definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,132 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.

2003 Kia Rio transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Kia Rio Owner Comments

problem #2

Dec 232008


  • 64,263 miles


The clutch in my 2003 Kia Rio has failed/broken four times now. My father and I bought the vehicle brand new in March 2003 the first clutch failed around 8000 miles I believe, the second around 24000 miles, the third around 40000 miles, and now is sitting in my garage unable to go into any gear; the car has less than 65000 miles on it. I have been driving stick shifts for 14+ yrs. And I know how to properly operate them, yet whenever I take the vehicle into the dealership I am told it is driver error and charged at least $1000 in repairs. I have had at least three other mechanics look at it and have been told it is a design/bad parts problem not driving error, however I don't want to jeopardize the warranty by having it repaired anywhere but the dealership. With the last repair (clutch #3) my father was allowed to speak to the dealerships mechanic after the car was pulled apart and caught the dealership in a lot of lies based on the total damage done to the clutch and surrounding parts. There was no way that much damage could have been done simply by driving the vehicle. They gave him some free parts and labor but the bill was still over $600 and the problem is still there as evidenced by the vehicle not going into any gear now. I have read over 100 similar reports from other people who own the same make, model, and year as mine. Kia needs to be held responsible for this, not the customer. I have been lucky so far as to not have anyone injured, I drive my five year old daughter in that car, but I have been left stranded in several not nice neighborhoods because of the clutch failure and have had the clutch go out while in the middle of a busy intersection. The problem comes on suddenly with little to no warning of the clutch having problems and is a severe safety hazard, not only to the people inside the vehicle but for the other people on the road. If this continues, someone will be severely injured or killed if it has not happened already. Please help.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #1

Jul 152003


  • miles
Bought 2003 Kia on 11/16/02 eight mon. Ago, seatbelt lock came off, trimming around doors and windows came off, now drivingg into the interstate car cut off, transmission very slow in shifting gears.

- Jackson, MS, USA

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