2020 Kia Forte Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Defective doors and electrical system issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

The 2020 Kia Forte is a fun sedan that appeals to a large market. The automaker calls this vehicle a “power player,” but customers don’t seem to be impressed. Research shows trouble with the air bags, electrical system and structure.

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Problems with the Air Bags

Since 1998, all new vehicles needed to be equipped with air bags. More than two decades later, automakers are still having trouble perfecting the design.

Just read this NHTSA complaint. “I was turning left through a green light onto a city road when a car coming from the left side ran a red light going 50 miles an hour in a 35 miles an hour road, crashing into the side of my car. It hit the front driver’s side tire and door, but was hit so hard that my car moved forward about 8-10 feet. My car is supposed to have a sensor directly where the other person’s car hit mine but none of the air bags went off. Even though this car is supposed to have side airbags for those types of collisions.”

Kia has chosen to remain quiet on air bag malfunctions for the time being. There are no communications and an absence of guidance for technicians. Instead, customers are left on their own, hoping that an accident doesn’t occur. Let’s just say that air bags are this Kia’s “forte.”

Problems with the Electrical System

Moving onto the electrical system, owners complain of just as many defects causing trouble.

Here is one left on the NHTSA website. “While vehicle in motion on a city street, several warning lights popped up on the dashboard: Electronic PWR steering, electronic stability indicator, TPMS tire pressure, malfunction indicator lamp, autonomous emergency brake, adaptive front lights and low tire pressure warning lights. At the same time that all those lights turned on (while in motion) the odometer and speedometer needle stopped registering speed and dropped to zero on both gauges along with the temperature gauge as well. I proceeded to put the hazard lights on and pull over safely. Once stationary I placed the car in Park, then the gear shift locked up and would not unlock. After about 20 minutes of being stationary on the side of the road, I was able to engage the gear shift, place it in Drive and proceed down the road. While the vehicle was in motion the warning lights proceeded to stay on and the speedometer/odometer were not registering speed throughout the remainder of my trip.”

What is causing the transmission problems on the 2020 Kia Forte?

It turns out that Kia is aware of other electrical system errors too. Service Bulletin #TSB_ELE200 discusses trouble with the TCM logic and IVT that could cause incorrect gear ratios, fluid pressure and circuit performance. There aren’t too many people keen to have their new car malfunctioning in such a grand way, especially when it diminishes drivability. It seems that this Forte doesn’t have the “power” after all.

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

Aside from the mechanical construction of this Kia car, there are also defects found with the structure itself.

Here is what one Edmunds user had to say. “Defective rear door lock that I had to subsequently have replaced, requiring 4 days back at the dealer.  Suggest checking all mechanical workings before purchase.”

What is causing the defective doors problems on the 2020 Kia Forte?

Sadly, there is more than a malfunctioning door lock to be concerned with. In fact, the NHTSA is currently investigating Kia because of a major safety issue. The left rear door failed the side impact testing, allowing the rear passenger dummy to experience a thoracic injury. It is estimated that the spine acceleration measures more than 82 G’s during the simulated crash. The moral of the story is, if you have to ride in a Forte, avoid the back seat for your own safety.

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.

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Share your story

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1 COMMENT
  • Stephanie

    While vehicle is in motion on a city street, several warning lights popped up on the dashboard: Electronic pwr steering, electronic stability indicator, TPMS tire pressure, malfunction indicator lamp, autonomus emergency brake, adaptive front lighting, and low tire pressure warning lights. At the same time that all those lights turned on (while in motion) the front collision warning came on and caused problems with acceleration well. When parked, I shut the car off and the ignition locked and I couldn’t get it turn back on.

    Called the dealership and they immediately said I had a rodent problem. I opened my car hood and looked for any evidence of rodent problems and found nothing. Took it to the dealership and they reported that they found a nest and chewed wires . I asked for them to show me and was walked out to the garage where they had what looked like a rodent nest and a red wire with the black tubing that the wire runs through sitting out.

    So even though Kia is aware of the problem, trust me when I say they will tell their customers that it is rodents and not covered under warranty. I have approximately 9000 miles on my car and have had it for a year.

    Where do I need to go from here?

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