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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,771 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Kia Sportage Owner Comments

problem #8

Sep 152013


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Kia Sportage. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph the vehicle stalled. The vehicle also independently downshifted while the contact was driving 25 mph. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Paramus, NJ, USA

problem #7

May 252013


  • 159,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Kia Sportage. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked on a slight incline without the emergency brake engaged and the key still in the ignition when the vehicle rolled 20 feet away and crashed into a nearby house. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to the contact's residence. A police report was filed. There were no injuries. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 159,000.

- Franklin, NC, USA

problem #6

Aug 021999

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
Vehicle runs hot and will not pass the smog test. I replaced the thermostat three times and the radiator one time just recently. The diagnostic test shows that the engine cooling coil or system has a problem. I can no longer drive it because it will not pass the smog and I cannot get it registered!!!!

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 152006

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles


Noticed a small high pitched whine toward the rear of the vehicle. My mechanic checked and said that it was probably a pinion bearing in the differential going bad and should be covered by the warranty. Took the car to the dealer for a determination and was told that the differential needed replaced and was not covered under the warranty since the fluid had not been changed every 20000 miles along with a bill for $126. Was not about to pay them the $1000 they wanted to replace a differential that should have been covered under warranty. Still driving the car which now makes a loud grinding sound and draws alot of attention which allows me to discourage any Kia purchases from prospective buyers. The 4 wheel drive has quit working also leaving only single wheel drive making the vehicle very unstable on wet road conditions.

- Dillsburg, PA, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Sep 102009

Sportage 4WD

  • 56,000 miles
2002 Kia Sportage 4WD has a vacuum-hub system, I have been researching on the internet and have found that this has a history of failure, however there is no way of knowing that the 4WD is not engaged, because the indicator on the dashboard lights whether or not the 4WD is working. This is a common ongoing problem in these vehicles, the solution would be to install manual hubs, however Kia does not offer to pay for this option to its consumers. I live in Wisconsin and am a single mother and depend upon the 4 wheel drive to get me through the Wisconsin winters, now that the 4 wheel drive is not working I get stuck in the smallest amount of snow, and feel like a idiot calling aaa to tow me out all the time. I think that this problem should be made into a recall especially since I only have 56,000 miles on the vehicle and am the original owner.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #2

Feb 042003

Sportage 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 400 miles
Continuous problems with Kia Sportage. So far there have been no accidents, but I fear that someday this car will cause a serious accident.

- Hutchinson, KS, USA

problem #1

Mar 092003


  • 98,000 miles
The gears shifted improperly and there was a rattling noise coming from under the vehicle. Consumer was informed the transmission needed to be replaced, also the dealer noticed the steering gear box was leaking.

- Citrus Hieghts, CA, USA

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