2022 Kia Carnival Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Acceleration, power sliding door, and windshield cracking issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2022 Kia Carnival is part of the multi-purpose vehicle segment. It’s designed to carry the family and provide plenty of space, with Kia claiming the Carnival offers “beauty in capability.” Yet, customers are alerting the NHTSA about defective engines and fuel system problems, as well as serious electrical and structure-related issues.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2023

Most Common Problems

A total of 57 consumer complaints were lodged with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) between May 12, 2021, and November 14, 2022. These relate to various components and systems including the engine, structure, latches, visibility, seats, brakes, airbags, vehicle speed control, forward collision avoidance, and the electrical and fuel/propulsion systems.

The largest volume of complaints relate to faulty power sliding doors, with 17 of these listed in the Structure category. There are also a lot of complaints about windshields cracking, with 10 of these listed under Visibility.

Lack of acceleration problems are listed under the Fuel/Propulsion System, Engine, Vehicle Speed Control, and the Electrical System.

Lemberg Law currently has class action investigations underway for both windshields cracking and power sliding door issues.

2022 Kia Carnival Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Fuel/propulsion System

Problems with the Automatic Sliding Doors

There have been so many consumer complaints to the NHTSA about the auto-reverse failure of the power sliding doors (PSDs) in the 2022 Carnival minivans, they launched an investigation in April 2022. NHTSA Action Number PE22004 was opened to “evaluate the frequency, scope, severity, and contributing factors related to the alleged failure of the PSD auto-reverse function.”

According to the investigation report, the investigation was initiated because of injuries to users’ arms, hands, or shoulders. These resulted from the force of closing PSDs that trapped hands and so on against (or in) the door. The PSD auto-reverse function is designed to reverse the direction of the closing door if there is resistance or force from a person or object. But consumers are alleging that excessive force is needed to do this.

The second complaint sent to the NHTSA on July 1, 2021, states that the “sliding doors seem unsafe.”  It requires “a tremendous amount of force to stop the automatic door from closing. There is no safety mechanism to prevent a child from getting stuck and/or extremely hurt due if caught in sliding doors while closing.”

One NHTSA complaint issued on November 19, 2021, states that while driving at approximately 10 mph, “the sliding door inadvertently opened without warning. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer where it was diagnosed with needing the latching mechanism replaced.” The manufacturer was informed of the failure and was awaiting a response. The failure mileage was approximately 820 miles on the clock at the time.

Another owner states that the side sliding door keeps opening on its own while the vehicle is in motion. The “door ajar warning message” illuminates on the instrument panel. But, “despite multiple attempts to close the door, the door would not latch.” The dealer tried lubricating the latches, but the failure persisted. This Carnival had done only 500 miles.

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Injuries Caused by Defective PSDs

Several owners warn that the 2022 Carnival’s defective power sliding doors are highly dangerous. Typical warnings are that “a child is going to get crushed in those sliding doors.”

There haven’t been any very serious accidents reported to the NHTSA, but there have been injuries. For example:

“The automatic doors are supposed to stop when they sense an interference but they don’t stop. My daughter got her hand smashed in ours.” In response, he tested the door with his own arm, ending up with “an awful bruise.”

“My 4-year-olds leg was sucked down into the door as it was opening and it pinned his leg. The door met resistance on his leg and did not stop opening. The door also doesn’t stop closing unless you push it open, but not if it meets resistance. The vehicle is brand new.”

Another owner asks, “How was your safety or the safety of others put at risk?

“My child’s (arm) was being closed in the door and when I tried to stop it to save my daughter my arm was bruised. Yes, the dealer knows of the issue but plays it off as just a door that requires more force to stop. Yes, Kia inspected it, (and) found you need to apply more force than normal but has no solution but to make sure to keep it far away when it’s closing. They say nothing can be done, it’s just how the van comes.”

The owner of a Carnival that caused severe bruising to his daughter’s arm had the sensor replaced by a Kia dealership. But, the “safety problem still persists.” In a letter, Kia claims this is a “supplemental feature” that should never be relied upon as a primary safety feature.”

Windshield Cracking Problems

There are serious complaints about the auto glass installed in Carnival vehicles. From the windshield to the side windows, complaints abound – in total, 14 about the 2022 model. When they crack, they commonly cause visibility problems, which is why most of the complaints are listed under Visibility.

All the complaints describe similar issues, although some say the windshield cracked with nothing hitting it. For instance:

  • “Driving down the road, nothing flew at the windshield, it just cracked.”
  • “The front windshield has a crack that was not caused by anything. (The) Car is parked and covered in my driveway.”
  • “The back window on the hatch spontaneously exploded.”

Additionally, some complaints say that they can’t get their badly damaged windshields replaced because dealers don’t have sufficient stock.


One of the earliest complaints states: “I bought a brand new 2022 Kia Carnival, (and on the) first family road trip something very small broke (the) front windshield causing visibility issues.” As if that wasn’t enough they had to wait 49 days for the right windshield components to come in. Then, when they took a second family trip, “the passenger quarter side glass popped and shattered.” This Carnival owner now has serious safety concerns for himself and his family, especially if something “bigger” hit the glass.

Another complaint states that they suddenly noticed an 8-inch long crack right in front of the driver. “We have no idea where it came from.”

“It seems to me that the windshield is made from weak materials. I have never had this many problems with a car. And keep in mind we’ve only owned this car for 7 months! I believe Kia needs to address this issue. The windshield is the only thing between the face of the driver and the outside elements. It should be durable and reliable. This type of situation makes me concerned about the quality of the windshield, especially over the life of the vehicle.”

Whether cracks are caused by impact or are spontaneous, complaints generally state that they spread very quickly.

Fuel/Propulsion System Problems

In any vehicle, the fuel system is responsible for providing the gas needed to run the engine. But there are major problems with the Fuel/Propulsion System of the 2022 Carnival. Most complaints listed in this category refer to acceleration issues. But there are also problems with the fuel pump that have resulted in a recall.

Acceleration Problems

There are 7 complaints that highlight various acceleration issues, although not all are posted as fuel/propulsion system problems. Some of these blame cold weather for the problem and several mention that the check engine warning light comes on.

Shaking and Shuddering Symptoms

An owner whose Carnival had about 1,750 miles on the clock tells how the check engine light came on immediately after starting the engine. At first, the vehicle had a slight vibration, but by the time they got to the dealer it was “shaking badly while accelerating and had (a) slight burning smell inside the cab.” The dealer said a cylinder was misfiring and replaced the fuel injector. This seems to have solved the problem.

A Carnival with 17,000 -18,000 miles on the clock “started to shudder like it wanted to die or wasn’t getting enough fuel. While driving, it feels like it’s trying to accelerate by itself even when cruise control is set. Even when it is just in neutral it does it.”

Another owner whose check engine light came on says the vehicle wouldn’t accelerate over 10 mph… then 20 mph. A few weeks later, it started shaking when he accelerated. The dealer diagnosed “a sensor error with the injectors” but said it was fine to drive. The scenario repeated itself a few days later, with the check engine light and shaking when accelerating. The dealer’s diagnosis was the same. This owner is less than impressed. “After 4 service visits I’m still having problems and Kia refuses to help or do a buyback.”

Problems Caused by Cold Weather

Three times, when the temperature was below -20° C (-4° F), a brand-new 2022 Carnival “stopped working due to ice in the throttle body.” The dealer service manager said “that the new design no longer heats the throttle body, and condensation jams the mechanism. In my mind this is a safety risk because (1) the car stops working while driving in traffic and (2) it’s a family vehicle, putting up to 8 passengers at severe risk of cold-related injuries when stranded. The dealer has confirmed that this has occurred for at least three other customers at this one dealership. Each time they have inspected and disassembled the assembly, cleared the ice buildup and applied a silicone lubricant. On the first and third occasions only, the “Check Engine” light came on. On the second occasion, the car simply died while driving, and I had to roll to the highway shoulder.”

Another owner says: “This morning was the coldest morning this year (7° F) and I could not accelerate the vehicle after turning it on. It won’t go faster than 15 mph or so and the engine warning sign popped up. The code said P211800.” Because the weather hadn’t been “that cold,” this owner didn’t think it would cause an issue. But, “I had to drive with the panic button on” and “I felt I was in danger while driving back home.”

Fuel Gauge and Pump Problems

The most recent complaint to the NHTSA states that the fuel gauge doesn’t provide an accurate reading of the amount of fuel available. It sometimes “reads empty when it’s still got 100 miles of fuel.

There is also a comment on Edmunds pointing out fuel-related issues. It states that the 2022 Kia Carnival is “brand new and already subject to two recalls. The outlets don’t work (minor issue) and there’s a faulty fuel pump which makes it a safety hazard to drive. It could have been a simple fix but there are no parts available. Kia blames the dealership. The dealership blames Kia. No one from Kia will call back after 9 days, and there has been no progress made whatsoever. No rental car or loaner vehicle is being provided. Buyer beware! If you do buy it, choose a local dealership you know and trust.”

There is a fuel system-related recall on the Carnival worth looking at. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V277000 states that affected models might contain a damaged plastic fuel rail tube. If this is the case, the tube could leak fuel, which, according to the recall, increases the risk of a car fire.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

When we talk about a vehicle being a lemon, we mean that it has problems that usually recur and affect its value and its use. If you think you have a lemon you are welcome to contact Lemberg Law so that we can assess your problems. We will do this free of charge because the law makes Kia pay lemon law legal fees.

Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of people who have found themselves with lemons. If you need help, all you have to do is call our Helpline or fill in the contact form.

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

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