2008 Kia Spectra electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,093 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 Spectra electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Kia Spectra:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 Kia Spectra Owner Comments

problem #13

Jun 012015

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Kia Spectra. While driving at various speeds, the cruise control failed to engage and the brake lights failed to illuminate when the brake pedal was depressed. The failures recurred continuously. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the stop lamp switch failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was temporarily repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V114000 (exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic). The failure mileage was approximately 102,000. Updated 05/24/16

- Wilton, CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 122016


  • 129,785 miles
I bought my 2008 Kia Spectra in June of 2015. About a month after the purchase my door locks started acting up occasionally. Now it is an almost everytime occurance. I will unlock my door via key fob, and it will instantly, and automatically, relock itself(all doors). When it does decide to unlock, and stay that way until I enter the vehicle, as soon as I open the drivers door all doors wil lock. I find this quite annoying, and dangerous due to the fact that I have a child, and a wife, and I would rather not have my vehicle prevent them from entering, or exiting the vehicle safetly. I have been in touch with Kia dealers and have been told that it will be a 300-750 dollar fix, and Kia motors themselves stated that some Spectra's have this issue, but mine does not because there is no service campaign for my VIN.

- Danielson, CT, USA

problem #11

Nov 012015


  • 103,000 miles
Dashboard airbag light illuminated, and nothing I tried--scanner, calling the dealer, and inspecting it myself--seems to be addressing the issue. I see multiple people are experiencing simpler symptoms. The light illuminates as usual upon ignition and shuts off as normal. It then comes back on around 10 to 20 seconds after the car starts, and it does not shut off until I turn off the car. The it sounds like a warranty issue.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #10

Aug 012015

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 67,500 miles


The contact owned a 2008 Kia Spectra. While driving at approximately 40 mph, there was an abnormal noise and suddenly there was smoke inside of the vehicle. The contact veered to the side of the road and the vehicle became engulfed in flames. The fire department was able to extinguish the fire. A fire and a police report were filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 67,500. According to the letter from the consumer's lawyer, the vehicle was destroyed by an electrical fire arising under the dashboard, apparently from the blower/ventilation system. Updated 09/14/15. MA 10/5 status updated 11/19/15. The consumer stated the manufacturer denied any liability. They blamed the fire on a past incident, where the vehicle was filled with too much oil. Updated 04/25/16.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #9

Jan 052015


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Spectra. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, a knocking noise emitted from the front driver side of the vehicle. Also, the contact mentioned that the front driver side window failed to roll down. The VIN was not available. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 85,000. Updated 4/15/15

- Salisbury, MD, USA

problem #8

Feb 192015

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 160,920 miles
I was driving normally going 45 mph on a rural street using my cruise control. When I was coming up to the stop, I hit the brakes to slow down, and the engine immediately accelerated. I slammed on the brakes and the engine ran faster. I put the car in neutral (the engine rpms red-lined), and turned the key off and the vehicle slowed under normal braking. I started the vehicle back up, and tested the problem. The cruise control was not disengaging with the brake pedal. When I got home, I checked the brake lights, and they were not working. I bought a replacement switch and the brake lights work with the replacement switch. If I had not applied the brakes far enough in advance, I am certain that I would have gone through the busy intersection and caused a major accident.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #7

Oct 012014


  • 88,000 miles


I drive a 2008 Kia Spectra. I've owned the car for roughly 4 yrs. Within the last month my car continues to stall. This occurs generally when I'm coming to a stop and turning. The dash lights will all come on and my wheel locks up in the direction I was turning. When I turn my car off and turn it back on, the lights will turn off, but my RPM's rev up to a minimum of 3. I have taken the vehicle to two auto mechanics. They have changed a fuel temp. Sensor and switched out all my spark plugs. Both mechanics have plugged the vehicle up to the machine and it reads clear. They cannot find an issue with the vehicle. Since the vehicle acts up randomly, they are unable to identify the problem when it's in their possession.

- Sesser, IL, USA

problem #6

Apr 042012

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The door locks began randomly not working when using the door lock/unlock buttons on both the driver side, as well as the front passenger side. There does not seem to be a problem when using the key fob. I mentioned this problem to my local Kia dealer who brushed it off. Now, 2 years later, it has gotten worse. I can rarely unlock the doors using the buttons. I would think this is a safety issue if I was unable to get out of my car in the event of an accident or fire. I am not sure if this would be covered under warranty. The car is less than 10 years old and has just under 73,000 miles.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #5

Mar 092010


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Spectra. While traveling at 20 mph the contact noticed black smoke coming inside the vehicle from the air ventilation system. She pulled over to the side of the road and shut the engine off. A loud clicking sound could be heard coming from the engine. After examining the front end of the vehicle and finding no signs of a fire or smoke the contact re entered the vehicle and noticed that flames were coming out from under the dashboard and steering wheel. The fire department was called to extinguish the fire and a fire report was filed for the incident. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure and current mileages were 91,000.

- Wyco, WV, USA

problem #4

Nov 192008


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Spectra. The contact stated that the vehicle shut off while driving 40 miles per hour. The vehicle has been repaired several times but the failure continued to occur. The dealer offered the contact a new vehicle instead of repairing the one he owns; however, the newer models experienced the identical failure. The failure mileage was 3000. The current mileage was 40,126.

- Bossier City, LA, USA

problem #3

Sep 282009


  • 14,000 miles


No indication of any problems with car or battery noticed whatsoever upon entering and starting the vehicle.. the complaint incidence occurred after driving approx 2 blocks and parking and turning off car and upon getting out of car noticed smoke coming from front driver side corner of hood. Since there was a baby in the car first action was to remove child to safe area and called 911. Within approx 5 minutes massive amounts of smoke pouring from hood cracks. Bystanders attempted to open hood and spray with borrowed fire extinguisher but could not open hood. When firetruck arrived they could not get hood open either and had to pry it open at which point flames erupted but were then quickly put out by fire department (goldsboro nc car fire at tj maxx store on Sept 28, 2009) fire determined to have started in battery/fuse box area - fire department determined fire was electrical but cause could not be determined due to extreme amount of damage resulting from fire it appears that there was some kind of electrical malfunction that occurred suddenly and without any advance warning or signs of any problems before this incidence. Nothing was possible to be done to "correct" the problem except to extinguish the fire. The consequence was that the entire front end of the car was charred and the car totaled. The fire department arranged to have car towed from parking lot where fire occurred to lot where final inspection made. Luckily, circumstances allowed for almost immediate awareness of fire occurring and that driver and passenger were in a safe place with communication available. If circumstances had been different, the results could have been disastrous.

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #2

Sep 262009


  • 4,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Spectra. The contact attempted to start the vehicle and noticed that it no longer had power and that none of the electrical components were functioning. The vehicle has not been inspected, to determine the cause of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 4000.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #1

Dec 292008


  • 3,000 miles
2008 Kia Spectra, the parking lights come on by their self when its around 20* outside and when its around 80* outside the alarm want set the lights just blank on and off. Also I have a really bad rattle comes from the air bags so it sound in the dash and drivers side post air bag. Have took the car in 3 times and a week per time, and so far nothing as been fixed.

- Scottsville, KY, USA

Not what you are looking for?