2019 Kia Sedona Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Steering, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

While minivans have lost popularity over the past few years, the 2019 Kia Sedona continues to have a following. Even the new models claim to have “smart features for smooth sailing,” but many owners find that the basics aren’t right. From the structure to the engine and the powertrain to the steering, there’s a lot that can go wrong.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Kia Sedona

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Engine
4
Power Train
4
Structure:body
2
Unknown Or Other
2
Steering
2
Tires:sidewall
1
Vehicle Speed Control
1
Electrical System
1
Wheels
1

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

One of the essential elements of any vehicle build is the structure and initial construction. However, it seems that there is a lot wrong with the Sedona models.

One Cars.com review states, “This vehicle is not worth the value. I purchased a 2019 Kia Sedona after week I noticed that the wheels are not properly aligned, speedometer was not accurate slow by km an hour, after a month the driver side door sensor broke, the next month the paint started chipping, the next month the Driver side passenger door sensor broke, the speedometer froze.”

However, these problems get even worse once the recall is exposed. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V207000 states that the seat belt buckle might not have been installed correctly in some vehicles. Because of the defective construction, the seat belt is unusable in the second row, making it impossible to keep family members safe. If an automaker can’t get a seat belt produced right, what will they do accurately? Probably not much.

Problems with the Engine

The engine is arguably the most important mechanical part in a vehicle and must be reliable. Yet, it’s clear the Sedona doesn’t have a dependable engine at all.

Just look at this NHTSA review. “Purchased new. At 7400 miles, while driving on the highway, it smelled like something was burning. Took it to dealership who stated cylinder head was leaking antifreeze. Entire engine had to be rebuilt (all heads/gaskets exchanged). 7800 miles fluid levels bottomed out. Dealer stated car hadn’t burped from gasket repair. 9300 miles while city driving, the blind spot collision warning started yelling. I placed the car in Park and turned it off. When I turned it back on, the car said possible transmission failure and I could not shift. Popped the shift lock release to get vehicle into Drive to bring for service. Dealer stated inhibitor switch failed causing the issues with blind spot collision warnings and the shift lockout. Unacceptable in new vehicle under 10k miles.”

These are a lot of problems for any new car to experience. Still, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what could go wrong. Even Service Bulletin #SC169_TSB_R1 states that some models might need an oil filler cap replacement because of a defect. It seems that there are more defective parts on this minivan than those that work. Maybe this minivan belongs in a museum of lemon cars instead of on the road.

Problems with the Transmission

It turns out that the powertrain doesn’t perform much better, which shouldn’t be surprising at this point.

Here’s yet another NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2019 Kia Sedona. While driving 10 mph, the vehicle lunged forward without warning. On another occasion, when depressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle failed to accelerate and, at times, the RPMs increased to 4,000. An abnormal noise was also heard during the failure. The vehicle was taken to [dealer] where unknown software updates were performed; however, the failures continued. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer for unknown software updates, but the failures continued. The manufacturer was not informed of the failures. The failure mileage was 250.”

One of the company’s communications discusses the need for updated software. Service Bulletin TSBTRA082_R1 says that an update must be done to improve the logic of the TCU, but it doesn’t seem to be effective in some cases. Maybe the automaker got confused, considering that the Sedona region is located in Arizona. It appears that they created a bucking bronco instead of a minivan.

Problems with the Steering

One last look at the Kia Sedona shows serious complaints about the steering system as well.

Here is what one NHTSA user had to say. “2019 Kia Sedona with 2600 miles on it, while driving the car down the road, it has extreme alignment issues wanting to go to the left, almost caused 3 different accidents putting my life and my family’s life in danger. In order to keep the car going straight, you really have to hold the steering wheel tightly.”

There are no service bulletins on these complaints, but it seems to happen frequently. Maybe Kia is simply looking out for the soccer moms out there and helping them build more arm strength during driving. After all, exercise is important.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case 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.

Complaint Data

CategoryStructure:body
DateAug 29, 2022
StateIL
Description
Drivers side power sliding door does not close. Grinds and beeps and door shows open on display. When you disengage the power feature the door does not open manually.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJul 13, 2022
StateTX
Description
Door cable binds up and causes the door not to shut back leaving occupants either stranded or having to drive with the door open. This has happened 3 times even after being fixed
CategoryTires:sidewall
DateJun 22, 2022
StateCA
Description
Tires were manufactured on 41st week of 2018 equipped as oe tires on my 2019 kia sedona. All 4 tires has started to developed dry rot way before the tread is even at 50 percent. I'm located in bay area (northern california) and the weather is non extreme (no snow, no triple digit heat) and the tires already show defects. Contacted kumho about issue and they gave me a runaround, instructing me to visit kia dealership to confirm the tires is dry rotted. Kia did confirm the tire is dry rotted and provided a work order stating this fact. Kumho at first deny the claim stating that it has pass the 4 year manufacturer warranty which is not true due to tire were manufactured on 41st week of 2018 as stated on the tire sidewall. After bringing the fact and evidence to bbb, kumho agreed to accept the warranty, but now are delaying the process for unknown reason. The vehicle is still equipped with the unsafe tires that I transport my family in.
CategoryEngine
DateFeb 18, 2022
StateIL
Description
The contact owned a 2019 kia sedona. The contact stated while driving 70 mph up a hill, he heard an abnormal noise, and then the vehicle was seized. The contact stated no warning light was illuminated. The contact was able to park on the size of the vehicle and when exiting the vehicle felt heat exiting under the vehicle. The contact stated he saw fire located on the engine. The contact extinguished the fire with a fire extinguisher he had available. The fire department filed a fire report. The contact stated an ambulance was able to attempt him and transport him to the hospital for smoke and fire extinguisher chemical in his lungs. The vehicle was not drivable. The vehicle was towed to an unknown location by the insurance company and deemed the vehicle was a total loss. The contact called the local dealer and made them aware of the failure. The manufacturer had been informed of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 140,000. The vin was not available.
CategoryStructure:body
DateSep 14, 2021
StateTX
Description
Sliding door does not always latch. Have to manually close it to latch properly.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 25, 2021
StatePR
Description
What component or system failed or malfunctioned, and is it available for inspection upon request? Left side rear door. Yes it is available for inspection how was your safety or the safety of others put at risk? Door is hard to open sometimes does not open, I have to do a lot of force for it to open. I have two babies in carsite on the back of the car, if an accident occur their life will be at risk. Has the problem been reproduced or confirmed by a dealer or independent service center? Yes, several times. Dealer try to correct it multiples time but the problem persist. Has the vehicle or component been inspected by the manufacturer, police, insurance representatives or others? Yes, by the dealer, by the manufacturer and by daco. Were there any warning lamps, messages or other symptoms of the problem prior to the failure, and when did they first appear? No
CategoryPower Train
DateDec 11, 2020
StatePA
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 kia sedona. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle jerked or hesitated without warning, with the accelerator pedal depressed. The contact also stated that the vehicle would perform hard downshifts without warning while depressing the brake pedal. The contact took the vehicle to hagerstown kia (10307 auto pl, hagerstown, md 21740) where a software update was performed however, the failure persisted. The contact had taken the vehicle back twice and no remedies were performed after each visit. The manufacturer had yet to be notified of failure. The vehicle had yet to be repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 5,000.
CategoryEngine, Power Train
DateOct 16, 2020
StateNM
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 kia sedona. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate to pass another vehicle, the vehicle loss power and sputtered and jerked. The contact pulled over, restarted the vehicle, and drove to his residence. The vehicle was taken to pitre kia (9640 eagle ranch rd. Northwest albuquerque, nm 87114, 877-468-0639) to be diagnosed. The mechanic was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was test driven without issue. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 400.
CategoryEngine, Power Train, Vehicle Speed Control
DateAug 10, 2020
StateNM
Description
Something is wrong with my engine or transmission whichever which one it is I do not know I've taken it to the dealer 5 or more times they cannot duplicate the problem or the or they say it's operating as assigned how's the car operating as designed when the vehicle soon as you push the accelerator at bucks it jerks it hesitates to go and that one that goes it takes offit also does the same thing when slowing down in a buck little jerk and then downshift very hard this is very dangerous when driving during certain conditions
CategoryElectrical System, Engine
DateFeb 24, 2020
StateIL
Description
Purchased new. @ 7400 miles while driving on the highway it smelled like something was burning. Took it to dealership who stated cylinder head was leaking antifreeze. Entire engine had to be rebuilt (all heads/gaskets exchanged). 7800 miles fluid levels bottomed out. Dealer stated car hadn't 'burped' from gasket repair. 9300 miles while city driving the blind spot collision warnings started yelling. I placed the car in park and turned it off. When I turned it back on the car said possible transmission failure and I could not shift. Popped the shift lock release to get vehicle into drive to bring for service. Dealer stated inhibitor switch failed causing the issues with the blind spot collision warnings and the shift lockout. Unacceptable in new vehicle under 10k miles
CategorySteering, Wheels
DateDec 08, 2019
StateNY
Description
Bought a brand new car at 20 miles on odometer. While driving home steering wheel was shaking badly. I was surprised to feel this since it is a brand new car. I went to service next day they could not find anything wrong with tires or suspension and was told this is how this car design to drive. I was told that if there is know visible issue with the tires kia would not replace it under warranty. Now I'm stuck with this brand new car that drives like 10 years old car.
CategoryPower Train
DateOct 25, 2019
StatePA
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 kia sedona. While driving 10 mph, the vehicle lunged forward without warning. On another occasion, when depressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle failed to accelerate and, at times, the rpms increased to 4,000. An abnormal noise was also heard during the failure. The vehicle was taken to murray kia (located at 1402 ridge pike, conshohocken, pa 19428, (610) 279-3020) where unknown software updates were performed; however, the failures continued. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer for unknown software updates, but the failures continued. The manufacturer was not informed of the failures. The failure mileage was 250.
CategorySteering
DateMar 31, 2019
StateIL
Description
2019 kia sedona with 2600 miles on it, while driving the car down the road, it has extreme alignment issues wanting to go to the left, almost caused 3 different accidents putting my life and my family's life in danger. In order to keep the the car going straight, you really have to hold the steering wheel tightly.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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