9.1

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$5,630
Average Mileage:
89,050 miles
Total Complaints:
30 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new engine (25 reports)
  2. not sure (5 reports)
2012 Kia Sportage engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Kia Sportage:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Kia Sportage Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Dec 012019

Sportage

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,700 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This Thanksgiving as we sent our daughter back to college, when she called us an hour away from home on the side of the interstate in the dark. Her beloved Kia had started smoking and then completely shut down. My husband rushed to meet her on the side of the road and had the car towed to the closest Kia dealership. We were told the next day that the engine threw a rod and the entire engine would have to be replaced, with a price tag over $7,000 after all costs.

We are struggling with what to do next. This is a 2012 car with only 67,000 miles on it. No one can explain why this happened and we have had absolutely no signs of any problem ahead of time. My husband takes all of our cars religiously to get the oil changed and makes sure we have new tires and brakes so that we are safe. To have a beloved car just become worthless out of the blue is sad and frustrating.

It seems crazy for us to pay $7,000 to put a new engine in a car when we don’t know if it could happen again. We love the gas mileage and size of the car and had thought we would get a similar Kia for our other two daughters in a few years when they start driving. I can’t see buying a car that may all of a sudden be worthless with absolutely no warning.

We have called to talk to Consumer Affairs for Kia. They initially told us that the car is our responsibility and that they can’t help us at all. We are trying to appeal, but I don't have much hope in a large company doing the right thing especially after seeing all of these other cases. What a HUGE expense, especially at Christmas.

- Catherine N., Clemson, US

problem #29

Oct 062019

Sportage ES 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,426 miles

Purchased 2012 Kia Sportage 2 wheel drive in October 2017 at 72,152 miles from known private party. Body was in excellent shape, and I was aware that air conditioner was not working and was quoted approximately $1,000 to repair which was an accurate price and repaired July 2018 at Kia dealership. I continued to take vehicle for oil changes and maintenance visits at the same Kia dealership. The last oil change was July 2019 at 94,342 miles.

On October 2, 2019 I was driving in mountains when the engine just started knocking. It got louder, so I drove home and parked in the driveway for a few weeks in hopes that I would save up some $ for cost of probable repairs. On November 6th, I attempted to drive to Kia dealership but it died about 3 miles later. Mechanic at same Kia dealership said it was the engine and not able to repair, and a replacement would cost about $6,0000!! I now have a really nice looking Kia Sportage with 98,426 miles taking up space in my driveway. I will never get a Kia again!!

- mauram, Westminster, US

problem #28

Aug 292020

Sportage ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,046 miles

Very exhausted. Just fixed cooling problem on it 5 weeks ago for close to $500 dollars and now engine problem? Plus, since I have to towed to different town for further diagnosis, it left me know another choice to borrow a friend's car for almost two weeks now just to work. Not only that, I still have $5000 loan on it, which I'm still making payments even though the car is not working?

- Peter D., Kearney, US

problem #27

Jun 102021

Sportage 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have owned this car for 4 years. I've never had any problems till now. and it's huge. We were heading into town for a couple of dr. appts when the engine stated clattering and blowing smoke and steam from under the car. We had it towed to a local repair shop. They quoted us $7000 for repairs. We are on a fixed income so we have no choice than bring it home and park it. The car is not paid off yet so we have another year of car payments on a car we can't use. I hear Kia is denying most claims unless you have all receipts for oil changes or other technicalities.

Update from Jul 6, 2021: Kia has acknowledged metal shavings in that year and many others in the 2.4 liter engines. If they knew the engine was bad, why didn't they make an effort to contact me?

- wmt9498@yahoo.com, Lincoln, US

problem #26

Nov 202019

Sportage LX 2.4L Theta II

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,840 miles

click to see larger images

engine stopped working while driving engine stopped working while driving

I was traveling east on Interstate Highway I-94 about 10 miles west of Dickinson, North Dakota when I encountered a small hill which caused the transmission to downshift out of overdrive. This of course caused the engine RPMs to increase and when it did, there was suddenly a clattering noise in the engine compartment followed by the sudden failure of the engine. This caused the dash to light up with a number of lights. I looked in the rear view mirror to see what other traffic there might be behind me and I noticed a small metallic part sliding down the highway directly behind me. There was also some smoke coming out the back of the vehicle that appeared to be burning oil.

I let the car coast down the hill to the bottom of a valley and pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway. After I watched a number of cars and a semi-truck passed by, I popped the hood release and got out of the car and lifted the hood and secured it with the rod. It was then that I noticed that there was a fire in the back of the engine on the exhaust manifold. There was some oil burning and also some of the wiring in the same area that was burning. There were some small piles of snow in the grassy ditch and so I proceeded to use both hands to scoop up the snow and throw it on the area of the fire. I did this 10 or 12 times before the fire was finally extinguished.

While this vehicle has only 101,840 miles on it, based on the research that I have done, I believe that this occurred because of a manufacturing flaw in the 2.4 liter four cylinder engine, and I am asking that your company cover the cost of the required repair. It was totally unexpected that the engine would fail so abruptly and with only 101,840 miles on the odometer.

I had just had this vehicle in to the dealer in September 2019 for a couple of recalls that were checked or dealt with. It had only 98,500 miles on the odometer at that time. The oil pan was checked for leaks and the oil pressure sending unit was replaced with a new part. I also had new brakes installed and all of the fluids flushed and renewed.

Kia needs to stand behind their product. All of these 2.4 Liter Theta II engines are faulty! And should be recalled and owners should be fully compensated for their losses in full!

- Jeff A., Hawley, MN, US

problem #25

Jun 082019

Sportage SX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

Driving down the highway and the engine started to smoke, pulled over and shut the car off and there was a small fire within. Kia explained that I needed a new engine and it was going to cost around $8,000 and was not covered under warranty because there was a period of time that the oil wasn't changed for about 3,500 miles, 500 miles past their recommended oil change timeframe. Car was returned to the dealership and never drove it again.

- wx529, Orlando, FL, US

problem #24

Jul 222019

Sportage

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,126 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Purchased used in Dec 2018. I put 10,000 miles on it without any indication of a problem. Ferguson Kia had it for 3 weeks simply to fix a motor in the passenger window. I got it back Friday evening. Monday morning, I drove it 8 miles to work and there was a knocking sound. Drove home. Tuesday, the knocking was much louder so drove straight to kia dealership. Car stalled on the road during very busy traffic. Finally got started enough to turn into dealership. Two weeks later I'm told it needs a new engine and although kia has a recall on one engine type for this exact same problem, mine's not under that recall. I used my entire savings to buy this car for my daughter. She gets her license in September. I am a single mom and cannot afford to fix this or replace it!!! If you are having this problem, please file a complaint with NHTSA.

- Audra R., Sand Springs, OK, US

problem #23

Jul 282019

Sportage EX 2.4L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,193 miles

Driving on a Southern California freeway on July 28, 2019, the engine of our 2012 Kia Sportage suddenly stalled. Brought it to the Garden Grove Kia dealer the next day and met their service advisor. She promised that the dealer would let us know by 2p what the issue was. She didn't call until after 4p with bad news: a new engine was needed for the princely sum of $9,087.60 plus tax!

In hindsight, we now know that the service advisor was probably huddling with management on a strategy of deception. Not only did she not mention that there was an oil leak recall on this model but she said nothing about the ongoing class action suits, the car fire reports, and the 21 engine complaints lodged here on CarComplaints.com.

When we picked up the car the next day, I, of course, mentioned the class action suit filed by Andrea Smolek and the numerous complaints mentioning exactly what our service advisor had described: "Oil was black and slight sludged [sic]. Oil control valve (OCV) had sludge and metal shavings." The service manager — Gudino was nowhere in sight — remained silent about the issue and just collected his $129.00 for the diagnosis, which would have been refunded had we forked over that $10,000 they wanted for a new engine. NOT!

I took a picture of their “2019 Customer Satisfaction Award” and posted it on Twitter. Please, please retweet: https://twitter.com/ubercool/status/1156315266764005377.

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, I'm “ubercool” everywhere. Between these three social networks, I have more than 24,000 followers, friends and connections and I’m sure the word will get back to Kia. Or send me your social media info here via the contact form and I'll be happy to help you spread the word, so you can get your hard-earned dollars back from Kia.

- ubercool, Las Vegas, US

problem #22

Jun 232019

Sportage

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

Was driving on the I-10 from California back home to Arizona. At about 80mph, car lost power, started making loud noises, and smoking, smelling like burning oil. Stranded on a major interstate for 1.5 hours in 100 degree weather, waiting for AAA to come. Had it towed to Palm Springs Kia. Had to rent a car to get home. Palm Springs Kia called me to let me know there was an internal engine failure, and that I needed a new engine. They proceeded to tell me that it would cost between $7,000-10,000 for new engine. I am the second owner, so my warranty was not until 100,000 like standard which is CRAP! My extended warranty was done at 82,000. I still owe money on this car, that is not worth repairing. Very disappointing seeing all of these similar experiences, and no recall. I looked up my VIN, and like many others, mine was not included. Kia, step up here and make things right.!

- Kristin F., Mesa, AZ, US

problem #21

Jul 012019

Sportage L X 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

This car has 88k miles, spun a main bearing on the highway. Recalls for this exact same problem but my VIN is not covered per KIA. This issue is under investigation by the NHTSA and if you've had this issue you should file a complaint with them at NHTSA.gov and if/when the recall is expanded your vehicle will be repaired or if you paid out of pocket for repairs you can be reimbursed. Please file a complaint if you were impacted! If you're aware of a class action lawsuit in CO please let me know.

- Truett S., Colorado Springs, US

problem #20

Mar 082019

Sportage LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Car was well maintained and didn't give us any indication that something was failing. My wife took the car on a road trip 500 miles away when the engine started making a loud clanging noise and a strong smell of oil coming from the engine along with some smoke. They had it towed to a mechanic who proclaimed the engine to have a very serious problem requiring a replacement.

The only engines available were 2 used engines. No rebuilt engines were available for a repair of about $6k for the lower mileage engine. We checked with the local Kia Dealer who told us the same thing. but $7k for a lower mileage engine.

We made the difficult decision to junk the car for free due to losing any trust in a car that is repaired with a used engine instead of a rebuilt one since the used engine would more than likely exhibit the same unexpected failure due to a faulty design. I am intensely unhappy and without a car since I can not afford to get a replacement car.

- Chi W., Cave Springs, AR, US

problem #19

Jan 262019

Sportage LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,118 miles

click to see larger images

engine stopped working while driving

My car started to present problems 8 months before. It started to burn oil and the dealer can't find the problem, so I have to put oil in weekly. One day I was driving and the motor engine light came up, so I parked and called for a tow. When the dealer checked the car, they told me the engine is done, you need a new one. How? Why? If I bring it to you guys every 3 thousand miles for maintenance and put oil in weekly, you don't see a problem coming?

The dealer cleaned his hands and gave me a Kia number. I did the claim and then was told the warranty is over after 100 thousand miles, really? Well this car has balance of $12000 with the bank. To fix it is $7500. Car value is 18 thousand dollars, so I'm still waiting for a decision. I'm still paying the bank because I don't want to ruin my credit. I'm women how I can know is something wrong with that car? I bring it to the dealer. The dealer says they won't cover rental car, so I am close to losing my job. I need a car. I have for kids I need drop off at school.

- Helen J., Trenton, NJ, US

problem #18

Dec 092018

Sportage LX 2.0L Gdi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,485 miles

Owned a 2012 Kia Sportage- purchased it brand new and kept up on all the maintenance and oil changes. We had 111,485 miles on the vehicle. Two days prior to this happening, I had it at a Kia dealer for oil change and tire rotation.We were driving on an interstate and it just started to declererate and make banging noises in the engine. Pulled over immediately and called our insurance road service.

It was a Sunday afternoon so the only place that it could be towed was a Pep Boys. They gave us a price of $8000.00 for a reman motor. The next day my husband had it towed to our Kia dealer who also gave us the bad news that we needed a new motor. Their price was $6500.00.We felt that the car was barely worth $6500. They refused to give us a courtesy car because they said it was out of warranty. We had to rent a car that cost us close to $300.00 for the week.

The dealership immediately asked us if we wanted to talk to a sales person. We were angry and frustrated at this point and they knew they had us!,, we spoke with a sales person and purchased a used car- and not a Kia. They only offered to pay $500 for our car toward a used one. We argued and they finally agreed on giving us $1000 towards the purchase of another vehicle. Ended up with a car payment that we couldn’t really afford. We had just paid the vehicle off in August 2018.

After going home, we started to talk about the circumstances. We got online and found that Sportage 2011-2014 had some problems with the engines. Kia was supposed to have extended warranties on these cars to 120,000. Of course when we put our VIN number in online, there were no recalls and no warranties. Does anyone know who could be contacted for major complaints?

I intend to write the head of Kia and make my complaint known to them. It looks like there has been class action law suits against Kia in December 2017. I think the most frustrating thing about this is I have religiously kept the car maintained. We didn’t abuse it and really felt we could of gotten a few more years out of it.

Update from Apr 19, 2022: Returned to local Kia dealership that stated car was not under warranty and was told it would take 6-8 weeks to get a new motor. Stated the best option was to scrape vehicle- we were forced to purchase another used vehicle from their used car dept. they offered us $500 for the 2012 Kia Sportage for the trade in. Within 3 weeks , we noticed that our vehicle was for sale in their used car lot for $12,000. Called and made complaint to Kia and never received any response.

- Debra G., Ormond Beach, US

problem #17

Nov 012018

Sportage

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I WAS DRIVING MY CAR TO WORK ONE MORNING AND I HEARD A WEIRD FAINT KNOCKING SOUND COMING FROM OUTSIDE MY CAR. I IMMEDIATELY DROVE STRAIGHT TO ROYAL KIA IN TUCSON WHERE I HAD PURCHASED THE CAR 4 YEARS AGO AS A "CERTIFIED" USED CAR. AT 3 THAT AFTERNOON THEY CALLED TO TELL ME THAT IT NEEDS A NEW ENGINE. IT HAS 78000 MILES ON IT. THEY CLAIM MY WARRANTY WAS "DEFAULTED" ON BECAUSE OVER THE PAST 4 YEARS I WAS LATE GETTING THE OIL CHANGED TWICE.

I CALLED CORP KIA AND THEY BASICALLY SAID TOO BAD AND INSINUATED THAT BECAUSE THE LATE MAINTENANCE ON THE VEHICLE CAUSED THE ENGINE TO FAIL. I ALSO SPOKE WITH THE GM OF ROYAL KIA AND HE INSISTED THE SAME THING. I HAVE SPOKEN TO A NUMBER OF MECHANICS AND THEY SAID NO WAY CAN THAT CAUSE AN ENGINE TO GO WITH THE LOW MILEAGE. I HAVE ALSO HAD EVERY SERVICE DONE ON THE CAR FOR 4 YEARS.

I BROUGHT THE RECALL UP TO THE DEALER AND HE SAID THAT IT WASN'T THIS ENGINE. I SAY SOMEONE NEEDS TO INVESTIGATE THIS FURTHER. THEY TOLD ME IT WOULD COST $7000 TO REPLACE THE ENGINE AND THAT IT REALLY WASN'T "WORTH IT". NOW I AM OUT A CAR BECAUSE OF A KIA DEFECT AND NO ONE IS BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

- Dawn E., Tucson, US

problem #16

Sep 102018

Sportage Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

We purchased a KIA sportage from an original owner. Purchased 2 years ago. 2012 80,000 miles. Traveling out of town, engine quit. Had towed to the local dealer. They said it needed a new engine $7,000. Stated that those had been recalled but our VIN wasn't one covered. Now dealing with the consumer affairs. They are rude as hell. I have been extremely disappointed with their quality of customer care. HELP!! Is there any action steps I can take?

- Yvette H., Yamhill, US

problem #15

Sep 082018

Sportage EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

This car was bought new and we have not had problems with it. The maintenance has been done as needed and it has been well taken care of. Driving on this past Saturday on a good road in town, the engine light came on, the car began to shake and the engine sputtered and a loud banging noise came from the engine. I drove to the nearest parking lot and parked the car and had my husband come to help.

We had the vehicle towed to our mechanic's shop - which cost us almost $100 - because we were concerned driving it would cause more problems. The mechanic looked at the vehicle and said the engine would have to be replaced. He advised us to call the dealership because he thought there might be a recall. My husband called the dealership in our town and I called the one where we bought the car about 30 minutes away from home. The dealer in our town said we had to bring the car in for a diagnostics check before they could do anything or give us info on a recall. The dealer we bought the car from took my info and the VIN# and said there were recalls on GDI engines but mine was MPI and was not under recall. They asked for the mileage info and basically scoffed and said well you just need to replace the engine and good luck to you. I had to rent a car at $200/week to drive while my car is at the shop.

The replacement engine can take up to 15 days to get here and I will continue to have to rent a car during this time, plus the amount of time it takes for the repair to take place. Apparently, the engines are in high demand which tells me that these cars are a piece of garbage. I have never bought a Kia before and I never will again. What kind of new car only lasts 6 years before the engine has to be replaced. I had a Toyota Corolla that lasted me more than 200K miles and then I gave it to my daughter and she drove it another 50K miles before we had the engine replaced and she drove it a few more years after that.

I am disgusted with this experience and what makes it worse is that my adult son and my elderly father have both bought a Kia. My son's is only a few years old and there is something wrong with the steering. My dad just bought his 2 months ago and I'm sick that he bought it on my recommendation.

- Barbara T., Anderson, SC, US

problem #14

Mar 102018

Sportage 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

We never had any problems with this car, not any warning lights ever. Driving from Georgia to Florida the Engine light went on, and then immediately seized. We had to pull over from the left lane to the median on I-95. Had been driving at 65 mph. Car went completely dead. This all happened within a few minutes...Could have been a deadly situation since riding on the interstate and having engine failure could result in a horrible wreck.

We had it towed to the Kia Dealter in Lakeland, Florida. It took them 5 days to look at it. They said the engine was ruined. We found the recall information online (had never heard of it before, unfortunately).

We then called Kia who said that our car VIN does not match their list of recall VIN numbers. This is baffling, because it is the same exact problem that the other Kia Sportage cars have had, and they can get their engines replaced.

We are not sure what to do, who to call...we have this car, just sitting here with no idea what to do? Has anyone else had this problem. Does anyone have any advice on how to move forward?

Thank you!

Update from Jul 12, 2018: We spoke to a Kia Representative about the recall SC 147. She said again that our VIN is not part of the " service campaign". Kindly she submitted our complaint to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I had already done that myself. She explained that the more complaints that are made and the more cars that are inspected with field research then there could be better documentation of the problem.

So anyone who has had the problem must report it to Kia and the NHTSA directly. Here is a link to the NHTSA

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/

Update from Sep 1, 2018: Well after months of trying to figure out what to do about our Kia 2012 Sportage engine failure, we have finally found that there are a number of lawsuits outstanding in the California courts . Most recently in June of 2018:

The Illinois class action lawsuit was filed by Smolek in April, just a few months after an $8.59 million class action settlement with Hyundai in California. Smolek seeks to represent a Class of Illinois residents who owned or leased Kia and/or Hyundai vehicles with Theta II engines that were not subject to recalls by the motor companies.

Read full article here:

https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/848233-hyundai-kia-engine-defect-class-action-transferred-calif-court/

This is the actual case: http://www.classlawdc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/4-16-2018-Filed-Class-Action-Complaint-N.D.-Illinois.pdf

I have written a letter to the attorneys describing our situation and asking for guidance and an expected time frame for the hearings. I am sending this with signature required so that I know it has been recieved. I suggest anyone who's THETAII engine did not fall in the first recall contact the firm. The more of us that report this the better the case.

Update from Sep 7, 2018: I sent a letter to the attorney representing the newest class action lawsuit.

- cmkare, Peachtree Corners, US

problem #13

Apr 012018

Sportage EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I purchased a 2012 Kia Sportage for my daughter four months ago. Last week she was driving late at night on the freeway and she heard a loud bang, lost power and was able to coast over to the side of the road. The car filled up with smoke as all the oil had drained out and the hot engine was burning it. I had to have it towed to the nearest Kia dealership.

They determined that the piston had gone through then engine block. They told me that I should have to only pay $119 dollars to pull the head gasket and Kia should cover the cost of a new engine. After pulling the gasket they told me the blown engine was no fault of Kia and since the car had not been serviced there, the dealership would not pay to fix it.

After many hours of research, I learned that the same model and same year the engines I have has been involved in a recall. The only difference between the two engines is they come out of different manufacturing facilities. This makes absolutely no sense since the engines are having the exact same issues.

I absolutely do not have $6800 to pay for a USED engine which has MORE miles on it then the one that was blown. Not to mention it takes the value down considerably. We would live in constant fear that the engine would blow again putting my daughter in danger. I have gotten one message from the escalation department. I have tried to call back repeatedly, with no return call. This experience and treatment by a company that supposedly prides themselves on their customer service is deplorable.

UPDATE. I received a call on 4/16/2018 from a Kia consumer complaint representative. We talked extensively about the situation. He assured me he would be working on a solution and told me he would call me within 5 business days. As of 4/27/2018 still no call. I would have called him sooner but I just got out of surgery a few days ago.

- Michelle L., Naples, FL, US

problem #12

May 312017

Sportage LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,412 miles

click to see larger images

engine stopped working while driving

Driving down the road at about 25 MPH. Engine died without warning. Had it towed to a shop where they diagnosed "catastrophic engine failure." Had it towed again to the dealer where we bought the car and they confirmed the original diagnosis. Dealer firmly believes Kia SHOULD cover this under the current recall because all symptoms of the failure match exactly. Kia refuses to cover it because the car wasn't "built at the factory outlined in the recall." What a load of crap! When Hyundai issued a recall for the same problem earlier, Kia denied they had any issues because their (shared) engines were built at different factories and declined to issue a parallel recall. Then Kia admitted their engines did have a problem and issued a recall, but only for one factory. They misjudged the impact from the very beginning and they continue to misjudge the breadth of the problem, to the great detriment of their customers. NEVER buying a Kia (or Hyundai) again!

- Wayne K., Rochester, US

problem #11

Dec 022017

Sportage LX 2.4L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,877 miles

Blow engines are a regular problem with Kia. Car has been waiting for the repair for 1 month. there are no engines available.

- sac14sic, Elk Grove, CA, US

Read the next 10 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?