This article was written by Brian Jones, trusted ASE Certified Master Tech and Lemberg Law Expert Automotive Contributor
Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.
The law makes Kia pay legal fees.
We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.
Problems with the Transmission
Even when a vehicle features a lower price tag, it should still come with a reliable powertrain. That’s not the case with the 2019 Kia Forte. In fact, it seems that the automaker might have skipped some steps when producing these models.
One NHTSA complaint says, “I have a 2019 Kia Forte that just a few weeks after I purchase it left me stranded because it wouldn’t crank. Now my transmission is out and I had a horrifying experience trying to drive home after my grandma passed away. My family lives 2-1/2 hours away. Then the service department verbally assaulted me while I was trying to receive help. I was on the interstate when the transmission started going out. I was nearly hit several times as the car would slow down and not shift gears.”
It seems this transmission has several malfunctions. Service Bulletin #TSBTRA080 talks about how the IVT assembly requires replacement in some vehicles because it is throwing codes it shouldn’t. In this case, it’s clear to see who makes the rules and it isn’t the Kia engineers.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Kia Forte Transmission Problems:
BRAND NEW 2019 FORTE WITH LESS THAN 2,000 MILES ON IT. DRIVING DOWN THE HIGHWAY AT 70 MPH AND THE ENGINE STARTS TO REV AND JOLT. GET TO THE RIGHT LANE AND IT WILL NOT ACCELERATE AT ALL WITH MY FOOT ON THE GAS. HAD TO GET THE CAR TOWED TO THE NEAREST DEALERSHIP TO FIND I NEEDED A BRAND NEW TRANSMISSION.
WHILE HAVING MY CAR FOR TWO MONTHS MY, 2019 KIA FORTE TRANSMISSION WENT. I WAS DRIVING ON THE HIGHWAY AND IT KEPT STALLING. IT WAS REVING ALL THE WAY UP TO 7/8 RPMS WITH ME GENTLY TAPPING ON THE GAS. I HAD MY GRANDMOTHER WITH ME AND RIGHT WHEN WE GOT OFF THE HIGHWAY MY CAR JUST STOPPING RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A BUSY MAIN ROAD. I WAITED A MOMENT AND TOOK MY KEYS OUT OF THE EGNISION. AFTER 3 MINUTES MY CAR TURNED BACK ON AND I WAS SLOWLY ABLE TO GET IT TO THE GAS STATION WITH IT STILL REVING. I HAD MY CAR TAKEN TO THE DEALERSHIP WHERE I GOT THE CAR AND THEY ENDED UP FIXING IT. THEY SAID IT WAS A DEFECT. I’M STILL VERY CONCERNED WITH THIS TRANSMISSION BECAUSE THEY PUT THE SAME ONE BACK IN. IT’S A CVT TRANSMISSION. I DON’T FEEL SAFE AFTER EXPERIENCING THAT ISSUE. IT COULD OF CAUSED A BAD ACCIDENT. THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM AND I THINK THE TRANSMISSIONS SHOULD HAVE A REGULAR AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION PUT BACK INTO THEM. JUST WANTED TO MAKE YOU AWARE OF THIS ISSUE I HAD AND LET YOU KNOW HOW CONCERNED I AM ABOUT IT.
CAR IS A COUPLE OF MONTHS OLD WITH 2001 MILES SHOWING ON THE ODOMETER. THE RPMS WOULD SURGE WHILE DRIVING, EVEN AT CONSTANT SPEED THEY WOULD JUMP 500 RPM OR SO THEN DROP BACK DOWN. I TOOK IT INTO THE DEALER AND THE SAID THAT IS NORMAL FOR A CVT. A WEEK LATER IT WAS STILL DOING THAT THEN IT WOULD FELL LIKE IT WAS STUMBLING WHILE STARTING UP FROM A STOP. THE NEXT DAY IT HAD NO POWER, ACCELERATOR ALMOST TO THE FLOOR AND IT WOULD BARELY MOVE, THEN THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON. I IMMEDIATELY HEADED FOR THE DEALERSHIP. WHEN I GOT THERE I HAD TO WAIT A BIT AND THE SERVICE TECH CAME OUT AND TOLD ME THAT WHEN THEY CALLED THE CODES INTO KIA THAT WERE IN THE COMPUTER THEY SAID TO PUT A NEW TRANSMISSION IN IT. HE TOLD ME HE WOULD HAVE THE TRANSMISSION OVERNIGHTED WHICH I LATER FOUND OUT WAS A LIE, AND THAT TECH IS NO LONGER AT THE DEALERSHIP. I HAVE A RENTAL VEHICLE IN ITS PLACE. I HAVE STARTED A CLAIM WITH KIA.
CAR WAS MAKING WEIRD NOISES AND JUMPY ACCELERATION, TOOK IT IN AND THEY ARE REPLACING THE TRANSMISSION, ITS BEEN TWO WEEKS AND THE TRANSMISSION IS STILL NOT IN AT THE DEALER FOR REPLACEMENT. I WAS TOLD ITS ON BACKORDER AND NOBODY KNOWS WHEN I WILL BE ABLE TO REPLACE IT. MY CAR IS NOW BARLEY ACCELERATING UNLESS I FLOOR IT. CALLED KIA AND THE DEALER AND NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE
Problems with the Electrical System
If the engine of a vehicle is like the heart, then it’s the electrical system that acts as the nervous system. It sends signals throughout the entire car to make sure everything is running smoothly. That is, of course, unless there is a problem.
One such problem was documented with the NHTSA and states, “The contact owns a 2019 Kia Forte. The contact noticed that the soy based wiring attracted rodents, which chewed the wires and caused the electrical components to short out. The vehicle was taken to [dealer] where it was determined that the vehicle was not covered by the factory or extended warranties. The contact stated that the technician replaced the downstream oxygen and transmission output sensors, which was a one time repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and did not assist. The failure mileage was approximately 2,200.”
What could be worse than rats eating through the new car wiring? Not much. Except, take a look at Service Bulletin #TSBELE183 that talks about the Integrated Body Control Unit and how it produces improper trunk operation. It also seems to drain the battery, unless the repair is performed. Between tasty electrical wires and trunks that don’t work correctly, this car doesn’t seem to care about the owner’s rules at all.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Kia Forte Electrical Problems:
HIT A PARKING SPACE BUMPER WITH FRONT BUMPER, PASSENGER SIDE, LOWER EDGE. SEVERAL DAYS LATER, DASH MSGS SAID I HAD STEERING PROBLEMS, ABS, COLLISION AVOIDANCE FAILURE AND TO SEE DEALER IMMEDIATELY. CALLED KIA ROADSIDE SERVICE AND REPORTED DASH MSGS AND THEY SAID NOT TO DRIVE VEHICLE AND TOWED IT IN TO SALT LAKE CITY DEALER. DEALER REFUSED WARRANTY SVC BECAUSE OF BUMPER DAMAGE AND ADVISED WIRING HARNESS OUT, $4200 REPAIR OR $468. PATCH REPAIR. IS THIS VEHICLE SAFE TO DRIVE WITH WIRING HARNESS ABLE TO BE KNOCKED OUT FROM HITTING A PARKING SPACE BUMPER WITH SLIGHT LOWER EDGE DAMAGE, THAT COULD ALSO BE CAUSED BY ROCK BOUNCING UP FROM HIGHWAY OR ANY OTHER ROAD MATERIAL THAT IS ENCOUNTERED EVERY DAY. MILEAGE WAS 11496 AT TIME OF TOWING IN
Problems with the Vehicle Speed Control
With cruise control, it’s possible to maintain any speed the driver wants, unless the system is faulty. That’s exactly what we see happening with the 2019 Forte.
Just look at another NHTSA review. “The cruise control won’t hold me on the speed I set the cruise on. If I set it on 55, I look down, I’m up to 70 miles.”
Apparently, Kia believes that owners need to get to their destination faster than what they think. There aren’t any service bulletins discussing this problem, mainly because the corporate team doesn’t want anyone to know there is a problem. Still, if this car was operating on the driver’s rules, one would think it would take into consideration the speed they would want to travel.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Kia Forte Cruise Control Problems:
THE FORWARD COLLISION WARNING SYSTEM KEEPS SAYING IT?S DISABLED DUE TO SOMETHING BEING IN THE WAY OF IT, I?VE CHECKED OVER THE CAR MULTIPLE TIMES AND CAN?T FIND ANYTHING IN THE WAY OF ANY OF THE SENSORS.
FORWARD COLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEM DISABLED CAMERA OBSCURED. THIS WARNING COMES AND GOES AT IRREGULAR INTERVALS. NOTHING IS OBSCURING THE CAMERA AND LANE KEEP ASSIST CONTINUES TO FUNCTION NORMALLY.
Problems with the Headlights
When driving down the road at night, it is imperative that the lighting works as it should. Otherwise, danger is inevitable. That’s exactly what we see with this Kia.
One NHTSA complaint states, “The contact owns a 2019 Kia Forte. While driving approximately 20 mph at night, the headlights were very dim and the contact did not see an animal in the road. To avoid the animal, the contact veered off the road and crashed into a ditch. The frontal air bags did not deploy. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. The vehicle was towed to the contact’s residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The dealer and manufacturer were not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 16,000.”
It turns out there is a severe problem with the exterior lighting on the Forte. In fact, a recall has been issued. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V771000 states that the low beam aiming is incorrect on over 1,000 vehicles. If the headlights don’t get aimed correctly, the driver might have reduced visibility as shown in the above statement. But, it isn’t just the aiming that the manufacturer is fixing. The repair calls for all-new headlights. That suggests that something larger is going on and the company doesn’t want anyone to know. It might be the owners road, but they aren’t able to see it at night.
Problems with the Air Bags
Air bags are intended to keep the driver and occupants safe inside the vehicle, when everything is operational. Yet, in the Forte, this is just one more system that doesn’t seem to be constructed correctly.
One more NHTSA complaint says, “The driver of the vehicle had front impact damage at 40 mph and hit the side of another car. The entire front end including the steel frame was bent in but no airbags deployed.”
While it is unclear if any injuries were reported as a result of this accident, it’s clear to see how dangerous this fault truly is. Just like the statement about the headlights, the air bag failed to deploy when it was needed the most. Does this sound like a well-constructed car or something that was merely slammed together and sent to people’s homes? Unsuspecting owners are driving these vehicles unaware of the present dangers. Most people that have driven one know that this car doesn’t truly care about the road or the rules.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Kia Forte Airbags Problems:
ON NOVEMBER 12,2018 I WAS ON THE HIGHWAY DOING 65 MPH WHEN I WAS REAR ENDED BY A HIT AND RUN DRIVER THAT SEEMED TO BE DOING FULL SPEED, AND I SAY THAT BECAUSE I NEVER HEARD ANY SCREECHING BRAKES BEHIND ME. THE IMPACT TOTALED MY CAR, WITH THE MAJORITY OF THE DAMAGE TO THE TRUNK. THE IMPACT MADE MY CAR SPIN AROUND AND AT SOME POINT MY FRONT BUMPER HIT SOMETHING, BUT NO AIRBAGS WERE DEPLOYED WHATSOEVER. MY SEAT BELT WAS STILL LOCKED IN PLACE, BUT SOMEHOW MY SEAT RECLINED BACK JUST ENOUGH FOR ME TO BE DISLODGED FROM THE DRIVERS SEAT AND END UP IN THE BACK SEAT, RESULTING IN A BROKEN VERTEBRAE IN MY NECK. WHY DID NOT ONE AIRBAG GO OFF AND WHY DID MY SEAT BELT NOT HOLD ME IN PLACE?
Your Lemon Law Legal Rights
Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Kia pay legal fees. 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.
Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm
Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today! There is no charge unless we win.
Share your story
Does this ring a bell? Have you had a bad experience too? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.