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

Electric issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Kia Stinger, launched as “a dream car” in 2018, is a nightmare for some consumers. A total of 28,200 Stinger vehicles from 2018-2021 have been urgently recalled because of the risk of the engine compartment catching fire.

One of 3 recalls for the 2021 model that is publicized on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, is featured in a bold box framed in red. It states:


If your vehicle is part of this recall (NHTSA Recall Number 20V518000), the manufacturer has recommended that you follow their instructions on how and where to park this vehicle.

There is a similar recall for the 2021 Kia Sportage SUV that Lember Law reported in a  recent article. Hundreds of thousands of 2017-2021 Sportage vehicles have been recalled because cars are catching fire, and have been for five years.

But, like the Sportage, there are other problems with the 2021 Kia Stinger too. These relate to the electrical system, engine, fuel/propulsion system, the brakes, visibility, and a couple of unknown factors. We’re going to look at some of these in more detail and give you additional information about the fire risks.

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

Most Common Problems

There are currently 7 complaints on file with NHTSA about the 2021 Kia Stinger, 2 of which relate to the electrical system. There are single complaints that relate to the engine, fuel/propulsion system, brakes (hydraulic), and visibility/wipers.

Additionally, there are 2 complaints listed in the category Unknown or Other. One describes the sunroof exploding. The second seems to be related to the fire risk, and the recall solution was used to solve the problem.

2021 Kia Stinger Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Electrical System: Instrument Cluster/panel
Fuel System, Gasoline
Fuel/propulsion System
Power Train
Service Brakes, Air:disc:rotor
Service Brakes, Hydraulic

Problems with Fire Risk

Initially, 2019 Stinger vehicles with 3.3 L T-GDI engines were recalled in August 2020. Then, four months later, Kia expanded the recalls to include 2018 to 2021 Stingers.

The issue is that an engine compartment fire can happen while driving. This starts in the area where the Anti-Lock Brake Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit is located.

Kia has notified owners of cars that are at risk and dealers will install a new fuse kit in the electrical junction box free. But until the repair has been done, owners are advised to park outside and away from structures as a precaution.

This is exactly the same warning given to 2017-2021 Kia Sportage and 2017-2019 Kia Cadenza vehicles.

One of the complaints made in the Unknown or Other category seems to have been resolved with a new fuse kit in the junction box.

The failure described how the car stalled on the interstate during rush hour. There was “thick white smoke coming out of the back” and a gas smell in the cabin of the car. The car kept stalling and wouldn’t restart.

The complaint states that there were “cars flying by whizzing by me and blowing the horn and could have hit me from the back or either side. Could have caused a pile-up and killed me or others.”

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Electrical System Problems

The 2 complaints relating to the 2021 Stinger’s electrical system both relate to a defect in the fuel gauge.

The first describes how a brand new 2021 Kia Stinger with just over 300 miles on the clock suddenly lost power while driving on a busy main road. After almost being rear-ended, the driver was unable to restart the car. A police officer pushed the car to safety.

“Turns out there was a defect in the wiring from the fuel sending unit. And the fuel gauge was reporting just under half a tank despite being empty. The vehicle was so new that I had not filled it up since taking delivery.”

The complaint goes on to say: “Unexpectedly losing all power and not knowing the fuel level in the vehicle could lead to a very dangerous situation.”

The other complaint is essentially the same, but, to make matters worse, it happened after the gauge had supposedly been fixed. “Dangerous situation to run out of fuel on a highway.”

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

You don’t have to keep a lemon and put up with or pay for its innate problems. You can contact an experienced lemon lawyer and get help.

Lemberg Law has years of experience sorting out issues for consumers who have found themselves with lemon cars, trucks, and other vehicles. We have negotiated cash settlements, trade-ins, and replacement cars.

Call our Helpline and we’ll see what we can do to help you. It won’t cost you anything because the law makes Kia pay the legal fees.

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
  • Sharon R

    I bought a 2021 Kia stinger in 2021. I told the dealer where I got it from and he said it’s just the rack in the trunk loose. So my husband and I removed the rack and it continues to make that disturbing noise while driving. I also have a noise coming from the hood and he said it’s just the engine, his car does the same thing. The car is still new to me and should not be making the disturbing noise. He said if it keeps making it bring in which I have did that at least 3 times and also when I take to get oil change but he keep saying nothing. What should I do?

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