really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
536 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.

1998 Kia Sportage electrical problems

electrical problem

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1998 Kia Sportage Owner Comments

problem #11

Mar 032000

Sportage 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,900 miles


Continual failure of battery, replaced 5 times and replaced alternator but contiues to have battery failure also windows and door lcks go on and off by themselves.

- Saratoga Springs, NY, USA

problem #10

Feb 012001


  • miles
Vehicle was not starting when ignition was turned. Consumer took vehicle to a dealership that determined that battery needed to be replaced. No reason was given to consumer for cause of this defect. Also, mentioned that there were connection problems between battery and cables. Please provide any additional information/attachments.

- South Portland, ME, USA

problem #9

Feb 122001

Sportage 4WD

  • miles
Dead battery neededs jumped twice -replaced on prorated warranty: Temperature guage would go to cold - shop found nothing wrong.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #8

Nov 142000

Sportage 4WD

  • miles


The car has on going problems. I have been telling Kia's mechanics that I have been experiencing the same problems over and over. 1) electrical-power surges, loss of power while driving, fuses blowing! Kia replaced the battery and said it should be fine now but it started doing it again! went in for a recall on mcc and ended up doing other recalls that I never received! now, the problem is worse! fuses are blowing! I have been told they cant find the problem to there is nothing wrong with the car! basically, I am under the assumption they cant find it until something really goes wrong. Well, it has! the loss of power is ten times worse! I fear for any life while the vehicle is in operation! this is my first car and I am a young female! so, I feel like I am being blown off and such when dealing with the mechanics. 2) braking has been wierd also! feels like it takes along time to come to complete stop! I am afraid that when Kia fixes the problem it isn't really fixed because I keep having problems with the car and they seem to be the same ones. I feel like I have no recourse! I need the assistance of someone to help me! I have talk ed to many Kia owners and they experience the same problems! they also have gotten no satisfaction! all that we can say as consumers is that we will never buy a Kia again! help us!

- Keene, NH, USA

problem #7

Jun 062000


  • miles
Battery failed.

- Inwood, NY, USA

problem #6

Aug 011999


  • miles
Battery would not hold a charge causing consumer to be stranded in a parking lot. Nlm

- Mount Vern, NY, USA

problem #5

Dec 221999

(reported on)

Sportage 4WD

  • miles


I've had continuous problems with my car since purchasing it, it has been taken into the shop for the engine check light coming on 2 times, the first time they said it was a sensor, but the problem reoccurred 2 days later, they then said it was a harness, that was replaced then I've taken it in for two recalls on the brakes and a hub problem, I'm currently having problems with the door handles sticking so it makes it impossible to open the doors with the key from the outside, dealer states that they can't get it to happen when I take it to the shop but it occures continually when the vehicle is in my possession, back hatch door does not close completely unless you slam it several times, dealer says nothing wrong, engine always smells like it is burning and now the car will only start when it wants to, dealer said it was the battery but the car is only 1 year old, I've talked to several other Sportage owners who all have the same problems, I feel the manufacterer needs to buy all these cars back, I've tried to trade this car and none of the dealers want it they tell me that it is not worth what I've paid for it so I'm stuck with is piece of junk, I'm at my witts end...I'm afraid to drive the car because I'm afraid to get stuck somewhere. The car is litteraly falling apart in my hands and theres nothing I can do about it, I've talked to a lawyer in regard to the lemon law but they say that it has to be a reoccuring problem of the same origin but theres apparently help for the comsumers that are stuck with awful products like these SUV's. there were 166 complaints on this site and almost every person had the same problems I'm having with my vehicle. I am personally telling as many people as I can about these junkie Kia's. the manufacterer should be held responsible for this. If I or anybody in my car should be hurt in an accident due to these problems, Kia will see a law suit that will make their head spin.

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #4

Sep 241999

Sportage 4WD

  • miles
Turned off vehicle to pump gas, on attempt to start the vehicle would not start. Battery was jump started, car functioned properly for 4 days. At that time the vehicle failed again when attempting to start, jumped started the vehicle & drove to service center. Dealer service center found a cell in the battery had failed & replaced the battery. Vehicle failed again, 4 weeks later, when attempting to start vehicle. Vehicle was towed to the dealership, when the service technician attempted to start the vehicle, the vehicle functioned properly. The vehicle was thoroughly checked by service manager & found no problem. The vehicle failed to start, again, 3 day later & did not respond to a jump start. The dealership is currently inspecting vehicle, I have contacted the manufacturer, I am not receiving any cooperation. A number of people have mentioned to me a consumer report that was reported by a local news station, they do not recall the complete details but do have a recognition of the report. This seems to be a repetive problem for Sportage owners.

- Burtonsville, MD, USA

problem #3

Mar 091999

Sportage 4WD

  • miles
Battery failed.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #2

Apr 031999

(reported on)


  • miles
I purchased my Kia Sportage on 7/14/98. On 11/20/98, my battery was dead. I took my Sportage to the dealer for the recall for the steering intermediate shaft coupling as soon as I received the recall notice. My brakes made a "squealing" sound since purchase, but I was informed by the dealership that this is normal for disc brakes. The brake light began flickering, then staying lit so I made an appointment with the dealership service dept. But was unable to keep it due to illness. The brakes now have a "grinding" sound and I am concerned about their safety factor. In August of 1998 I was stuck in traffic for over 2 hours due to a bad highway accident and the radiator overheated so I had to turn off, and keep off, the A/C. recently, the engine is overheating and fluid drains when the car is parked. I feel that this is a lot of problems for a new car less than 9 months "old". could these problems be defects" could the brake problem be associated with the recall problem" thank you for this opportunity to report my problems and concerns.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #1

Mar 031999

Sportage 4WD

  • miles
We have an antifreeze problem still to this day; our brakes still are squealing now; it didn't start twice; ice builds up where the door and the car come together-damaging door; has iced over inside the car; windows would never clear off-couldn't see anything while driving; didn't idle properly-and still doesn't

- Malone, NY, USA

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