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

Engine, forward collision avoidance, and airbag issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Customers know there’s no reason to spend a lot of money on new SUVs when there are models like the 2022 Kia Sportage on the market. This particular model is set to provide a fun drive with the automaker claiming “ready, set, adventure.” However, not all today’s drivers are having fun. Some of them are finding serious faults with the airbags, engine, and forward collision avoidance system in the SUV.

Click on other model years to view more problems: 2019   2020   2021   2023

Most Common Problems with the 2022 Kia Sportage

Between January 9 and December 6, 2022, consumers filed a total of 9 complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of these, half recorded crashes and/or fires. One injury was reported.

Airbag issues top the list of complaints, with 2 listed under Airbags and 1 under the electrical system. Two other components that have attracted 2 complaints each are the engine, and forward collision avoidance. In addition to these, the fuel/propulsion system, seats, steering, and trailer hitches each have 1 complaint related to them.

2022 Kia Sportage Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Trailer Hitches
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Air Bags
Electrical System
Visibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
Electrical System:instrument Panel:speedometer/odometer:sensor/sending Unit
Fuel/propulsion System

Problems with the Airbags

When an accident occurs, the airbags are the main way to ensure protection. When they fail, people’s lives are instantly put at risk.

An NHTSA complaint from an owner in Maine points out: “I was involved in a highway forward collision accident and the emergency braking, alert, and airbags never went off.”

An owner from Illinois states that she crashed into the car in front of her when the driver stopped abruptly. The forward collision sensor warning light didn’t come on and the airbags didn’t deploy. Luckily no one was injured.

A woman from California wasn’t that lucky. According to the NHTSA complaint, another car T-boned the passenger side of her Kia Sportage while doing more than 55 mph. She was traveling through an intersection at about 10-15 mph at the time.

“The Kia was hit so hard that it rolled 2-3 times before coming to a complete stop. She survived with a few fractured bones, thankfully, but the steering wheel airbag did not deploy ! Every other airbag (driver side, passenger side, rear side) deployed, but not one of the most important ones. We’re not sure if her injuries would have been lessened with that airbag or not, but the car was totaled out by insurance. There were no warning lights or symptoms prior to the crash.”

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Forward Collision Avoidance Problems

Both complaints filed under this category involved a crash. We have already mentioned the first under airbags above. The second, from an owner in Illinois, echoes the previous complaint that the warning alert wasn’t activated. He states that “this failed warning system should be recalled.”

Subsequent to this incident, the same Illinois owner experienced related issues with the rearview camera. “This model only has a camera that sits behind the rearview mirror area. It has gone off two times since the accident where it states that the system is disengaged even though it is turned on.” Attempts to trade the vehicle in at “an appropriate trade-in value for another safer vehicle” have been unsuccessful.

Engine Problems

The most serious engine problem is something of a mystery. An owner from Kansas reports that the Kia Sportage caught on fire “without warning.” The side of the house also caught on fire. The fire department was able to extinguish the fire. But they were unable to say what caused it, just that it “started from under the hood.”

A complaint from an owner in Indiana is very different, but still relates to the engine that “will not start consistently.” It takes 2-4 attempts to start it and it sputters before it starts. Additionally, the car randomly jerks and/or speeds up while driving. The battery has been inspected twice and so they have ruled out an electrical system issue.

Hitch with the Trailer Hitch Recall

Mid-September 2022, Kia issued an urgent recall for 70,887 vehicles including 2017-2022 Sportage models equipped with the original tow hitch harness. They warn that accumulation of debris and moisture on the tow hitch harness module printed circuit board may cause an electrical short. This is a serious safety risk that could result in a fire. The short could occur while the vehicle is parked or driving. So, Kia urges owners to park outside and away from any type of structure.

The hitch is that while dealers will replace the part free of charge, it is still “under development.” An NHTSA complaint from a New Jersey owner on December 6, 2022, states that the parts are still not available. The complaint maintains that “the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair.”

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

If you think you have a lemon, did you know that you could sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you? The law makes Kia pay legal fees. The best part is that 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. All you need to do is call our Helpline or fill in a contact form and we will assess your problems free of charge.

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
  • Harsh p

    I have a 2023 kia sportage. Everytime I turn on the car it gives me “check blind spot detection warning light”, and “check cross traffic alert system”. I took it to the dealer and they said it’s nothing to worry about and they have also ordered the part but it might take long time
    Due to lack of parts. The blind spot literally doesn’t work at all. Please help.

  • Cheryl C

    I have a 2022 Kia Sportage LX and the box keep popping up on my dash saying check back right brake light, I brought it back to the Kia dealer and they claimed they replaced the harness but it keeps doing the same thing, it comes off and on while driving, now I am told they can’t do anything about it until it is on again, but I told them it comes off and on

  • Michael H

    I have a 2022 Kia Sportage Nightfall and I have had issues with it accelerating on its own while driving, it has happened several times, the first time I almost rear ended someone and another time it forced me through a red light after stopping. I have taken it in to Kia but they haven’t been able to do anything about it and continue to send me home in it. What should I do? Can I make them buy this back before I am in an accident from this issue?

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