2021 Kia Forte Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Transmission, Brake & steering issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Are you experiencing issues with the transmission of this vehicle? You may be eligible to join a class action suit against the automakers. Find out if you are eligible to join our investigation.

The first-generation Kia Forte, known also as Kia Cerato and Forte K3 in some parts of the world, was launched as a 2009 model. It replaced the Kia Spectra in North America.

The third-generation Kia Forte, introduced in 2018, continues through 2022. Lemberg Law has highlighted Kia Forte problems, based on complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2017. We also have a current class action investigation that focuses on 2019-2021 Kia and Hyundai transmission problems.

Our investigation follows complaints by consumers that various Kia and Hyundai vehicles may have defective transmissions. These include the 2021 Kia Forte. Complaints include an inability to accelerate, a sudden loss of power, erratic tachometer readings, and issues when trying to shift gears.

In this article, we are looking at the most common problems identified in consumer complaints to NHTSA. Currently, there are a total of 14.

Click on other model years to view more problems: 2019   2020   2022   2023

Most Common Problems

Even though transmission problems are not an NHTSA category, these continue to be a problem with the 2021 Kia Forte. They are all highlighted in the category Unknown or Other.

Service brakes, steering, and tires all have two complaints. Airbags, equipment, forward-collision avoidance, lane departure, and visibility/wiper, all have one listed.

2021 Kia Forte Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Air Bags
Power Train
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Fuel/propulsion System
Tires:pressure Monitoring And Regulating Systems

Transmission & Related Problems

A typical transmission problem involves the accelerator malfunctioning and losing power. One unknown or other complaint describes how the driver pressed on the accelerator and the car “completely lost power.”

“When I let off on the accelerator and pressed it again, the car lurched forward, and I had to quickly brake to avoid crashing into my garage door. When I was leaving the parking lot, again pressing the accelerator produced a complete loss of power. Letting off the accelerator and easing it back down produced normal operation. This scared me as there were pedestrians present and I was not sure how much control I had on speed.”

The complaint ends with this comment: “Not driving (the) car now.”

Another complaint relates to how the brake pedal fails to respond. This resulted in a crash and one injury when the car spontaneously accelerated and crashed into a building.

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Steering Issues

One of the two steering complaints reports a crash. The car was coming to a stop when the “passenger side front wheel locked up forcing the car into a sharp turn.” The car ended up in a ditch and it hit a cement barrier at the bottom of the ditch and was “likely totaled.”

The other steering issue relates to lane departure and steering issues. “The car keeps all of a sudden pulling to the right and I have not had the lane assistance on since a week after I bought the car. It is at 4,000 miles right now and this problem began at approximately 3,000 miles. Not sure if anyone else has noticed this but if it is just as if the lane assistance was turned on.

Brake Problems

Both NHTSA complaints relate to brakes that squeak and the problems haven’t been solved.

One owner had the brakes replaced twice in the first 7,000 miles. They still squeak, “This is absurd.”

The other scenario resulted in the dealership putting a conditioner on the brakes. When that didn’t work they changed the oil, which isn’t what the owner asked for.

Six months after the first issue, the same dealership replaced the front-end braking system. A month later, the owner heard a “clanking” noise while driving and discovered the brake caliper on the driver’s side (back end) was broken. The car was towed back to the dealership.

What to do if your 2021 Kia Forte is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

If you think you have a lemon, you don’t have to live with it. Lemberg Law is a specialist consumer law firm, and we specialize in lemon law cases. If you think you’ve bought a lemon, we’ll be happy to assess your problems. That’s what we do, and we have successfully negotiated many buybacks, trade-ins, cash settlements, and replacement vehicles for our clients.

The law makes Kia pay, so you don’t have to worry about legal bills if we go to court. So, call our Helpline today.

If you have transmission problems and your powertrain is losing power or not working properly, you are welcome to provide information for our class action investigation.

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
  • Brandon C

    My 2021 Kia forte will jerk the opposite way when you’re on a curve sometimes or even driving straight. When your taking off the engine will race up to high rpms and you’re barley moving among other problems

  • Zoeann B

    All of a sudden rear view kept moving by itself. Sensors stop working. The car would heat up in the cabin, and losing connections with lights stop working. Now I bought a new battery thinking the headlights stop working properly due to my battery. It wasn’t my battery the steering column get very loose. Then the lights just would be to loose, and stay on instead of powering off like there supposed to.

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