really awful
Crashes / Fires:
9 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,523 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.

2009 Kia Spectra seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2009 Kia Spectra Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

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problem #44

Oct 122015


  • 25,000 miles


Air bag warning light on. Car has only 25,000 miles but out of warrantee. Dealer wants $109. Just to scan it. Multi complaints online.

- Hamburg, NY, USA

problem #43

Oct 082015


  • 52,000 miles
I noticed investigation: PE 15-031 where the OCS seat sensor mat is failing on a number of Kia Spectra models. My airbag light came on a few weeks ago so I too the car to the dealer and they charged me $100 to determine the OCS seat sensor mat was bad. Diagnostic code B1448. They told me it would be about $1500 to replace the entire passenger seat to fix the problem. Needless to say I have not gotten the problem fixed. The vehicle only has 52,000 miles on it and until about 3 years ago when my wife started riding to work with me I rarely ever had anyone in the front passenger seat so the mat shouldn't have seen much use. As of today your ODI resume says there were 43 complaints on this issue but you can change that to 44 if you would like. Something as important as a passenger airbag system should not be susceptible to inferior parts like this.

- Indian Land, SC, USA

problem #42

Oct 012015


  • 115,000 miles
Vehicle has 115000 miles and air bag light stays on. This is a $2000 repair according to info on line. There have been many complaints on this. Why hasn't NHTSA issued a recall" does it take death or serious injury first"

- Fairport, NY, USA

problem #41

Jul 162015


  • 150,000 miles


Airbag light popped on months ago without force or any accidents

- Kirkwood, MO, USA

problem #40

Sep 122015


  • 48,000 miles
2009 Kia Spectra air bag won't turn off. Car has 48000 miles. Afraid to take in for repair after reading of cost to repair.I just don't the funds to get it repaired.

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

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problem #39

May 012015


  • 74,000 miles
My car is a 2009 Kia Spectra ex. It was purchased in 2011 from enterprise car sales. The mileage at purchase was approximately 46K. In may of 2015, around 74K mileage, the air bag light would turn off and on sporadically. One day the air bag light never turned off. At this point, I decided to have the car inspected my a certified Kia dealer. The air bag code received from inspection was B1378 which indicated a problem with the 'side air bag - resistance too high'. the inspector than hooked up the air bag to side air bag connector and the air bag light went out indicating that the driver side air bag would need to be replaced. The technician suggested that to fix the issue I would need to obtain an entire driver's seat from a pre-owned vehicle to replace the current driver's seat (cost part & labor: $ $694, but no guarantee that this would be effective) or purchase a brand new air bag directly from Kia factory (cost of parts & labor: $1341.73) I have seen that other's are having similar issues in other forums. This issue with defective air bags has been a problem for Kia in the past with cars of same year but different model. I am fortunate to have never been in an accident, but I was informed by the dealership if I was ever in an accident this air bag would not deploy.

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #38

Jun 222015


  • 38,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Kia Spectra. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 40 mph, the air bag warning indicator illuminated. The contact stated that this was a recurring failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 38,000.

- Oneonta, NY, USA

problem #37

Feb 122014


  • miles
Air bag light will not go off. I did take my car to a Kia dealership and they told me that I would have to replace my entire passenger seat, in order to fix the air bag system. They wanted to charge me about $2,000 because my vehicle is no longer under warranty. In February of 2014, was when the incident first started to happen and is when I brought my car to the dealership. I was told it was dangerous to drive around with my air bag system messed up. I did look to see if there were any recalls or complaints about the vehicle but I did not find any at that time. I did make a complaint on some other site but I just learned about this site within the last couple of months and just noticed that I am not the only one who is going through the same problems....updated 10-26-15

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #36

Aug 302014


  • 71,000 miles
My airbag light had been flashing off and on intermittently, and I had thought that it was when there was no weight in the passenger seat to activate it. At some point after that, it stopped flashing and was on constantly. I brought my car in for its yearly inspection and it was not passed due to the fact that my air bag system had been disabled. This was due to a faulty sensor in the front passenger seat. This will cost me over $2000 to fix and is a safety hazard for my day to day driving. I was informed that if I were to get into a collision that my air bags would not deploy. I contacted several dealerships and the Kia company itself and was told that my warranty had just expired and that I would have to repair this in full myself. I have read several complaints of the same nature and I cannot believe that the company will not recall this part and provide peace of mind and safety to its customers.

- New Bedford, MA, USA

problem #35

May 262015


  • 47,000 miles
Air bag light will not go off....updated 09/22/15

- Laurel, MS, USA

problem #34

Feb 032012


  • miles


The contact owns a 2009 Kia Spectra. The contact stated that the air bag warning lamp flashed sporadically, which indicated a malfunction. As the failure progressed, the front passenger side air bag flashed off and on intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on multiple occasions. The technician indicated that there was no failure, but rather the weight capacity in the front passenger seat. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available. Updated 09/01/15

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #33

May 162015


  • 17,689 miles
I am filing this for my mom. She rear ended a car who had stopped the flow of traffic at a green light to let a vehicle out of a parking lot. My mothers air bags did not deploy and she received a double open fracture to her right ankle and a fractured sternum and intense chest traura. She was life flighted to a hospital in wv ruby memorial she underwent surgery and they saved her right foot they wher unsure if they could save and talked before surgery of possible amputation

- Uniontown, PA, USA

problem #32

May 202015


  • miles
The airbag light on my Kia Spectra stays on and the Kia dealership quoted me $1600 for the B1448 code which is passenger seat mat occupancy sensor or something like that, and my car is under 80000 miles. I think that amount is really high for a senor to fix and Kia should fix and recall the airbag issue since it is a high risk for the safeties of american lives. NHTSA should make Kia recall the airbag issue. Thank you

- Fort Polk, LA, USA

problem #31

Jan 122015


  • 77,000 miles
Driving and the front passenger air bag light came on a few days later it went off but a few days after that it came back on once I started the car and has been on since.

- Dale City, VA, USA

problem #30

Apr 152015


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Kia Spectra. While driving approximately 45 mph, the front passenger side air bag warning light remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who informed that the passenger side occupancy seat sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Suffern, NY, USA

problem #29

Apr 222014

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
Air bag sensor makes a working light stay on. The car has never been in an accident. When it was diagnosed by Kia dealership it said manufacturer failure. They said things happen and it's after 5 years so it's my job to fix this $2000 problem....updated 07-08-15 update (July 9, 2015): Per the complainant, the sensor under the passenger seat is causing a mechanical failure warning. Per a Kia parts advisor: "there is a passenger weight classification sensor that is part of the passenger seat bottom that is part of the air bag system. This is something that has failed in the past on these cars and we are familiar with it. Assuming that this is what you are asking for, the prices for this part range from $1000 to $1500 depending on the trim level and options for your car." The consumer stated in may, after a year of fighting with Kia and the vehicle failing inspection, Kia gave her free passenger seat to replace the defective sensor calling it an act of good will. They charged her $230 for labor when she was fist quoted $130. The seat cost $2,000. The sensor in the passenger seat had a defect error after the diagnostic test was performed, which was the reason the air bag light illuminated. Updated 07/16/15

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #28

Nov 152014


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Kia Spectra. After the vehicle was started, the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Chester, CT, USA

problem #27

Nov 252014

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Kia Spectra. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 35 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated continuously. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 97,000. Updated 07/13/15

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #26

Jul 222014


  • 82,000 miles
The passenger airbag light was going off and on for about a month. Now the airbag warning light is on all the time and will not go off. I live in Texas and need to have the car inspected but it will not pass due to the airbag warning light being on. There is no reason that the airbag light should be on; there hasn't been any type of wreck or damage. The Kia dealership requires me to have the seat replaced due to faulty airbag sensor.there should be a recall of this vehicle due to the faulty sensor. I don't think it's right for Kia to not be responsible the faulty sensor that requires the entire passenger seat to be replaced that will cost almost $1800 dollars to fix just so I can get the car inspected so it can be driven.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #25

Mar 262014

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 17,500 miles
A few months ago the passenger airbag light started flashing on my 2009 Spectra. It went from flashing on and off to alternating flashing with the airbag symbol on the dashboard. Finally, the passenger airbag light went off completely and the airbag warning symbol stayed on. Due to several family tragedies I just now had the time to take it to my Kia dealer. Was told it was the passenger side airbag sensor which is built into the seat itself and the whole seat would have to be replaced at a cost of $1765. I have only 18,450 miles on the car but because I had it longer than 5 years, I will have to pay it myself. The dealer said the car has a built in safety feature which will deploy the airbags anyway but that I should have it fixed. I can't afford this but am afraid my life insurance would not pay if I had an accident and had not had the airbag issue corrected.

- Altamahaw, NC, USA

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