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

Electrical, service brakes, structure, and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

The 2019 Kia Stinger is designed as a sports sedan, which doesn’t face a lot of competition. The automaker claims that newer models are “designed for the daring,” but some owners don’t like the adventure. This model seems to suffer from a defective electrical system, faulty service brakes, a malfunctioning engine and trouble with the structure.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018   2020   2021   2022

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Kia Stinger

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
6
Engine
6
Electrical System
5
Service Brakes, Hydraulic
5
Visibility/wiper
2
Unknown Or Other
2
Power Train
2
Exterior Lighting
1
Tires:tread/belt
1
Fuel/propulsion System
1

Problems with the Electrical System

A vehicle’s electrical system says a lot about the function and amenities. After all, if something malfunctions within this system, it can create an inconvenience and danger.

That’s what is seen with this Edmunds review:

“I bought at GT AWD on 12/18. Within a month the rear defroster unit shorted out and was supposedly fixed by the dealership where I bought the car. On 5/14 on my way into work the rear defroster shorted out again. I called the dealership to schedule another appointment that weekend to fix it. On my way home I smelled smoke coming from the back of the car. I immediately pulled over and opened the hatchback to see that the entire right side of the truck was on fire and flames shot out of the car and burned my hand. The car burned to the frame within 3 minutes”.

“An investigation was done on the car with the NHTSA, fire investigators, Kia’s engineers, and the dealership, Kia accepted responsibility for the cause of the fire which was a faulty rear defroster assembly unit. I spent well over 200 hours trying to get a response back from Kia. I was assigned a case manager who refused to reply to my emails or phone calls”.

The Complainant Continues..

“Last night, Kia offer to me to make things right was my initial down payment on the lease only if I signed a gag order to never discuss what happened. They are trying to buy the car back from my insurance company saying they want to do more tests, but honestly they are trying to hide the fact that the only reason I am not dead is the fact I had a full tank of gas and there were no fumes to blow the car up with me in it. If I had not pulled over my 6 year old would have been in the back seat when the fire started. I have tried numerous times to escalate the issue and we are told my case worker at Kia doesn’t have a boss and then they just hang up on me or my wife”.

“This car has a fatal defect and Kia won’t do anything until someone dies in this car! I have contacted several legal firms and I am also contacting every local news investigation team in the state to try and save people’s lives. At this point it not about the money, its Kia selling vehicles that they know are not safe and can kill people.”

Aside from this scary situation, Kia has acknowledged some smaller electrical system problems with the 2019 Kia Stinger. For example, Service Bulletin #PS652 discusses trouble where sound stops coming out of the premium Harman Kardon audio system. This intermittent issue can be resolved by disabling the QuantumLogic surround, which is frankly unacceptable, especially since customers pay more for this system. If customers wanted to be more “daring,” it’s possible they could attempt singing without the music – just make sure the windows are up!

Problems with the Service Brakes

A basic safety system, which should be perfected by now, is the service brakes. However, Kia seems to have forgotten how to manufacture this system in the 2019 Kia Stinger.

Look at this Edmunds review. “I had to replace the front pads and rotors with aftermarket parts at 14k miles – the OEM pads are substandard and create hot spots on the rotors. I was lucky – you’ll see owners replacing the brakes at 6k miles on the owners’ forums.”

There is a recall stemming from the defective brake system. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V518000 states that a faulty ABS unit in the engine compartment could cause a car fire. In the first review, the driver faces a fire from the rear of the 2019 Kia Stinger, but this situation comes at the cabin from the front. It’s like having a candle that’s burning at both ends, except this scenario puts people’s lives at risk.

Problems with the Engine

A potent engine is what should make this vehicle a sports sedan in the first place. After all, the engine received a lot of initial praise, until the defects became obvious.

Here’s one complaint on Edmunds. “The car went in to limp mode at 16k miles (going about 20 MPH on the highway) 2 days ago. The dealership it was towed to can find ‘nothing wrong.’  Kia roadside assistance trip interruption information is hard to find in writing.”

When it comes to engine trouble, Kia has chosen rather to remain quiet. After all, it’s hard to prove that the 2019 Kia Stinger car is “designed for the daring” if the engine can’t even propel the vehicle. Maybe the Stinger should have been created with holes in the floorboard so it could be driven like the Flintstones did. It might actually move faster that way.

Problems with the Structure

Above all, owners want to know that they are investing a car that will last, but that seems to be questionable as well. 

Here is an NHTSA complaint to read. “Key problem is with the sunroof and a constant, unending rattling. The sound is very loud whenever the car is moving but it is also present when car is running but stationary. If sunroof is open, the rattling dissipates; road types or direction of travel do not cause the sound to change in any way. I have brought this issue to the attention of Kia Corporate at least 4 times in the last month and have not gotten a single response other than someone is working it and will call you. I purchased this car off showroom floor less than 3 months ago and it has about 2k miles on it .I finally got it to dealer who had it for 12 days; upon receiving my car back, the rattling returned in less than 4 days.”

Maybe since the audio system doesn’t work either, it would be possible to use the noise coming from the sunroof to create a new song and beat. However, that doesn’t seem to be a good solution to many people. Additionally, Kia is acknowledging other troubles. Just read Service Bulletin #TSB_ELE148 states that the halogen head lamp bulb connector might require a replacement. It seems to be a good time to become really “daring” and choose a different car.

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Complaint Data

CategoryService Brakes
DateAug 05, 2022
StateTX
Description
I only have 16,2000 miles on this car and for a while now after driving for 10-15 minutes I get a good shaking out of the front end and steering wheel when I use the brakes. I have no problems when the car is cold (less then 10 miles). I gets to the point I am worried there is something wrong with the car. I have started using the paddle shifters to downshift to help slow the car down because I don't want to use the brakes so much. I am not sure if this is a maintenance issue that requires new brakes pads or rotors. Are there any known issues with the brakes on 2019 kia stingers that I need to be worried about? Am I required to replace pads or rotors at a certain mileage? Is this something I need to take to a dealer to have inspected? I don't recall when I first noticed this issue so I will add today's date and today's mileage on the car but it has been happening for many months before I started to get concerned.
CategoryExterior Lighting, Visibility/wiper
DateAug 04, 2022
StateCA
Description
****big safety issue. Headlights low visibility- doesn't shine far enough ahead to avoid any possible collision w/ pedestrian/vehicle. Headlights seem to shine down more and not far enough up ahead. I've avoided driving at night all together due to this safety issue. I do not have vision issues- it is the vehicle itself. There is no way to adjust headlights unless the car is physically taken apart and manually done. I've almost hit a pedestrian at high speed and barely stopped. There was no extended visibility up ahead to react and stop more safely. Very dangerous. I don't understand why the headlights were positioned in this manner.
CategoryService Brakes
DateJun 20, 2022
StateTX
Description
I have driven 6,000 miles myself since purchasing the vehicle in march of ‘22. The brakes have developed a wobble or shutter feeling. While driving with no braking, the vibration is obvious. When braking, the vibration feels dangerous.
CategoryService Brakes
DateMay 22, 2022
StateAZ
Description
Front rotors are warped from time we bought the car brand new they told us it wouldn't be covered under warranty. They got so bad I replaced the front rotors and pads 5/21/22 myself which has fixed the issues. This is a problem with all the stinger models
CategoryElectrical System
DateJan 31, 2022
StateVA
Description
Koon kia of woodbridge has been unable to complete this fire hazard recall. I brought in and scheduled repair. I have contacted them many tines and have been told they will contact when they have parts. Now they dont return calls about recall. Corporate kia sending warnins but dealer will not repair where I have an extended maintenance contract also and have no issue there with them. This is intentional and negligent and has been going on for a year to the point when I get recall notice im not sure if its original or something new. Contact has been initiated by me over 20 times. While normal service to my car has taken place at same dealer
CategoryService Brakes, Unknown Or Other
DateOct 14, 2021
StateCA
Description
Under braking, the entire car vibrates violently. First time I mentioned it to kia, they resurfaced the rotors and it fixed it temporarily. It doesn't feel like I am in good control of the car when it is vibrating. Yes it has been confirmed by kia stevens creek in california. Yes, kia resurfaced the rotors, fixed problem temporarily. No warning lamps this problem is widespread among other owners of this car.
CategoryTires:tread/belt
DateOct 06, 2021
StateLA
Description
The contact owns a 2019 kia stinger equipped with michelin tires, tire line: pilot sport 4, front tire size: 225/40/zr19, dot number: hcuj00hx4118; and rear tire size: 255/35/zr19, dot number: hcn401fx4118. The contact stated while his wife was driving 55 mph, the driver-side rear tire experienced a blowout. The contact stated his wife was able to veer to the side of the road, where she replaced the tire with assistance. The contact stated that as his wife returned from her trip, he inspected the front driver side tire and the front and rear passenger's side tires and noticed that the top tread on those tires was separating. The dealer and manufacturer were notified of the failure and referred the contact to the tire manufacturer for assistance. The tire manufacturer offered a discount for new tires. The front driver's side tire and the front and rear passenger's side tires were not replaced. The tires were the original equipment. The approximate vehicle and tire failure mileage were 23,600.
CategoryService Brakes, Hydraulic
DateAug 04, 2021
StateTN
Description
The contact owns a 2019 kia stinger. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 20v518000 (service brakes, hydraulic) however, the part to do the recall repair was not available. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The dealer was contacted and confirmed that the part was not available. The manufacturer was notified of the issue and confirmed that the part was not available. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategoryService Brakes, Hydraulic
DateMay 10, 2021
StateAR
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 kia stinger. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 20v518000 (service brakes, hydraulic) however, the part to do the recall repair was unavailable. The contact called steve landers kia (201 colonel glenn plaza loop, little rock, ar 72210, (501) 404-4268) where it was confirmed that the part was not yet available. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategoryService Brakes, Hydraulic
DateMay 06, 2021
StateTX
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 kia stinger. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 20v518000 (service brakes, hydraulic) however, the part to do the recall repair was unavailable. The contact called archer kia (11614 southwest fwy, houston, tx 77031, (888) 879-5194) and it was confirmed that the part was not yet available. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateApr 09, 2021
StateTX
Description
Earlier today while driving on the tollway I heard a loud noise(somewhat like a blow out) I put on my hazards and pulled over. I exited the tollway to find the sunroof shattered with a huge hole!!! Thank god I had the shade closed! This is the sunroof, not one of the windows or windshield!! There was not much traffic and I know nothing hit the car at all. I visited the dealership where the advisor informed me that the manager said this is common and should be under warranty and they would take the car in to inspect it. There was an hour and a half wait so they shuttled me home. After about 5 hours I called to check on the status and was now told that it was not covered and I would have to file a claim with my insurance, and no explanation of the reversal, so I did call to file a claim with my insurance company. I also did an internet search and found out what the service receptionist said was true! This has happened before with kia and other vehicles which is unbelievable!!! Because, in this case, kia knows about this problem, they should be held responsible, at least by having it repaired under warranty even if there is no recall yet. This should not be the responsibility of my insurance or me! Please do not allow them to wait until someone is seriously hurt or worse.
CategoryEngine
DateMar 03, 2021
StateFL
Description
I have been notified by kia that there is a recall causing engine fires back in november 2020. I have been trying now with two dealerships for months to get it fixed. I am told they either don't have the part and I can't make an appointment or when I make the appointment and show up, they don't fix it. Kia consumer affairs told me they need to fix it but I have no resolution. I get put on 30 minute+ hold times with the dealerships or a voicemail with no call backs.
CategoryService Brakes, Hydraulic
DateMar 03, 2021
StateIL
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 kia stinger. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 20v518000 (service brakes, hydraulic) however, the part to do the recall repair was unavailable. The contact called berwyn kia (7050 ogden ave, berwyn, il 60402, (708) 797-0300) where it was confirmed that the part was not yet available. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Power Train
DateFeb 22, 2021
StateFL
Description
My vehicle was stopped at an intersection coming off interstate this evening and my car just just down as the light turned green. I tried to start it 3x and 4th time I opened the door and shut it and then it started. 3 days ago I got a voice warning something is wrong w the engine control system. Took it to dealership and their system is down but said it could be because fuel was low and dirt could have cause the warning. They called saturday to check on me and it was fine until today. I will have it towed to dealetship. This happened before about six months ago and they changed batteries in key faub and has been fine til today. Others sharing on forum have had same issues. One had body control module replaced first time and second time they replaced wiring harness. I have a feeling the auto stop is involved
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System, Power Train
DateJan 28, 2021
StateNC
Description
On feb 18, 2020 the car had a throttle hesitation and cut off in traffic while turning through an intersection and when started again had check engine light and car went into limp home mode. Car had error codes p061b, p0172, p0175, p2180, p2178. Kia advised to not drive the car and have it towed to dealer. I was told there was a loose wire connection and dealer supposedly fixed it. On march 23, 2020, car was running with rough idle and check engine light came on pulling codes p0108 and p0068. Car was able to be driven to dealer and dealer could not find the issue. On september 25, 2020, car had rough idle and check engine light and pulled code p0068. Car was able to driven to dealer and dealer could not find the issue. Dealer said maybe it was related to k&n air filters so at their advice and replaced them with stock air filters. January 26, 2021, car had throttle hesitation on the highway and when on the exit ramp the idle was jumping between 1000 and 1500 rpm. Check engine light came on and car went into limp home mode and pulling error codes p061b, p0172, p2178, p2180 which were the same codes from february 18, 2020. Car was towed to dealer january 27, 2020, and for two days the dealer has not been able to find the issue. I do not consider this car safe to drive. There's an electrical issue that can not be found and not knowing if car is going to stall or go into limp home mode is a terrifying way to drive.
CategoryEngine
DateNov 24, 2020
StateWA
Description
Nhtsa recall number: 20v-518. I own a 2019 kia stinger gt2 and I've had major issues and a recent 'interim' safety recall letting me know the engine can catch fire and I shouldn't drive it and should leave it outside (not in my garage) and wait until they send me another letter and have a fix. It's been weeks without the use of my car. When I contacted my local dealership, they claimed not to know anything about the recall. In the meantime I read today there's another engine fire associated issue with the fuel pump. So far no recall and I had to look up the bulletin online.
CategoryEngine
DateNov 24, 2020
StateCA
Description
Received a recall notice for my vehicle, stating that there is a major issue with the engine, and they are prone to catching fire - and that the vehicle should be parked outside. I contacted my dealership to ask for any other information, and was specifically told to bring my car in to their dealership (where I purchased the car brand new just a year prior). Upon arriving at the dealership, I was told that there was nothing that could be done, and I should drive my flammable, 2019 vehicle home. The vehicle has not exploded yet, but I'm cautious to drive it now, for fear of burning alive on my way to work any given morning. This dealership has caused me nothing but grief over the short time I've owned this vehicle, and the issues continue to stack up.
CategoryService Brakes, Hydraulic
DateNov 10, 2020
StateTX
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 kia stinger. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 20v518000 (service brakes, hydraulic) informing her to contact the local dealer to schedule an appointment for the recall repair. Joe myers kia (16484 northwest fwy, houston, tx 77040, (713) 587-9940) was contacted by phone. The contact was informed that the remedy part was not yet available. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateSep 03, 2020
StateCA
Description
My car accelerated om it's own on a small street and I hit two cars and damaged mine and I barely stopped before hitting a brick wall I did contact kia consumer and they said they will send inspector to check the car and nobody ever came I called them five or siv times about this because body shop kept telling me that nobody from kia ever came and they keep ignoring me after they told me kia will help the person's name from kia motors who takes care of this case I samuel kim and my case number is 13725169. His email is samuelkim@kiausa. Com I've sent emails to him to him many times but he didn't respond
CategoryElectrical System
DateJul 24, 2020
StateOH
Description
When stopped, this vehicle is designed to automatically stop the engine while idling, and restart the engine when I take my foot off of the brake. Sometimes, when the engine restarts, there is a dip in electrical power that results in the center console lights and display blanking out and coming back on. That symptom is annoying, and a sign of something not being right with the vehicle, but not a safety issue on its own. But there is another symptom that occurs occasionally that is a safety concern. At least 3 times so far -- twice on 7/17/2020 and once on 7/23/2020 -- the vehicle has failed to restart the engine when the brake is released. Instead, it presents an alarm tone and the message: "auto stop is off. Start vehicle manually". My only option at that point is to shift into park, activate my safety flashers, and attempt to start the vehicle manually. It took multiple attempts to restart the vehicle the first time this happened. All this while hoping I don't get rear-ended by someone behind me that expects me to be moving. I have taken it to the local kia dealer, but they were unable to reproduce the issue and returned the vehicle to me with instruction to bring it back if it continues to recur. I am taking it back again today. I have a video of both symptoms, but they are too large to upload. I am attaching a picture of the auto stop is off warning message.
CategoryElectrical System
DateJun 16, 2020
StateSC
Description
I started my car and realized that the entire instrument panel was flashing and indicated "check my blind spot for a collision". I was pulling out onto a secondary road and there were no other cars in the near vicinity. I thought everything would correct itself once I started down the road. I turned onto the main road and everything kept flashing, there was excessive play in the steering and the car would not shift gears. I slowed down to make it to the safest place to pull over, which was a dollar general. Once I pulled into a parking space, I shut my car off and restarted to see if it would reset the computer and instrument panel. I then smelled burning plastic and saw white smoke coming from under the hood. I called 911 to report my car on fire. By the time the fire department arrived the car alarm was going off, the windshield wipers were going and tons of black smoke coming from under the hood. They reported it was an electrical fire. The computer kept trying to start the car over and over again. They had to disconnect the battery to actually stop the fire. The car was towed to the kia dealership where it was purchased. We filed a claim with the kia corporation the very next day. I was supplied with a rental car in the meantime. Since filling the claim we have heard nothing from kia. They stated it was a national kia issue since it was a special case. According to kia, my stinger is the second to have this problem. There was no recall of any sort. *tr
CategoryService Brakes
DateJan 22, 2020
StateTX
Description
Compared to the many cars I've driven, I believe I have to add more effort to brake for my kia stinger. It takes too long to come to a stop for the force I'm adding to the brake. It is more noticeable in the city due to constant braking. I have been dealing with it since I got the car but it was time to make a report to possibly get this issue fixed.
CategoryStructure:body
DateOct 06, 2019
StateVA
Description
Key problem is with the sunroof and a constant, unending rattling. The sound is very loud whenever the car is moving but it is also present when car is running but stationary. If sunroof is open, the rattling dissipates; road types or direction of travel do not cause the sound to change in any way. I have brought this issue to the attention of kia corporate at least 4-times in last month and have not gotten a single response other than some one is working it and will call you. I purchased this car off showroom floor less than 3-months ago and it has about 2k miles on it. I finally got it to dealer who had it for 12-days; upon receiving my car back, the rattling returned in less than 4-days - same factors as listed above. In reading other online forums, several owners of same model also have the exact problem as well.
CategoryEngine
DateAug 12, 2019
StateFL
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 kia stinger. The contact stated while stationary at a stop sign, when he notice smoke entering the cab of the vehicle. The contact stated the tire gauge and brake warning light were illuminated. The contact stated he reversed into a parking lot and turned off the vehicle. The contact stated he and his wife exited the vehicle and open the hood and saw the fire started on the front passenger side. The contact stated the windshield wipers turned on and the horn began to make noise on it's own. The contact stated he also heard an abnormal noise. The contact stated a samaritan ran into a near by home depot store to locate a fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire. The contact stated no one sustained any injures. The fire department and police filed a report. The vehicle was not drivable. The vehicle was towed to independent mechanic. The contact called local dealer west palm beach kia located at 735 s military trail, west palm beach, fl 33415, (561) 433-1511, were notified of failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired as of yet. The manufacturer had been informed of failure. The failure mileage was 4,238.
CategoryElectrical System
DateMay 17, 2019
StateOH
Description
On may 14th at approximately 2:50pm, I was in the car for roughly three minutes getting onto 33 east in maryville ohio. I smelled smoke coming from the rear and pulled over to see where the smoke was coming from. I opened the hatchback of the car and saw the rear fuse panel in the hatchback was melted out and flames poured out of the opening. I called 911 immediately. By the time police and fire arrived the car was completely engulfed in flames and burned to the ground within 7 minutes. I am awaiting on the completed investigation from my insurance company to verify my claim as the cause of the fire.
CategoryService Brakes
DateMay 01, 2019
StateMT
Description
I bought my kia stinger awd on april the 1st and when I begin to drive I first noticed the brakes felt mussy and I had to really stand on them at moderate speeds around town and just the other day(april 28) I was coming back home and I started gearing down from 30mph and signaled two turn left and with my foot on the brake pedal as the distance was closing on the car in front at the red light I pressed as hard as I could and were it not for the forward collision warning activated and abruptly stopped we would have rear-ended the vehicle in front of us!!!

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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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1 COMMENT
  • Lisa g

    Paid cash for my 2019 Kia had it like one week when I was on the interstate in the thing just shut off left me in a bad situation on a Friday in the middle of i-4 in Florida cars flying around me couldn’t get out of the car because they were going around me so fast I would have gotten killed but they cannot figure out what’s wrong with my car it wouldn’t go into park and now it won’t go into anything else but Park they can’t figure it out they don’t know what’s wrong with it it’s electrical and I don’t get a rental car because they have a waiting list for loaner cars so I don’t have a car I just paid $45,000 for this car in cash and I can’t get a rental car it’s crazy

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