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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,473 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.

2008 Kia Sportage brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Kia Sportage Owner Comments

problem #11

Jan 152016


  • 53,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Kia Sportage. While driving at various speeds, the brake warning light illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the brakes needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact was unaware if the vehicle was serviced according to NHTSA campaign number: 13V114000 (exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 53,000.

- Salineville, OH, USA

problem #10

Feb 152016


  • 110,000 miles
Kia is ripping people off to the tune of $1,700 to $1,800 for their faulty ABS brake controllers plus labor. It is a widely know problem that brake fluid seeps out of the back of this unit onto the circuit board and causes a variety of safety and mechanical issues. A year and a half ago I experienced a problem with the ESC traction light coming on, followed by a flashing 4X4 light and then finally a check engine light. The worst part about this is that it then slams itself into first gear going down the road! yes, you heard that correctly. This can happen very quickly. Kia, you have a safety issue! I replaced the unit with a used one for $350 plus installation and now it has the same problem a year and a half later. There were two possible controller units for the 2008 Sportage and they look identical but are not interchangeable. The other one I can purchase new, direct from South Korea as an oem part in a Kia/Hyundai box for around $500. But not this one, they know they have a serious safety problem as this can unexpectedly pull you down to a crawl in heavy traffic. They also have kept the price extremely high on this unit to maximize profits on a safety item they refuse to fix. I'm looking for another used unit and then I'll dump this lemon.

- Worthington, MN, USA

problem #9

Sep 102015


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Sportage. The contact stated that the brakes were not responding when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V114000 (exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic). The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for inspection and diagnostic testing. The technician completed the repair by ordering the part from the manufacturer. The contact was to determine from the manufacturer when the vehicle could be scheduled for the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 96,000. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #8

Dec 282015


  • 71,000 miles


Due to dashboard lights of ABS, ESC, traction control, ... I was told the hydraulic assembly needs to be replaced, est cost of... ABS pump and module and that it would cost me $2700 to fix.

- North Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #7

Jun 092015


  • miles
Brake fluid had leaked into the ABS control module disabling the ABS, ESC and brakes

- Niagara, WI, USA

problem #6

Mar 112015


  • 32,200 miles
Hydraulic module assembly needed replaced-ABS, ESC, brake lights all came on. Took to dealer who stated "brains" of the ABS system needed replaced.vehicle only has 32,200 miles.

- Butler, PA, USA

problem #5

Apr 212015

Sportage 6-cyl

  • 55,303 miles


I purchased my 2008 Kia Sportage brand new, I take very good care of it. Currently I have 55,000 miles on it, last week the ABS, parking brake and ESC lights came on. I immediately took it to the dealer they ran a diagnostic test $90. I was told the hydraulic assembly needs to be replaced, est cost of $2,311.25 and that my car is now unsafe to drive. Was told that it was not covered under warranty and informed me that this was unusual. Therefore my concern is should this be a recall item?

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #4

Sep 112014

Sportage 4WD 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
My sister in law's 08 Kia Sportage ex had all the dash warning lights come on, the code showed P0501 wheel speed sensor malfunction. I replaced rt frt sensor and still same code. Took it to local shop and they said something is shorted because they can't read all the lights on. I checked some fuses but found none blown. It seemed like the brakes were a little weak and I drove it for a test and noticed it was pulling hard to the right, then it started to pulse as if the ABS was stuck on. I turned for home and parked it. Next day went to try it again and it was dead, I charged battery, the door locks were clicking on/off and horn blowing. I unhooked battery terminals to charge battery and when it was fully charged I hooked it up and the ABS module on front passenger side of car was running and getting hot. Like some one else on this site, I'm sure it would have caught fire but I pulled the battery cables. After looking into purchasing the module I realize why Kia has not recalled this part, price is around $1000 to $1800 for this ABS module. This is a dangerous problem with this car since you are dealing with brakes and also auto fires. Kia needs to step it up and recall this issue. I hope others who have experienced this problem also put in a complaint.

- Hastings, NY, USA

problem #3

Oct 012013


  • 45,000 miles
I have had an ongoing squeal/grind in the rear left. They dealership said it was brakes and I paid a lot of money for brakes which I challenged given only 45000 miles. I still have the issue and of course cant find a thing. I believe its the cv joint or axle. Warranty will not cover according to dealership. This car cant be the only one having this issue. Thanks for allowing me to post this.

- Battle Creek , MI, USA

problem #2

May 092013

Sportage 4WD 6-cyl

  • 147,500 miles
I was in the car, parked in a wendys parking lot, engine off, radio on. There was a loud pop followed by smoke, a gentleman in a truck 3 spaces away heard it and saw it. We got out to look at it and the smoke was increasing, I opened the hood and you could see flames about 2 inches high around the box mounted inside the engine compartment, on the passenger side up near the headlights and over the wheel well. We shut it and waited for the fire department, everything inside the engine compartment that could melt did melt, all the paint on the hood etc, passenger door will not open or shut without noise and an extra push or pull. I am not a mechanic but I am pretty sure that the little black box was the ABS controller. Just lucky that I wasn't driving on the highway. I have seen that there are several other complaints about the same thing.

- Smithsburg, MD, USA

problem #1

Jan 152013

Sportage 4WD 6-cyl

  • 28,200 miles
Approximately, two weeks after purchase in 01/2013, "ESC off, " light came on multiple times at various speeds including vehicle start up. I made several calls to place of purchase regarding intermittent, "ESC off, " light. Pressing " ESC off, " dash button has no effect and the light stays illuminated. Dealer of purchase took vehicle to Kia service and the diagnostic was TPMS light is on, advise. At no time did the TPMS light ever come on, nor was it reported as such. Vehicle was returned with no work done, and place of purchase was informed that tire(s) were low. Currently, the "ESC off, " light is still illuminating and brake lights have failed. Tire pressure check by recent service (oil change) was reported as normal. According to Kia customer support and the Kia dealership of service, this vehicle is not included in the recall issued 01 April, 2013. Purchase mileage 27,476, mileage at Kia service 30,328 on 21 Feb, 2013. Several online forums including report this problem as far back as 2007 models.

- New Holland, OH, USA

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