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

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

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: 2020   2021   2022

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!

2019 Kia Stinger Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Service Brakes, Hydraulic
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Electrical System:12v/24v/48v Battery
Exterior Lighting
Forward Collision Avoidance

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.

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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.

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.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • 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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