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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,283 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Kia Sportage Owner Comments

problem #12

Sep 152010


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Kia Sportage. The contact stated that whenever he would attempt to fill the fuel tank, gasoline would begin to spew out of the fuel tank. The contact also noticed that when using the air conditioner the engine would exhibit a loud roaring noise. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The current and failure mileage was 150,000.

- Sugarland, TX, USA

problem #11

Oct 062009


  • 20 miles
My 2002 Kia Sportage surges forward while stopped at a traffic signal. This has been an on-going problem since I purchased the vehicle in 2002. Also, the vehicle stalls on a regular basis, while at speeds in excess of 40 mph.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #10

Aug 312009


  • 69,000 miles
2005 Kia Sportage has a faulty harmonic balancer.

- Fenton, MO, USA

problem #9

Aug 182008


  • 77,400 miles


NY Kia Sportage 2002 4D4X4 cooling fan blew apart taking out the radiator and other parts. It is a defective part found recall on the internet. Called Kia 18003334542 argued with them for a week they finally agreed to fix the damage. It was to be done Monday that's when they ordered the parts. They will not provide a loaner car as mine is out of warranty.

- Bovard, PA, USA

problem #8

Jun 232007

Sportage 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Kia Sportage. The vehicle was under recall regarding the engine fan. While driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle burst into flames. The fire began when the engine overheated, which caused the fan to crack and strike the radiator. The heat also caused the head of the valves to warp. The fan was previously replaced. This failure has occurred twice. The recall number that was referenced was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 66,000.

- Seymour, TN, USA

problem #7

Sep 072004

Sportage 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving from 5 to 65 mph on a normal road conditions, all dash lights dimed completely. The horn was also affected by the electrical failure. The engine started to shake up and the steering became difficult until the vehicle completely stalled. There was also a problem with the automatic transmission. The vehicle was taken to the dealership who was apprehensive to accept the vehicle for repairs. Based on the power train warranty, the vehicle was accepted for inspection.

- Mancos, CO, USA

problem #6

Jan 092006

Sportage 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


: the contact stated the check engine light intermittently illuminates. The vehicle was taken to the local dealership several times to have the check engine module reset. This remedy worked for several months but the light eventually illuminates again. The local dealer has not determined the problem with the light. Also, the gas tank had a leak in the gas line. The vehicle was towed to the local dealership where they replaced the gas line, however a gas odor still exist inside the vehicle. Updated 2/28/2006 -

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #5

Dec 312002


  • 2,380 miles
2002 Kia Sportage. (nar) first oil change, filter replacement, lube, rattling noise under steering wheel, sluggish transmission shifting and excessive brake residue on right front wheel.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 272003

(reported on)


  • miles
Vehicle shakes and there is a sudden decrease in speed. The vehicle had been to the dealer for repairs and the problems remained the same. While driving, the vehicle vibrated, then the check engine light came on, and the vehicle suddenly decreased speed from 45 mph down to 5 mph.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #3

Aug 282003

Sportage 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,600 miles
I mirror ODI id number 10010713 - failure date March 17, 2003 almost to a "T"!he differences are...I have been back to service department at least 10 times for the same repair. Now 31,000 miles. I have been offered a rental once. Service manager and shop foreman have driven car themselves to make sure repair is ok. Fine for a day or so, then happens again! so...never really ok! this vehicle is unsafe with this unresolvable (to date) problem. My wife and 4 year child have been passengers alone (and with me in the vehicle) when this happens. The last time an 18 wheeler was running up her back when this happened. Very life threatening. Kia manufacturer's response has initially been "I'm sorry." We can only offer to repair the problem. 10 times is more than sufficient to fix a problem. I want a new vehicle or to take the car back and 'wash' the entire loan to $0. I bought a new car so I would not have issues like this occur. Like oid id number 10010713 states, "I just want a car that works."

- Rowley, MA, USA

problem #2

Jun 242003

(reported on)

Sportage 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Problems with air bag light, and windows on Kia Sportage. Also problem with a cracked motor head.

- Stephens City, VA, USA

problem #1

Mar 172003

Sportage 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I bought a Kia Sportage in April 2002. Since then, the car has been brought back to the Kia service center on four separate occasions for the same problem. The engine will sputter, the car shakes, the rpms go to 0 and the header pipe glows red hot (literally), and all of a sudden the car will lose 75% of its power. This is dangerous. This car has maybe 10,000 miles on it and it was bought brand new. This is ridiculous and not acceptable. The service center has replaced the rotors (keep in mind this is on 10,000 miles), the catalytic converter, head pipe, muffler and the rest of the entire exhaust system, and spark plugs. Up to this date, they have not found the problem and even as I type this, the car is sitting in the service center the fourth time. I was given a rental vehicle the third time. But this time, they have not given me a rental or replacement vehicle because two are out of commission due to accidents and one is currently being used. They say that they have to hook the car up to a computer and drive it numerous mile to record data. I just want a car that works.

- Lancaster , PA, USA

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