definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,425 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.

2001 Kia Rio suspension problems

suspension problem

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2001 Kia Rio Owner Comments

problem #7

Apr 182008

Rio 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 107,695 miles


Vehicle started to vibrate like wheels were out of balance. Turned into driveway driver side rear wheel fell off with brake drum still attached to wheel. Vehicle came to stop. Kia customer service line contacted, because there was no active service bulletin offered no help. Vehicle repaired at local Firestone tire store. Wheel spindle and inner and outer bearings replaced.

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #6

Nov 272006

Rio 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
01 Rio is a lemon & safety hazard. Many major repairs done including the timing belt & valves rebuilt, new cooling system, both control arms & boots. Wheel defect recently recalled caused excess wear/ tear on control arms, boots, alignment, tires, costing thousands of avoidable repairs. Fuel intake did come lose, nearly causing an engine fire due to defective part which was recalled. It continuously misfires, engine knocks, stalls. ECM was recalled but didn't fix the problem. Replaced spark plugs & wires (3 times in 6 months), ignition coil, sensors (oxygen, knock, crankshaft, temp). It stops for a 1-2 days, then comes back. Annoying & dangerous. Also has acceleration problem. At times, it won't go over 40 mph & also accelerates by itself. Brakes have completely failed, though there's no crack in the line, no leaking fluid. The car is a complete lemon. Online, there are hundreds of similar complaints. Dealers are aware but conveniently can't seem to diagnose the problems especially misfiring. Consumers get nickel & dimed doing needless repairs that don't fix the problem. The optima had similar problems w/crankshaft pos. Sensor which was recalled, but dealer denies any relation to problems with the Rio. Another problem - lack of availability & high cost of parts. Its bait/switch to sell a car with known problems, then guess at needless repairs & sell parts at an astronomical markup. It's cheap to buy, but repair costs make it very expensive. Research shows misfiring/engine knock has also led to engine fires. Also problems with air bags. My airbag light has been on since purchased, but dealer has yet to fix it. Also door locking problems, people being locked in vehicles. My drivers door locks by itself (manual locks). In case of engine fire or accident, a lock malfunction could cause unnecessary death/injury. These are known problems with hundreds of complaints, yet Kia has done nothing to address them. The 01 Rio is a lemon and safety hazard.

- Palm Harbor, FL, USA

problem #5

Feb 132002


  • Manual transmission
  • 4,000 miles
Steering wheel wobbled. This vehicle was replaced with a new vehicle, butproblem started again, dealer told consumer to have tie tires and the suspension checked.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #4

Jun 072004

Rio 4-cyl

  • 36,279 miles


Problems with 2001 Kia Rio. The consumer's vehicle experienced multiple fuel system problems. The consumer received a recall notice in reference to the fuel distributor and main fuel tube assembly. The consumer contacted the dealer who indicated that the problems were not related. The vehicle also had other problems. The engine would hesitate while driving. The dealer replaced the spark plugs and wires. The rear end vibrated. The dealer replaced both rear dampers. The consumer heard a clunking noise during acceleration. The dealer determined that he motor mounts were cracked. The rear wheel bearings were worn excessively.

- Key Largo, FL, USA

problem #3

Apr 252002

Rio 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
I have had my Kia for 3 years now (bought on April 24,2001), after only having it one year(April 25, 2002) my two front tires were shredded all the way to the metal. The dealer said that my tires were only covered for a year so I had to replace them, come to find out it was caused by the alignment that showed no sign of being off. Right after that the cooling fan shorted causing the engine to smoke and the car to be in the shop for 2 weeks because Kia couldn't order the right part. Soon after that both of my sunvisors broke to the point they are not usable. Kia told me that it would be $35 each to replace, not covered under warranty considered normal wear and tear. My alignment has been fixed 4 times in 3 years with normal driving conditions and regular maintenance. The shifter ( automatic) has gone out twice. Once resulting in Kia having to replace the whole shifter. The car is constantly vibrating, really bad when A/C is on. The brakes have always made noise and occasionally "stick" dealer said there may be a recall coming out, that was 3 years ago, haven't heard anything yet.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

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problem #2

Sep 062002

(reported on)


  • miles
Engine check light comes on repeatedly with cause unknown. The only corrective action dealership did was to change a code in the vehicle's computer system. Faulure caused vehicle not to exceed 5 mph. The brakes were making a loud noise, the air bag light was on, the left window was acting erractically, the regulator had to be replaced, the rear view mirro was inoperative, all 4 door seals were leaking water, there was a shimmy in the steering wheel, the shift indicator strip was out of poistion, the trim around the windshield was loose for the second time, there was a noise coming from the exhaust due to the shiled on the midpipe being loose.

- Skylerville, NY, USA

problem #1

Apr 152002


  • miles
While driving engine light came on, causing vehicle to vibrate, vehicle almost caught on fire.

- Montebello, CA, USA

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