2012 Kia Sportage engine NHTSA complaints: Engine

NHTSA — Engine Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,089 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.

2012 Kia Sportage engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Kia Sportage Owner Comments

problem #13

Oct 172015


  • 34,900 miles


While driving on the highway, we heard a thump from our 2012 Kia Sportage. When we got home, my husband checked the engine and he found we had no oil. We never had a check engine or oil light come on and never had an oil spot under our car. We took it to our Kia dealer and was told it needed a new engine. After reading other complaints about the same issue, I realize we were very lucky we were able to make it home with our car that night. Our Kia had less than 35,000 miles on it and we changed the oil regularly, so we just knew it would be under warranty. However, because my husband did some of the oil changes himself, they would not honor the warranty- he didn't have all of the receipts for the oil and filters since 2012. The receipts we could provide from businesses that did oil changes and some copies of receipts my husband could get from the auto parts stores showed that the oil was changed often, but we didn't have all the receipts. Regardless, a vehicle with less than 35,000 miles, with proof of several oil changes, not ever having a check engine or oil light come on, and no oil spots where it's parked every day- should not run out of oil and need a new engine. I knew this had to be a defect with Kia engines and after reading many complaints from other Kia owners, it's obviously a known and dangerous defect and needs to be addressed.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #12

Nov 172016


  • 70,000 miles
Our 2012 Kia Sportage broke down over a month ago after my wife and daughter had just got off the pa turnpike, they had stopped at a mall an hour from home after traveling all day. When they returned to the car from shopping, it wouldn't start. It was towed to gateway Kia of warrington at the advice of Kia corporation of America, because that was the closest dealership. After sitting there for almost five days and no call from them, and multiple inquiries by us, they finally told us that it was engine failure. They ran basic diagnostic tests and never went any further as far as looking into the engine. Because we were the second owner off a one year lease, we weren't eligible for the original 10 year/100,000 warranty. Our warranty was now 5 years/ 50,000 miles. Our car has 70,0000 miles. So not covered we have been told. We kept good care of this car with regular oil changes and state inspections. After being told that we were not going to be covered, we started researching this problem. Soon after we found a law firm that was heading a class action suit against Kia. The lawsuit alleged that Kia has an ongoing problem with some of their engine, which includes our vehicle and engine. We were also notified that the law firm had ceased to pursue the suit because Kia had agreed to fix the engines for the vehicles included in the suit. Kia has denied to cover our car under this special extended warranty which would include 10 years/120,000 miles now. We have been passed around and denied all the up to the corporate offices "escalation office", which has ultimately told us that we have been denied and have reached the highest office available for complaint/appeals and there is nothing that we do any longer. We still owe almost $10,000 on this car, which will be a total loss if it isn't fixed under extended warranty or by us at a cost of almost $5000.

- Doylestown, PA, USA

problem #11

Oct 252016

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
I was driving down the road at 45 mph probably a few hundred yards from getting on the highway when black smoke came out of the exhaust of my Sportage and it completely went dead. Luckily, I had a place to stop just to the left of the highway entrance. I can't imagine what could have happened had this occurred at highway speeds. I learned from the dealer that this is actually a known problem with the Kia theta engines. The bearings and rods in my engine were apparently shredded and the engine seized. While the dealer is paying for the damage under warranty, the car will be returned to original state meaning the engine and the car will be extremely dangerous. If what happened to me happens to anyone driving on the highway, it's very easy to imagine the possibility of a fatal crash. These engines need to be recalled and have a proper fix in place before someone dies. I've now read hundreds of complaints similar to mine on the internet so action needs to be taken beyond the class action lawsuit that was filed in June for this very same issue.

- Perkasie, PA, USA

problem #10

Oct 092016


  • 149,000 miles


Leaving a friend's house my car made a clicking sound. I continued to drive and the sound appeared to have gone away. Minutes later while driving 70 mph on I-85 N in atlanta my 2012 Kia Sportage (without warning lights or any indication that anything was wrong) made a very loud noise and lost speed quickly. I put on my emergency flashers and moved across lanes until I could exit. When I got to the ramp the engine died and the check engine light came on. I was able to start the car again. It started off but died again. I tried it once again and it started. I put the car in neutral and pressed the gas so it wouldn┐T turn off. I threw it in drive and the car did begin to move but it never got over 20 mph despite the fact that I had the pedal pressed to the floor. Cars were honking their horn and passing me recklessly. I pulled into the parking lot of a pep boys center and called to have my car towed. It (and me) was towed back to gainesville, ga to the dealership at 11:00 pm. The same dealership where I bought and have had it serviced since I purchased it. Monday I went to the dealership to see what was wrong. The mechanic immediately told me that it was my engine after only having another mechanic start the car┐.it only ran for a short period of time. Maybe like 5-seconds he stated that the engine needed to be replaced. After further investigation I have since learned that this is indicative of the 2012 Kia Sportage as well as a number of other Kia models. I found numerous testimonials oniine where this happened to others. I also learned that there is a class action lawsuit against Kia called the engine oil defect lawsuit where those involved in the suit share experiences eerily similar to mine. Kia of America and carriage Kia have not been very cooperative in this matter.

- Oakwood, GA, USA

problem #9

Sep 232016


  • 106,000 miles
Driving down the road and heard a load noise from under the hood. Noise stopped and then loss all power! everthing died. Got it pulled over and now the motor is seized. Got the oil changed a week before and never have had issues with this car.

- Bronson, MI, USA

problem #8

Aug 012016


  • 69,000 miles
After driving home from a vacation trip, our car literally shutoff as we were crossing a major highway near home. I was able to coast back off the road. We were told by the dealership that it was the motor and it was needing to be replaced. They shared with us that there were 3 others sitting on their lot with the same problem and that there was an issue with those motors and that we should reach out to Kia for assistance. My children were in the vehicle at the time. I previously owned another Kia Sportage, a 2001, that we had for well over 10 years and many miles over 100,000 that we absolutely loved as do I with this one. I just want to get it fixed and back in to it. The car is only 4 years old. What has changed??

- Montgomery, PA, USA

problem #7

Jul 222016


  • 27,000 miles


While driving at 70 mph on interstate 15 in California on a Friday afternoon, the car began jerking and losing power without any warning. The temperature gauge was normal, no lights of any kind came on. With great difficulty we were able to make it to the center median and waited 1-1/2 hrs for a tow from aaa to the nearest Kia dealer in victorville, ca. They did not look at it until Monday and it took a couple of days to get a straight answer from them as to when the car would be fixed. They finally told us the car needed a new engine! they have now had the car 2 weeks and they say they need a part called a camshaft assy (P/N 242002G700) which they will not have for another 3 weeks! in researching this situation, I see that other Kia owners have experienced this same failure. It seems as though a recall and safety warning is needed! this could have caused a terrible accident. The car only has 27,000 miles and was purchased used from a Kia dealer as a "certified pre-owned vehicle". at this time, we do not know how much this is going to cost. We had to pay for the tow, stay in a hotel, rent a car to get home as we live in Utah. We were told we will have to go back there to pick up the car! we are thankful we weren't injured but someone else may be if Kia doesn't do something about this situation.

- St George, UT, USA

problem #6

Mar 132016


  • 38,800 miles
Driving approximately 70 mph on the interstate, a loud squeak sound occurred and all of the lights on the dashboard lit up and the engine promptly shut off and has since then been unable to start again. The Kia dealership has informed me that the vehicle has internal engine failure. My concern is driving a vehicle at that speed and having it instantly shut off is a huge safety risk and liability, especially after hearing ir has happened to others with identical vehicles.

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #5

Sep 112015


  • 60,497 miles
While driving car at highway speeds, suddenly car began to decelerate, luckily was able to get to shoulder of highway. Car died when getting to shoulder, started again, engine making horrible knocking sound, and wouldn't move. Got towed to Kia dealer, stated we needed a new engine. Kia dealer stated the connecting rod on the crankshaft either seized up or broke and locked up.

- Center Valley, PA, USA

problem #4

Jun 122014


  • 34,000 miles
While driving on freeway at 70 mph car engine slowed to 40 without warning then down to 20, almost causing multiple cars to crash into me. Managed to drive car directly to Kia dealer while going from driving fine, to slowing to 20 mph to shaking when at a stop light when I dropped off car to dealer they could not find anything wrong. Says I have to pick back up. Prior to this, while on freeway engine would wind and rev RPM without moving or accelerating. Had Kia computer hooked up for weeks and it did not record anything. I have had it in numerous times and they cannot find anything wrong. Very disappointed with my choice in Kia.

- Chino, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 032014


  • 30,500 miles


Driving on the interstate, the engine of the car gave out. I was given zero warning before the engine completely died and I was forced to pull my car off to the side of the road. I was lucky that the car behind me did not hit me. The car is only 2 years old with about 30,000 miles and this should not have happened. It put my life and that of my 11 month old son at risk. The public needs to be aware of this issue! no one should have to worry about being in a fatal accident due to Kia's faulty parts.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #2

Mar 202014

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 6,955 miles
At approximately 5:30am, I was driving down the freeway. My Kia Sportage suddenly made a loud bang, and the engine stalled. It also shut off the headlights, and disabled the power steering, while on a curve, going 70mph. The power assisted brakes were also not working, because the engine shut down. I managed to pull the vehicle over without incident, but was almost hit by several vehicles that could no longer see me, because my lights were off. The engine would not start up again, and I had to have the vehicle towed home. This is the 3rd time this vehicle has done this, and Kia refuses to repair the vehicle.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #1

Jun 102012

Sportage 4-cyl

  • 5,500 miles
I pulled a trailer for the first time on this date. The truck only made it 10 miles, and lost all power, and I barely made it off of the freeway. Brought it to the dealer, and they found the spark plugs blew apart. All they did was change the spark plugs and sent me on my way. On July 13th, I towed my camper, which was lighter than the last trailer I pulled. This time, about 6 miles into the trip, the engine completely let go on the highway. I had to get across 4 lanes of traffic with no power and a camper in-tow. Waited at the side of the road for an hour and a half before Kia sent a tow vehicle. Discovered all 4 spark plugs were destroyed, and a hole in cylinder 3. Kia will not warranty it, blaming the engine failure on the camper not having trailer brakes(completely absurd). The first failure in June, the trailer weighed 500lbs more, and had trailer brakes. Kia does not want to admit fault for this extremely dangerous fault in their engine. The vehicle is rated for 2,000lbs towing capacity, and both trailers were well under the limit. My camper is only 1,155lbs. Complete engine failure on the highway put me and my entire family in danger twice. This is un-acceptable. This was a loaded sx AWD.(turbocharged).

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

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