really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 2
Average Mileage:
35,486 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.

2012 Kia Forte seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2012 Kia Forte Owner Comments

problem #7

Dec 202016


  • 103,000 miles


On 12/20/16, my oldest daughter was following my youngest daughter to have breakfast. My oldest daughter drives a 2012 Kia Forte. My youngest daughter was at a red light with my Kia-driving daughter directly behind. The light turned green, and for some reason the youngest did not go. My oldest took her foot off the brake and "tapped" the car in front of her. The Kia's drive side air bag partially deployed injuring my daughter's hand slightly. She immediately drove it home (with inoperable seat belts due to deployment) and called me. We called the dealership, and they referred us to a body shop where we were given an estimate of ~$2,000 for repair. I inspected both vehicles and could not see any evidence of damage (not even a paint smudge). This was very upsetting as I am now concerned with spurious air bag deployments with this vehicle. Kia claimed that both impact and deceleration are required to deploy the air bag, my question is why did it only partially deploy ? this incident was very similar to parking a car and touching the vehicle in front of it. See photos for deployment, and no damage to front of vehicle.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #6

Jul 282013


  • 13,000 miles
This is a correction to a complaint filed last week. I checked no on the fatalities question. The Kia was in a serious fatal frontal impact but the airbags did not deploy. Kia tested the airbag control module and it had no fault codes and did not record any crash data. Kia has the module now. The other cars airbags worked and the drunk driver survived...updated 10/15/15...updated 12/29/15

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #5

Jul 282013


  • 13,000 miles
The car was involved in a serious frontal impact and the front seat airbags did not go off. The passenger was killed and the driver was seriously injured. Kia was informed and the airbag control module was tested and found to be not working.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #4

Mar 292015


  • 31,500 miles


My daughter was stopped in traffic and was hit from behind causing her to hit the truck in front. The car was totaled and no airbags deployed.............

- Biscayne Park, FL, USA

problem #3

Dec 152014

Forte 4-cyl

  • miles
The car got a flat tire while taking a curve and hit a concrete pole. The car was total loss and all the front part was smashed. The steering wheel airbag was the only to deploy but did not deploy all the way, side airbags didn't deployed. Driver got a clavicle fracture.....updated 01/23/15 updated 2/11/16

- Lake Wales, FL, USA

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problem #2

May 302014


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owned a 2012 Kia Forte. The contact's vehicle was rear ended by another vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact sustained injuries to the mouth, chin, lip, and sustained a concussion. The contact was hospitalized and received medical attention. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 79,000.

- Covina, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 272012


  • 8,900 miles
We were driving our 2012 Kia Forte ex (sedan) which we had purchased brand new in December 2011 to the store to get bread and were on our way home (only about 2 minutes into the drive) when we saw smoke coming from the front of the car. We pulled over within about 50 feet of seeing it, put it in park- which by the time we did so, we lost all power and couldn't even get the key out of the ignition. We got out and my boyfriend tried to pop the hood but it was already so hot he couldn't do it... I ran about 20 feet away for safety reasons, so I am not sure where it started, but within about 30 seconds, the flames came out of the sides and front of the hood. My boyfriend thinks it was about where the fuse box is, because that is where he noticed the paint start to bubble off. He is a mechanic and has never seen anything like it. The entire front of the car, through the dash is disintegrated. My airbags melted and poured out of the dash and roof, upholstery melted off the seats, and door panels bubbled up. All the speakers blew and melted. It happened so quickly, if I had kids in the back or couldn't have pulled over in time, there could have been very serious injuries or deaths. I am very thankful it didn't happen on my way to work, as I drive in traffic on a highway with no shoulder. I had no electronic modifications. It was entirely stock, with the exception of window tint, exhaust, a lowering kit, and aftermarket tires and wheels--all which were installed by professionals. The car had 8900 miles on it and all maintenance work had been done. Even 3 oil changes- even though Kia claims the car can go 7K without one. My insurance company is going to treat it as a total loss and do an investigation on it. Kia has a case going but have not yet sent an engineer out.

- Algona, WA, USA

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