2008 Kia Sportage engine NHTSA complaints: Engine

NHTSA — Engine Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,315 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 Sportage engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Kia Sportage Owner Comments

problem #7

Feb 152016


  • 110,000 miles


Kia is ripping people off to the tune of $1,700 to $1,800 for their faulty ABS brake controllers plus labor. It is a widely know problem that brake fluid seeps out of the back of this unit onto the circuit board and causes a variety of safety and mechanical issues. A year and a half ago I experienced a problem with the ESC traction light coming on, followed by a flashing 4X4 light and then finally a check engine light. The worst part about this is that it then slams itself into first gear going down the road! yes, you heard that correctly. This can happen very quickly. Kia, you have a safety issue! I replaced the unit with a used one for $350 plus installation and now it has the same problem a year and a half later. There were two possible controller units for the 2008 Sportage and they look identical but are not interchangeable. The other one I can purchase new, direct from South Korea as an oem part in a Kia/Hyundai box for around $500. But not this one, they know they have a serious safety problem as this can unexpectedly pull you down to a crawl in heavy traffic. They also have kept the price extremely high on this unit to maximize profits on a safety item they refuse to fix. I'm looking for another used unit and then I'll dump this lemon.

- Worthington, MN, USA

problem #6

Aug 012013


  • 10,000 miles
I am an owner of a Kia 2008 Sportage with approximately 12,000 miles. About 9 months ago, the engine and brake lights went on. It was evident that car had a transmission problem, you can hear the engine knocking when you would go park to drive or reverse to drive etc... the dealership said I needed a new transmission and all new brakes. They couldn't explain why the transmission was faulty on a car that had at the time less than 11,000 miles. The car was at the dealer for a month because they learned that the computer system needed repairing as well which wasn't covered under my plan they needed corporate to provide an approval to repair. It eventually got repaired. 3 weeks ago at 12K miles, my drivers panel turned into a christmas tree. The ESC on/off, ABS, brakes, engine and TPMS lights are all on. I also feel the engine beginning to knock again. The dealer said I need a new ABS pump and module and that it would cost me $2700 to fix. I decided not to repair because I believe their some type of electrical design flaw causing these issue. I have read that ABS and transmission problems are very common for kai Sportage owners - I have read that engine fires have been reported in these cars. I feel unsafe for myself and my family and I am looking for advice on how best to handle this problem. Kia refuses to take ownership of these problems.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #5

Jun 132014

Sportage 6-cyl

  • 57,472 miles
I was driving the vehicle when it stalled, restarted than stalled again. Had it towed to the dealer who replaced the mass air flow sensor. On 6/25/14 the same happened again (intermit, runs rough then stalls out. This time the dealer found a pin on mass air flow connector was bad and the replaced clip assembly. Today, 06/28/2014 the vehicle stalled out and I had it towed to the dealer who loaned me one of their vehicles because I had to leave my vehicle.

- Binghamton, NY, USA

problem #4

May 012013

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 65,733 miles


The Kia Sportage 2008, has the modules misfire and the Kia Sportage completely turns itself off while in drive at 45 miles per hour. This happened to me on five different occasions randomly, and the Kia depot in santa ana, said that they could not find the problem on the vehicle, and decided not to keep the vehicle longer to find out what was causing this problem that could be a fatal hazard for anyone that would be driving this vehicle. I was almost hit by other cars while driving this vehicle. Kia depot has so far not done anything at all to assist me for my car and told me I had two days to get this car off there lot there at Kia depot santa ana, or they would start charging me for keeping my car there.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 132013


  • 90,000 miles
She is 73 years old and on a fixed income. She has already paid thousands for the car and now does not have a car due to a faulty part. No car should catch on fire due to normal use. Now she is going to have to find a way to pay for another car. Hopefully that car manufacturer produces a vehicle that does not just catch fire at random and if it does, they take credit for building and selling you a vehicle with a fault that is there own. She struggled to pay thousands of dollars for a car that she took good care of to just burn up infront of her. She looked forward to finish paying the car off. Blue book is roughly $9,000 she paid more that half of it off and still owes $7,000 but now, insurance will give her the $9,000 of which she will have to pay $7,000 out to pay it off, leaving her with $2,000. What can you buy with $2,000 - nothing! so now she must start over and use the $2,000 to get back into a full car payment and struggle again for another 5 years or more. W.T.F.!"!" I see on this website, people talking about the same thing happening to them. If there is more than 1 or 2 cars that have caught on fire the same way, why isn't it looked into, and why isn't there a recall. Sure it maybe hard for Kia to replace many vehicles, however, I think it is harder for my mother of 73 to go out and buy another vehicle at $15,000 - $20,000 just because the one she trusted to be a solid vehicle was build crappy. It is Kia's design and mechanics that caused the problem, they should be held responsible. And it should be illegal for them to keep selling the vehicles to people with a problem as such.

- Oakdale, PA, USA

problem #2

Nov 132013


  • 90,000 miles
This is part 2 of 3... we got a new battery installed at advanced auto. Car ran fine. The next morning, she started the car and then went into the house. My niece was there and said she heard a pop and look outside to see the car on fire. The whole front end including the passenger compartment was burnt to a crisp. I believe what happened was a faulty part in the ABS (causing the light to come on) was shorting or something and that kept draining the battery. With the battery low, the battery would die before enough heat could build up, however, with the new battery, it could continue to pull power and heat up whatever faulty part was shorting out and then got hot enough to blow and cause fire. (continued in next post) 3 of 3...

- Oakdale, PA, USA

problem #1

Nov 132013


  • 90,000 miles
This will be 1 of 3 part statement... about a week ago (give or take a few days), a couple of my mother's 2008 Kia Sportage's dash lights came on. The ABS light, the ESC light, and I think one other (possibly the traction control light but mind you this is not my car and I am not that familiar with her dash). She was told that there was a recall for a part that was causing one of the lights to come on (I believe the ESC light). She took the car to get the part replaced, however, the lights did not go off. I have wheel hubs on my SUV crossover and I told her that when my wheel bearing/sensor starts going bad that is when my light comes on. Well a couple days later, her driver side wheel bearing started to roar, so we figured that the ABS light was on due to that. She took it back to the Kia dealership shop and they replaced the bearing and although the ride was quieter due to the new bearing replacement, the ABS light and other lights did not go off. The mechanic told her that she does not have a wheel hub with sensor and bearing in the hub but that all of her parts were separate. He said that the light may be on due the sensor may have debris from the wheel bearing going bad or possibly the sensor is going bad itself. I planned on pulling and cleaning the sensor for her in the upcoming weekend. Well before the weekend, she went shopping at the grocery store and when she came out, the vehicle would not start. The battery was dead. We call a tow truck driver who came and gave it a quick jump and said she must have left her lights on. She drove home, pulled in driveway and I told her to leave it run a bit to charge the battery back up. She did so and then after about 10 minutes, shut it off and immediately started it again to ensure the battery was charged. Later that day, it would not start again...battery dead again. (continued in next post) 2 of 3...

- Oakdale, PA, USA

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