Electrical system and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
The 2020 Kia Sportage is a well-known vehicle that is designed to offer a value-based ride for the family. The automaker claims that it offers “room to roam,” but that doesn’t speak to the quality. It turns out that this Sportage might suffer from a defective engine and a shoddy electrical system.
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Problems with the Engine
Arguably, the most important part of any vehicle is the engine. It must be powerful and reliable, but should also be efficient enough to impress customers. This motor doesn’t seem to fit any criteria.
One NHTSA complaint states, “Product improvement program which requires a program update to my car’s engine control unit. This is because my engine may experience catastrophic bearing failure possibly destroying the engine. My complaint is that this notice should be a recall notice. They are not improving anything. The underlying problem that will cause the engine failure has not been addressed and won’t be by this so called ‘product improvement program.’ I asked Kia why they aren’t fixing the problem with the engines at the factory instead of just adding an early warning system to the ECU? This is absolutely crazy. I don’t’ want a brand new car that can possibly have a total engine failure. I don’t want a car that warns you that your car is about to have an engine failure. That is not a proper way at all to fix a problem. You fix a problem at the engine factory…not in the field. I am having this program update done tomorrow and then the next day I am getting rid of my brand new 2020 Kia Sportage and buying a car, any car, that doesn’t have an engine that could possibly blow up at any time. Kia has put this problem on the backs of their customers. It doesn’t belong there. It belongs on Kia.”
The problem being addressed in this complaint is related to Service Bulletin #PI1806_TSB_R1. The technicians are installing new ECU software that lets customers know if excessive connecting rod bearing damage is occurring to the engine. The Knock Sensor Detection System provides an alert that the engine is starting to fail. As the customer above said, the engines should be fixed, not merely have software that tells someone when it is about to die. It will be difficult for this SUV to “roam” anywhere once that engine fails.
2020 Kia Sportage Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Unknown Or Other|
|Service Brakes, Hydraulic|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking|
Electrical System Problems
A deep look into the electrical system of the Sportage shows the same level of problems.
Here is an Edmunds review to read. “Unfortunately, one day we came out and the SUV was dead! We have had it in several times to the dealership to see what is going on. The 2nd time they replaced the battery and when we got it home, the alarm kept going off. There is something wrong with the electrical system which is disappointing and it is currently in the dealership for the 3rd time.”
While this particular situation isn’t discussed, there are other communications worth mentioning. One, Service Bulletin #PS612, talks about a loose connection with the Lane Keep Assist program that could lead to a malfunction. In addition, it could cause the LKA, High Beam Assist or Forward-Collision Avoidance-Assist system warnings to illuminate on the dash, thereby causing drivers to panic. Whether it is because of the engine failure or the electrical system defects, it might be better if customers started roaming in another vehicle.
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