall. My car is in the shop and I am paying to have the vehicle repaired. I think maybe the problem may be present in other vehicles not "listed" in the recall. I feel lucky that I did not have my head under the hood when this happened.

- Antelope, CA, USA

problem #8

Apr 082008


  • 80,000 miles


I have a 2002 Kia Sportage it has 80,000 miles on it and I was driving it came up on a red light and the clutch wouldn't disengage the pedal would go down but the clutch wouldn't release so I drove through a red light with no ability to stop there was alot of cars coming and they barely missed T-boning me there where kids also playing on the side walk I had to shut the engine of and coast to a stop the gear shift wouldn't come out of gear as long as the engine was turning over. It will start and run all day as long as its in neutral. I had to have the vehicle towed and it has sat for two years now ( I deployed for 15 months that's why its sat so long) I replaced the slave and master cylinder and it hasn't changed anything I was in a parts store and heard another guy talking about his 2002 Sportage it done the same thing and he rear ended someone totaling it. Its in a junkyard now and I have talked to countless others who have had this problem one guy paid the dealership 1700$ to fix his then the problem came bad a week later. I just want my car to be fixed. The last problem I had with it was the fan exploded when I was driving down the road and cut my radiator the dealer replaced the fan but just crimped my radiator I am very dissatisfied with Kia I called and the guy hung up on me when I explained my problem so im not the only one im sure.

- Fort Campbell, KY, USA

problem #7

Feb 102010


  • 97,766 miles
Prior, at 97K the rear was making noise. Brought to dealer, they said rear needs to be replaced. Because I had no receipts from a garage stating the oil was replaced, it was not covered under warranty. Dealer wanted to charge $900. To replace rear and axle. Part changers.had rear rebuilt $400. Radiator was replaced at 100K. After over years, cooling fan was replaced under recall. Vacuum hub was replaced to manual. Fuel smell, was rubber return line from fuel psi regulator to metal return line leaking. Kept up on all maintenance since new, a reliable car with original engine and transmission, at 222K.

- Croton Falls, NY, USA

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problem #6

Jul 282002


  • 80,000 miles
Fan blades on 2002 Kia Sportage.

- Danube, MN, USA

problem #5

Aug 172008


  • miles


Vehicle: 2002 Kia Sportage 4 dr. 4X4; purchased brand new & pd. In full. In 2008, we left an amusement park, hot day. 4 passengers including 1 baby. Upon going home needed to run A/C. I noticed the temp. Gauge going from approx. Midrange temp. To hot. A/C was shut off & we rolled down windows & made it home. Took vehicle to be checked out & was told that the cooling fan was inoperative. The tech. Said there is a recall for this problem. I took vehicle to Kia dealership who claimed after approx. 30 - 40 mins, in his care, that the recalled cooling fan problem was now replaced @ no charge to me. I am now finding out that replacement was not done due to another, separate technician. 2 tech's involved. 1st tech told me of recall; 2nd tech said recalled item was not replaced. What should I do? please tell me. I need your advice. I await your reply as time is of the essence.

- Colonial Heights, VA, USA

problem #4

Aug 062008


  • miles
I would like to start by saying that I have had my vehicle at the mechanic's shop twice within the past year due to my check engine light coming on and going off sporadically. My mechanic has, both times, hooked it up to all his machinery to check for the problem, but both times, found nothing. Now, let me tell you what just happened... I had an incident happen with my 2002 Kia Sportage this evening 8/6/08. The cooling fan broke apart an severed my power steering hose spraying oil all over my car causing it to smoke and my power steering to go out. This is what my husband says happened anyway. I was stranded 30 miles from home and had to have my car towed to my usual mechanic. Upon returning home I researched the net for my vehicle and found that there was a recall for this very same problem in 2007. I was not notified of this recall and would have had my vehicle fixed had I known. I'm not sure of the extent of the damage, as this just happened tonight, but I want to know what can be done about it?

- Hillsboro, OH, USA

problem #3

Jan 112008

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 55,579 miles
Driving in rush hour traffic last week and car started to lose power and the smell of antifreeze through the vents. The car was not smoking, thermostat was not showing overheating. I tried to make it to the off ramp less than 1.5 miles. Dealer says that the radiator has a hole in it and the head has to be rebuilt and they say that I must replace the timing belt and pulley's. I was told that the cause of this incident was a bad thermostat. The head assembly, cylinder head, spark plugs, hoses were damaged beyond repair replaced. I also have replaced the timing belt, radiator, thermostat and as of May 15 2008 a new fan clutch. The vehicle does not shows any signs of overheating on any gauges, and does not smoke. You can only here the sound of boiling water in the radiator. How do you diagnose overheating problems that can do over $4000 damage to a motor with 55K miles and 5 years old. Case number --K14040462.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #2

Jul 282005

Sportage 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles
I have a 2002 Kia Sportage 2 door. We bought it brand new for our son thinking it would be a fun little car for him. 36,000 miles later it has been in the shop 15 times for various things such as air bag needing repaired to engine cooling system exploding on me in the middle of the dessert and me alone for 6 hours before I could get help. This SUV if you can call it that is nothing but a headache and I am very concerned about my sons or in fact anyone that is in it when it is on the roads safety.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #1

Sep 272003

Sportage 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,500 miles
My radiator fan motor literally blew up. All the fan blades fell off and caused my temperature to rise, after it the temp. Rose then the engine light came on and the vehicle shut down. This has cracked my radiator and possibly the engine as well. I have had nothing but problems since I purchased my Kia Sportage new. My rear windows did not work, my A/C has made noises since day 1, the caps keep falling off my wheels, the alignment was out so the dealership said that it was a factory defect on the tie rod's, the knob on the rear seat was broken, I have been ran off the road because of the headlights being out of adjustment (repaired numerous times), vehicle does not like to go into reverse in the mornings (5 speed), I've had wires hanging from under my dash when purchased, when it rains my feet get wet inside the vehicle. I have problems with the hood not lining up correctly as well.

- Wimauma, FL, USA

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