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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,804 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2002 Kia Sportage Owner Comments

problem #18

Aug 042016


  • 148,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Kia Sportage. The contact stated that the vehicle emitted carbon monoxide and caused the contact to fall sleep. As a result, the contact lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a canal. The air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The contact drove the vehicle again and the failure recurred. As a result, the contact was involved in another crash. A police report was filed both times. The contact sustained fractured ribs and pelvic injuries that required medical attention. The failure mileage was approximately 148,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Chestnut Mound, TN, USA

problem #17

Jul 042016

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 87,540 miles
Takata recall I purchased this car for my granddaughter on 6-6-2016 it has all the symptoms of Kia's recall # cs-048 the car is a 2002 Kia Sportage VIN [xxx] with 87K miles and on July 4th she stopped for a light and the car started to run rough and than stop running, she looked out the window and the road was covered with rough gas from her car thankfully there was a patrol car in back of her and could redirect the traffic and call for back up to hand push the Kia off the road I called the local Kia dealer and was told that this vehicle was not under the gas ( fire safety concern ) SC-O48 I asked what parts needed and could not an answer so if they are dot going to fix I could get the parts and have my mechanic make the repairs I believe that you should have Kia expand this recall so that some one else's grand daughter will not be put in harms way under this recall I thank you for any consideration you can make regarding this matter. Thanks [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #16

May 012016


  • miles
"takata recall" nothing new, same as this and many other complaints... component(s): Fuel system, gasoline fumes, air bags light stays on, hold light stays on, rust underneath the car, windows dont work, only back left door opens, ac dont work, will run hot if on. Consumer location: California all products associated with this complaint expand details close help manufacturer: Kia motors America summary: There is a very strong raw gas smell that permeates the cabin and outside the vehicle. It is very noticeable upon starting and when the vehicle is at rest and running. I have taken this vehicle to numerous mechanics to include the local Kia dealer to resolve the problem - new fuel filter, exhaust, etc. With no positive results. A search of the internet turned up a very common problem with the 99-02 Sportage gas tanks leaking due corrosion caused by poor design/material. I am filing this complaint in hopes that the NHTSA will conduct an investigation and recall of this make/model/yr vehicle to correct this very serious problem. This car has not been driven for over a yr.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #15

Jan 292016


  • 58,400 miles


I bought a car last week from a private seller, and it has a gas leak coming from the gas tank area. I have not taken it in yet to a mechanic to have it checked out. The seller had replaced the filler hose, and had said the previous owner had replaced the gas tank, so he said there shouldn't have been any issues. I have two grandchildren that need to be able to ride safely in this car, and I refuse to drive it with this leak on there. From the other reports that I am reading, this is a major issue, along with the rusted frame on the car. Kia should not be allowed to continue to sell cars without fixing these other major issues.

- Buchanan, MI, USA

problem #14

Sep 182015


  • miles
My car has rusted significantly underneath the vehicle.. to the point where it appears that it rusted the frame and shock absorbers. My car was made in Korea... wonder if these imports have to adhere to the same standards as american made cars with underbody treatment? also the fuel backs-up out of the gas tank... when in try to get the replacement part... I have been give numerous parts which do not fit from the dealer. Also brakes have been replaced and rooters ground down but they keep having problems.

- Hamden, CT, USA

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problem #13

Mar 152007


  • 30,000 miles
An overwhelming smell of gasoline inside the cabin, over the years have tried everything including Kia dealers that could not solve the issue until now. A few weeks ago (April 2015) as I tried to fill the car it would not accept fuel so I determined the venting system was faulty, I dismantled it and found the carbon filled box at the end of the vent to be plugged. As I could not replace it I forced compressed air into it and cleared the obstruction (replaced it later). The strong smell has ceased and I can fill with fuel again. This comment is for those that have filled complaints but have not been satisfied by your organization.

- Tulameen, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 032014

Sportage 4WD 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


Noticing strong odor of fuel coming through the vents during times of cold weather. It has become more of an issue since I have been driving this car more. I have taken it to 2 mechanics who tell me that they have not smelled the odor, even after giving one of them the car overnight. However, my husband has noticed it so I am not the only one. It is beginning to cause me to have nausea as I drive up to 100 miles per day 3 days per week. As the car heats up and as the weather warms throughout the day the fuel smell does go away. However, I have 2 children riding in the back seat and am concerned for their health and safety as well. As I research, I have realized that this is a common problem with this make and model of vehicle and the issue can be easily fixed. My husband and I will be taking steps to remedy this problem ourselves, but I cannot see how when this is such a potentially hazardous situation, and multiple complaints have been made, that the manufacturer could not have recalled this vehicle. This is irresponsible on behalf of the manufacturer and reflects poor business practices.

- Lakewood, WA, USA

problem #11

Jan 032011


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Kia Sportage. The contact stated that the aroma of fuel was present when the vehicle was started. The fuel scent vanished after the vehicle was warmed up. The failure occurred numerous times during the winter. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Crossfield, TN, USA

problem #10

Oct 242014


  • 162,180 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Kia Sportage. The contact stated that fuel fumes were present in and around the vehicle. The dealer stated that there was a fuel leak coming from the fuel tank. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and informed the contact that the VIN was not included in any recalls. The approximate failure mileage was 162,180.

- Hartwood, VA, USA

problem #9

Sep 022014


  • 117,500 miles
There is a very strong raw gas smell that fills the cabin and outside the vehicle. It is very noticeable upon starting and when the vehicle is at rest and running. Fuel tank leaking. Seam areas and fuel pump/sending unit area due to corrosion and vehicle. The vehicle was parked, and I had a hard time starting it. Then when I tried to drive it, all I could do is smell raw gas.------------------------ I have replaced the fuel tank, fuel pump assembly, any and all parts attached to fuel tank. (very expensive). On researching the problem, I have found that there are many other owners complaining of this problem. I have owned this vehicle since February 2011, I have not been in any accidents since buying this vehicle. In fact, upon learning of mechanical issues I try to have them fixed as soon as possible. (however, I was given an orange title. Which at the time, I did not fully understand what it meant.) yet, the vehicle drove with just minor problems, such as: Brakes, timing belt, fuel filter, oil changes, etc). This has been the most expensive and most damaging problem with the vehicle.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #8

Sep 152014


  • 105,043 miles


Fuel tank leaking. Seam areas and fuel pump/sending unit area do to corrosion and vehicle will not meet emissions standards do to leak. Unsafe do to fumes entering cabin. Kis has a technical service bulletin SC059 for Sportage 1996 - 2002 fuel tank inspection for corrosion but dealer said it was not covered also called Kia usa was told not covered do to production date 10/15/2001 but Kia SC059 bulletin has model year 10/01/2000 through 9/30/2002 as being covered.

- Gardencity , MI, USA

problem #7

Nov 012013


  • 120,000 miles
I purchased the 2002 Kia Sportage used on October 1, 2013, with 120,000 miles on it. When the temperatures became cool, I started noticing gas fumes in the passenger compartment, and strong smell of gas in the engine compartment in the vicinity of the intake manifold. I started noticing gas dripping from the engine when the car was stopped and idling. After three trips to my local mechanic, and one to the Kia dealer, during which the fuel injectors, fuel injector O rings, rubber fuel lines, and fuel filter were replaced, the leak continues. Because of the strength of the fumes, the car is undriveable unless the windows are open, and I fear an explosion and fire.

- Mount Vernon, IA, USA

problem #6

Aug 152013


  • 119,000 miles
My 2002 Kia Sportage 4WD 2D cv gas - 119,000 miles on it. When pumping gas- the gasoline pours and shoots right back out. Not a very good experience at all. I had two of my children in the car and it seemed like gasoline was all over me. This needs to be recalled right away. This is not safe at all!

- Pinellas Park, FL, USA

problem #5

Nov 222010

Sportage 4-cyl

  • miles
When it is cold (winter season) when fueling my tank it spills out, making it hard to fill tank. This has been happening ever since I have had the vehicle, which was Oct of 2010. Yesterday (thurs) when fueling it would not let me put hardly any gas in with out spilling out. I don't know exact date this was noticed by me but it was in winter, this happens every cold season.

- Onalaska, WI, USA

problem #4

May 092006

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 41,800 miles
Car spit out gas as it is being filled. Has happened many many times since I purchased the car.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #3

Jan 032009

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
Gas fumes enter vehicle cab threw air vents.

- Warminster, PA, USA

problem #2

Nov 172011


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Kia Sportage. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, fuel fumes were emitted into the vehicle. The failure occurred when driving at any speed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who detected no signs of a fuel leak. The technician also informed the fuel tank must be removed in order to locate the problem. The vehicle was not repaired. There was a technical service bulletin under NHTSA item number 10015753 (fuel system, other:delivery:fuel pump). The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 73,000.

- Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA

problem #1

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

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