This article was written by Brian Jones, ASE Certified Master Tech and Lemberg Law Automotive Contributor
Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018
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Problems with the Vehicle Structure
One of the essential elements of any vehicle build is the structure and initial construction. However, it seems that there is a lot wrong with the Sedona models.
One Cars.com review states, “This vehicle is not worth the value. I purchased a 2019 Kia Sedona after week I noticed that the wheels are not properly aligned, speedometer was not accurate slow by km an hour, after a month the driver side door sensor broke, the next month the paint started chipping, the next month the Driver side passenger door sensor broke, the speedometer froze.”
However, these problems get even worse once the recall is exposed. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V207000 states that the seat belt buckle might not have been installed correctly in some vehicles. Because of the defective construction, the seat belt is unusable in the second row, making it impossible to keep family members safe. If an automaker can’t get a seat belt produced right, what will they do accurately? Probably not much.
Problems with the Engine
The engine is arguably the most important mechanical part in a vehicle and must be reliable. Yet, it’s clear the Sedona doesn’t have a dependable engine at all.
Just look at this NHTSA review. “Purchased new. At 7400 miles, while driving on the highway, it smelled like something was burning. Took it to dealership who stated cylinder head was leaking antifreeze. Entire engine had to be rebuilt (all heads/gaskets exchanged). 7800 miles fluid levels bottomed out. Dealer stated car hadn’t burped from gasket repair. 9300 miles while city driving, the blind spot collision warning started yelling. I placed the car in Park and turned it off. When I turned it back on, the car said possible transmission failure and I could not shift. Popped the shift lock release to get vehicle into Drive to bring for service. Dealer stated inhibitor switch failed causing the issues with blind spot collision warnings and the shift lockout. Unacceptable in new vehicle under 10k miles.”
These are a lot of problems for any new car to experience. Still, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what could go wrong. Even Service Bulletin #SC169_TSB_R1 states that some models might need an oil filler cap replacement because of a defect. It seems that there are more defective parts on this minivan than those that work. Maybe this minivan belongs in a museum of lemon cars instead of on the road.
Problems with the Transmission
It turns out that the powertrain doesn’t perform much better, which shouldn’t be surprising at this point.
Here’s yet another NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2019 Kia Sedona. While driving 10 mph, the vehicle lunged forward without warning. On another occasion, when depressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle failed to accelerate and, at times, the RPMs increased to 4,000. An abnormal noise was also heard during the failure. The vehicle was taken to [dealer] where unknown software updates were performed; however, the failures continued. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer for unknown software updates, but the failures continued. The manufacturer was not informed of the failures. The failure mileage was 250.”
One of the company’s communications discusses the need for updated software. Service Bulletin TSBTRA082_R1 says that an update must be done to improve the logic of the TCU, but it doesn’t seem to be effective in some cases. Maybe the automaker got confused, considering that the Sedona region is located in Arizona. It appears that they created a bucking bronco instead of a minivan.
Problems with the Steering
One last look at the Kia Sedona shows serious complaints about the steering system as well.
Here is what one NHTSA user had to say. “2019 Kia Sedona with 2600 miles on it, while driving the car down the road, it has extreme alignment issues wanting to go to the left, almost caused 3 different accidents putting my life and my family’s life in danger. In order to keep the car going straight, you really have to hold the steering wheel tightly.”
There are no service bulletins on these complaints, but it seems to happen frequently. Maybe Kia is simply looking out for the soccer moms out there and helping them build more arm strength during driving. After all, exercise is important.
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