2018 Kia Stinger Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Headlights, electrical and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Consumers were thrilled when the 2018 Kia Stinger hit the market. It’s praised as being a luxury model for the company and is supposed to provide “stunning performance.” Research shows that it gives lots of things, but performance isn’t its strong suit. Instead, this model suffers from defective driver-assist aids, an engine that can catch on fire and faulty lighting.

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Problems with the Engine

With the right engine in place, a car can perform at high levels and create a rush of emotions. When the engine doesn’t work properly, it only causes disappointment, similar to what is seen with the 2018 Kia Stinger.

One NHTSA complaint addresses a serious problem. It states, “I parked my 2018 Kia Stinger at home after driving 40 min, mostly highway. Nothing was wrong with the car during this time. After roughly 5 minutes in my house, I began to smell a burning odor. I looked around the house for anything burning. I searched the 1st/2nd floor, but nothing. I opened my back door and the smell was stronger, but nothing was unusual. The furnace was okay. Then I heard fire trucks and police out front. I went out and saw my car in flames.”

Sadly, this is a common occurrence with this model and even prompted a recall with the electrical system. Aside from that, there are other engine problems that the manufacturer has acknowledged. Service Bulletin #TSBENG191_R2 discusses how the ECU needs to be replaced in all 2.0T vehicles that have hesitation or the MIL on. It appears the problem occurs mainly while the engine is warming up, but it seems a little extreme that all of these vehicles would require a new ECU for repair. Apparently this part was created to produce “stunning performance” after all, so the company needed a do-over.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Kia Stinger Engine Problems:

VEHICLE BEGAN EXPERIENCING LOSS OF POWER AND ENGINE KNOCKING. THIS GRADUALLY BECAME WORSE AND WOULD SUBSTANTIALLY LOSE ALL POWER UPON TAKEOFF AT INTERSECTIONS CAUSING FOR DANGEROUS AND LIFE-THREATENING SITUATIONS. KIA REPLACED THE ENGINE BUT THE ISSUE PERSISTS AND HAS GOTTEN WORSE. THEY REFUSE TO CORRECT THIS PROBLEM OR BUYBACK THE DEFECTIVE VEHICLE.

Problems with the Electrical System

Along with the engine concerns, the 2018 Kia Stinger faces some serious electrical complications.

Here is just one example from the NHTSA website. “The vehicle was in a car accident. Vehicle was in motion and had adaptive cruise control on and vehicle in front of me so it shifted down so car was in front of me and lane assist jerked the wheel as I was approaching the car in front of me and caused me to go into the other land and then it resumed speed because it did not realize a vehicle was coming the other way. At this time I had no control of the car. By the time I could get back over and got control of the vehicle it was too late and I hit someone and they died. This car has a defect or malfunction and these safety features are put in vehicle to help, but I am not sure they help.”

We see that this malfunction caused a death, but danger seems to be the Stinger’s middle name. As stated earlier, the Stinger caused numerous car fires. This was due to an electrical problem in the engine that sparked a recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V754000 states that a front wiring harness can get damaged from a burr on the left fender body panel and cause a fire. Whether this vehicle is running into people or going up in flames, it sure it attempting to make a name for itself.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Kia Stinger Electrical Problems:

RECEIVED RECALL NOTICE 18V-754 POSSIBLE WIRE HARNESS DAMAGE AND BROUGHT TO DEALER ON 1/2/19. THE INSPECTION FAILED AND DEALER PROVIDED A LOANER CAR. TOMORROW 2/2/18 WILL BE 2 MONTHS AND DEALER HAS NOT RECEIVED A PART NUMBER FOR THIS RECALL AND CANNOT PERFORM WORK. WISCONSIN LEMON LAW CAN TAKE AFFECT ON 2/2/18 (30 DAYS WITHOUT USE). COMPLAINT IS ABOUT WHY DEALER CANNOT GET A PART NUMBER TO ORDER FROM KIA ENGINEERING. I ALSO OPENED A CASE WITH KIA CONSUMER AFFAIRS CASE # 13009803 BUT THEY HAVE BEEN LITTLE HELP TO DATE. CAR IS A 2018 KIA STINGER GT2

Problems with the Headlights

On another note, the exterior lighting doesn’t seem to perform well either. There have been numerous complaints about the quality of light and adjustability.

One NHTSA user says, “Headlights cannot be adjusted side-2-side. Currently both driver and passenger side headlights point off center to the left, blinding on-coming traffic. This is also a Massachusetts vehicle safety violation which could result in a rejection when the vehicle is due for inspection.”

It’s possible that Kia doesn’t want other cars to see what’s coming at it when a crash occurs because of defective systems. Either way, it’s clear that this isn’t the only lighting issue. Service Bulletin #TSBELE142 talks about updating the Integrated Center Control Unit because some models have inoperative welcome blinking of the headlights. It doesn’t matter which defect is being examined; everyone can agree that this vehicle does not provide the “stunning performance” that customers hoped for. Instead, the car is designed to be in a demolition derby, hoping to find other vehicles to crash into and then burst into flames.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Kia Stinger Exterior Lighting Problems:

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2018 KIA STINGER. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE LOW BEAM HEADLIGHTS DID NOT PROJECT ENOUGH ILLUMINATION. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE FAILURE BEGAN EVER SINCE THE VEHICLE WAS PURCHASED ON SEPTEMBER 3, 2019. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO FERGUSON KIA WHERE IT WAS DIAGNOSED THAT THE HEADLIGHTS WERE PERFORMING ACCORDING TO SPECIFICATIONS. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 3,000.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Kia pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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