really awful
Crashes / Fires:
13 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
14 / 1
Average Mileage:
46,909 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags 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 (Page 1 of 3)

problem #47

Dec 062016


  • 140,000 miles


The contact owned a 2008 Kia Spectra. While driving approximately 35 mph, the contact applied the brakes while approaching a red light. The engine shut down, and the steering and brakes failed. The vehicle crossed the intersection and crashed into the rear driver side of another vehicle. The brake and steering lights indicators remained illuminated. The vehicle was destroyed and towed. The air bags failed to deploy. Two injuries were sustained, which required medical attention. A police report was filed. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #46

Jan 012016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Spectra. While the vehicle was parked, the air bag warning light remained illuminated. The dealer diagnosed that the OCS sensor mat needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired due to part unavailability. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Troy, VA, USA

problem #45

Dec 252013


  • miles
Takata recall I am checking on my 2008 Kia Spectra and the air bags. My car has been wrecked 3 times. One of those accidents my daughter slid off the road in a snow storm and hit a tree. With all three accidents the air bags never went off. Was just concerned. I see no recalls on the air bags. I've attached pictures of the accident.

- New Brighton, PA, USA

problem #44

Oct 052015


  • 126,000 miles


My car Kia light on failure air bag

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #43

Dec 192015


  • 72,544 miles
Airbag light came on when turning on car and stayed on. Was inspected by mechanic. Was told sensor in the passenger seat was broken and seat mat needed to be replaced by Kia for $1600. Mileage on car at time of inspection by mechanic was 72,544 and was inspected on 12/19/2015

- Parma, OH, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #42

Aug 012010


  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Spectra. The contact stated that when a passenger moved a certain way in the front passenger seat, the air bag warning light illuminated. The contact stated that the passenger side air bag warning remained illuminated without a passenger in the seat. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the air bag sensor under the passenger seat had failed and needed to be replaced. The contact was also informed by the dealer that the passenger seat and air bag sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 125,000.

- Narragansett, RI, USA

problem #41

Mar 052013


  • miles


The passenger air bag light will not come on anymore while the air bag light comes on in the dash board. I called my local dealership in naples, fl where I bought the car and asked how much it would be to have it checked. They told me that it would $120 to hook it up to the computer and if anything needed to be replaced, they would include it in the price. I also asked if they had any complaints and they said no and that since it was a "secondary safety system" it did not really need to be replaced. I looked online to see if anyone else had complaints like mine and found almost 100 complaints. Some stating that dealerships were telling them it would be $1200-$1700 to have the entire seat replaced. Also read that one was told that "either the air bag will not go off in an accident, or it would randomly go off going down the road". with the amount of complaints about the same thing, I am surprised there has not been a recall. I refuse to pay that kind of money for something the manufacturer should fix.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #40

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 #39

Jul 012015


  • miles
Air bag warning light stays on. Tire kingdom checked it and said it is the suspension air bag. Cost would be 2,700 dollars.

- Sarasota , FL, USA

problem #38

Jun 102013


  • 90,000 miles
The passenger detection sensor in the passenger seat would sometimes work on and off while driving, or while they shifted in the seat. The light that says the passenger airbag was off would stay on (meaning the sensor would not detect someone in the seat) and the red error light on the dash would stay on. Now the sensor does not work at all (and has not for the past few years). This was after the warranty expired and asking my mechanic said I should take it to an upholsterer to get it fixed. The issue still has not been fixed due to the estimated cost.

- Crestview, FL, USA

problem #37

May 242015


  • 35,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Kia Spectra. While driving approximately 35 mph, a second vehicle crashed into the front driver side of the contact's vehicle. During the crash, the air bags deployed, but the driver suffered first degree burns on both arms and right hand from chemicals used in the air bags. The front passenger also suffered an injured right hand and shoulder from the air bag deployment. A police report was not filed and medical attention was received. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- New Albany , NY, USA

problem #36

Jun 192014


  • miles
I was proceeding straight through a traffic light when a passenger truck turned illegally in front of me from the oncoming traffic. I was going approximately 40 mph. The airbag did not deploy as would think it should at that speed. Fortunately, my seat belt prevented me from getting a more serious injury. I did receive a severe bruise that took months to disappear and aggravated an existing back condition. Perhaps it is just as well or better that the airbag did not deploy since the airbag may have given me a more serious injury. Fortunately, I had no passenger and the other person in the truck did not get hurt. My car was totaled. I am thankful to god that I am alive today....updated 12/10/15

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #35

Nov 112010


  • 50,000 miles
The air bag light came on and the dealer saiid if would cost a $100 to tell you what was wrong.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #34

Feb 272015


  • miles
The contact owned a 2008 Kia Spectra. While at a stop, another vehicle crashed into the driver's side of the contact's vehicle and the air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained minor bruises that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Cathedral, CA, USA

problem #33

Mar 312015

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 82,985 miles
The airbag sensor in the passenger seat appears to be failing, similar to other Kia models. The light indicating the airbag is off is illuminated when the vehicle is occupied by an adult.

- Woodland, WA, USA

problem #32

Mar 282014

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 75,764 miles
The sensor light turned on and disabled airbags. We took it to the all star Kia in baton rouge off of siegen lane. They told us it would be 1549. To fix it. I contacted corporate office spoke to [xxx], he told me he would send the case to regional office since I wanted them to pay for it. Three days later [xxx] called me and said they would pay for half of the cost, we declined he said he would then send it to the regional office. I reminded him he had said that three days ago. Finally I reach a [xxx] in regional who was not very pleasant and she said it was no longer under warranty, so they could not pay for it. I told her I would not let this go. Today 4-13-15 she called and left a message on my phone saying that the dealer would pay half of the cost and that I had 30 days to accept. I feel like this should of been a recall since there are so many consumers with this same problem same model car. They recalled 146,000 thousand other cars different models and years for the same thing. Just want them to be honest and do the right thing. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Leesville, LA, USA

problem #31

Apr 072014

Spectra 4-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2008 Kia Spectra. At 140,000 miles the air bag light came on and has been on since, I am now at 158,000. I have read where the seat needs to be replaced, however I do not have the means to do so...updated 07/21/15 updated 9/23/2015

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #30

Feb 022015

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 82,004 miles
Airbag mat sensor failed.seems to be very common unfortunately. No accident or injury as of yet.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #29

Jan 212015

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
Airbag sensor in passenger seat has malfunctioned for the second time and passenger side airbag not on light has come on again. According to my mechanic, Kia does not sell just the sensor and the entire passenger seat assembly must be replaced again. Kia has no recall for the defective passenger seat/sensor combination for this particular model although it does for other models of the same year and problem. Kia should have an airbag seat/sensor recall....updated 07/13/16

- Lomdonderry, NH, USA

problem #28

Oct 152014

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
I own a 2008 Kia Spectra and have had air bag system issues with the passenger side OCS mat. About a year ago, I had the seat replaced due to the fact that you can not change out the mat itself. This cleared up the issue and the air bag system worked fine. For a while. Now the air bag light is on again with an adult male sitting in the seat it says that the air bags are disabled. If you push on the seat towards the front of the seat bottom while sitting in the seat, the light goes off and the system is active. When you stop pushing on the seam the system deactivates. I spoke with Kia dealership parts department and they said that this is a common issue but they will not recall the item. You have to purchase a new seat bottom from them at a cost of $1397.45 parts only. The parts are only covered under a 1 year warranty. If this is a common issue( according to Kia dealership ) why has there not been a recall on this vehicle and all others that have the defective OCS mat" they seem to be making a lot of money for a part that they know and have confirmed as being defective at the cost and safety of the consumer"

- Bedford, IN, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?