really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,742 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.

2011 Kia Sportage engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Kia Sportage Owner Comments

problem #12

Jan 062017


  • 65,000 miles


Due to the inability to start my 2011 Kia Sportage one day, it was brought in for a diagnostic which determined that the timing chain had come loose resulting in major engine damage. The list of problems is very long (gaskets, bolts, spark plugs, timing chain, valves, cylinder head, etc.) and if this were to happen while driving - it could have resulted in an accident. The repair shop says this is not the first 2011 Kia Sportage engine they have repaired with this same issue, and believes it is happening possibly due to poor engine design (and may happen again in the future even with the best parts). The vehicle was stationary when the problem was discovered, so there were no injuries as a result.

- St. Louis Park, MN, USA

problem #11

Jun 152016


  • 79,000 miles
Engine shut down in the highway causing loss of power steering/brakes. Car has less than 80K miles, all oil changes performed per spec recently adter switching to full synthetic oil changed every 5000 miles. Engine seized. Very similar to Hyundai recall issued 9/25/2015. Same engine manufactured in the same plant with a different name badge.

- Highland, MI, USA

problem #10

Mar 172016


  • 45,372 miles
Randomly loses throttle control. Has happened on a freeway, on surface streets and at stop signs. Throttle goes immediately into idle RPM (approximately 800-1000 RPM). Loss of acceleration ability when maneuvering in traffic. Almost collided with other vehicles. Kia dealership looked for fault codes in computer but could not find any. Numerous entries on internet about this. Active fault codes go inactive after 3 successful restarts. Dealer not allowed to look at inactive codes. Has happened several times over 2-3 years. Kia factory service is aware of this. Their case # is 2524267.

- Hillsboro, OR, USA

problem #9

Jan 052015


  • 42,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sportage. The contact stated that while driving at 5 mph, the engine completely shut off and the brake lights illuminated. The engine restarted after pushing the button without engaging the brakes. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 42,000.

- Rockhill, SC, USA

problem #8

Nov 162014

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 25,182 miles
We own the car, 2011 Kia Sportage sx T-gdi, for less than 3 months and I had to take it to the dealership pretty much every other week with some issues. Last problem we had was an accelerator/speed control when the car wasn't shifting or accelerating over 25-30 mph even the RPM were up to 6-7X1000, and I was able to floor the pedal and keep it there, was no speed response. The only fix was pull over and shut off the engine, but even after that it could take several times to do the same procedure.I finally got an appointment to the dealership on Tuesday morning 11nov14, pick it up Thursday afternoon 13nov14, they said I had a bad battery that might cause the problem. So I end up paying for a new battery and replacing it, and at the same time the dealers replaced a brake lamp switch, and I was told everything works great. Next morning on Friday, same issue with the speed control, vehicle is driving unusual and on top of that the check engine light came on. Called the dealers immediately they said if the light is not flashing its safe to drive and there are no appointments available until Monday 17nov14. Sunday driving around the car had the same problems all day long and that evening coming home after filled up the tank, at about 25mph speed control was giving me a hard time and shifting at a very delayed times or not shifting at all, approaching an intersection tried to stop and the brake seized first couple times, accelerating instead of stopping, and when already entering the intersection being slippery I was able to do a slightly left sliding on the wet road after brakes finally engaged but was to late to avoid the collision with another car which had the right of way. Same problem, check engine light on, car not working properly, the dealer's service said its good to go! safe and drive-able.

- Fort Bragg, NC, USA

problem #7

Nov 162014


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sportage. While driving approximately 25 mph, the check engine light illuminated and the brakes failed. The contact ran a red light and crashed into another vehicle. The frontal air bags deployed. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. There were no injuries. The approximate failure mileage was 25,000.

- Fort Bragg, NC, USA

problem #6

Aug 302014

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 29,800 miles


Second catastrophic failure of 2.0 liter turbocharged engine in less than 30,000 miles service.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #5

Jun 092012

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 8,716 miles
2.0 liter turbocharged engine failed catastrophically without warning rendering vehicle undriveable.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #4

Mar 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sportage. The contact stated that an abnormal rattling noise was heard from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the bushings needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 5,000 and the current mileage was 15,000....updated 02-28-14 the consumer stated at 10,000 miles the rubber bushings which held the exhaust on the body of the vehicle had worn out. The bushings became so flexible that the exhaust would constantly hit the frame. 4 out of 5 of the bushings were replaced. 5,000 miles later the failure reccured. Updated 03/19/2014

- York Haven, PA, USA

problem #3

Jul 202013


  • 2,500 miles
When I placed the vehicle in reverse, it felt like the car lunged stopped and lunged again. The car did not move, because the brakes were still engaged. The review camera did not turn on. I backed out and pulled back into my spot, put the car in park, put it into reverse again, and the lunging occurred again. I checked the reverse lights, and they were not on. I proceeded to drive to my destination. While driving at 40 mph, I attempted to accelerate, the car revved to a high RPM, and then engaged the transmission causing the tires to chirp. I attempted several times to accelerate to proper speeds, and the high rev prior to engaging the transmission occurred every time. I noticed the gear indicator on the odometer display was missing. When I got to my destination, I turned off the vehicle. Then I turned it back on, and the vehicle was operating normally.camera, reverse lights, and gear indicator was working. I started driving and attempted a passing acceleration, with no issues. I did not take it to the dealer, because the vehicle is not having the problem at this time.

- League City, TX, USA

problem #2

Jun 182013

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 81,535 miles
Push button start would not engage - car was in park- after getting shifter to move - car started - took it to dealer replaced brake light switch - I see where uk has recalled 25K vehicles for this same problem including Sportage NHTSA should also issue a recall on this module while waiting another consumer reported same problem but had a recall on theirs.

- Monroe, NC, USA

problem #1

Feb 062012


  • 7,800 miles
I began having issues with my 2011 Kia Sportage not starting. At first I thought I didn't push the brake and push correctly. But this became more and more frequent as time went on. In April 2012, it didn't start 3 times in one day. I took it in to the dealer the next day and that morning it started for them to move it into their garage and it didn't start again for three weeks. The dealership nor tech support had any idea of what the problem was, so their next step was to begin replacing parts, first the fuse box under the dash, them several different computer parts. They ended replacing 5 different parts in the car before they got it started. When I asked what caused the problem, they said they didn't know and would be turning all the "replaced" parts over to the technical support dept to investigate the parts. I asked if they would let me know what the problem was when the tech folks completed their investigation. The service mgr told me that they would not ever be notified by Kia tech about what caused the problem. I asked why, they said that Kia just never tells them. So if the problem happens again, they have no way of identifying the issue for me or any other customer. I have no faith in Kia motors nor their dealerships.

- Bryan, TX, USA

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