hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,719 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 Spectra drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Kia Spectra Owner Comments

problem #4

Aug 112014


  • 112,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Kia Spectra. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to shift into gear. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 112,000.

- Arena, WI, USA

problem #3

Feb 052012

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 91,375 miles
My mother bought this car brand new couple years back. Haven't had any problems till now. On my way to work im going around a curve and transmission went out. Thought for a second I accidentally put it in neutral. My transmission never slipped, shifted hard or any other signs of problems. This is crazy, not sure yet if Kia is covering they promised warranty.. I really hope so..

- Loxley, AL, USA

problem #2

Apr 062009

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 55,500 miles
In April of 2009 my transmission went out without warning right in the center lane of heavy traffic as I was leaving my home, I had to have the car towed to a transmission shop just to find out that Kia would not honor the warranty and the costs ($1550) came out of my own pocket. The repairman told me that this problem occurs quite often with the 2003 Kia Spectra but there was no safety recall. Now it is September of 2011 and the transmission is going out again! with this vehicle at less than 70,000 miles the transmission should not be going out twice already!

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #1

Jul 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
About a week after I purchased this vehicle I started having problems. The rubber weather strip came off and continues to come off after a week after I bought it. I needed to put oil in the car 2 months after I go it, it was almost out of oil. I went to get my oil changed a few months later at Kia of columbus ga, and asked would they top off all fluids and they replied yes. Less than 3 weeks later I had to get my oil changed again and I needed transmission fluid. I have had a constant problem with my brakes squeaking since about after the first week. They have repeatedly told me at Kia of columbus ga that my brakes were fine. My brakes continue to squeak. The light inside the car when the door is open, comes on by itself when all the doors are closed. The light on the ceiling of the car has to stay in a permanent off position, or the light will come on by itself. My car has been kicking back when you put it in reverse while making this groaning noise when in reverse. My seat belt also seems to pull in a locked position sometimes when I am at a red light, I am sitting still, not making any sharp turns for this to happen. I have had nothing but problems with this Kia since I bought

- Phenix City, AL, USA

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