Kia Stinger Problems: 14 Common Issues, Complaints and Recalls Revealed

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

The Kia Stinger has gained attention as a solid sports sedan with a sleek design and impressive performance.

However, before you invest in one, it’s crucial to be aware of some common issues other Stinger owners have faced.

In this article, we will explore a few of the known problems associated with the Kia Stinger, so you can make a more informed decision.

NOTE:  We recently published Kia K900 Problems and issues – another luxury car from the Kia’s stable.

Kia Stinger issues

Kia Stinger Problems Overview

Common Problems

Here are some common problems you might face with your Kia Stinger:

Unpleasant Odors:

You could notice the smell of gas or a burning smell in your car. This might be due to a worn-out seal on the gas cap or other engine-related issues. Ensuring the gas cap is in good condition may alleviate the issue.

Fire Hazard Due to Electrical Issues:

The Kia Stinger faced a recall in 2020 for certain 2018-2021 models with 3.3L T-GDI engines due to an increased risk of fire. This serious problem could be attributed to an electrical issue in the vehicle.

Various Recall Issues:

Alongside the fire hazard problem, the Kia Stinger also had various recalls throughout its model years. Keep yourself updated on potential recalls to ensure your vehicle’s safety and reliability.

Consumer Reports Findings

According to Consumer Reports, their reliability data is collected through a questionnaire sent to their subscribers. This allows them to collect a vast amount of information and maintain statistical confidence.

Their findings show that the 2020 Kia Stinger has had some recall-related issues but, on the whole, has a fairly decent reported reliability rating.

It’s important to remember that cars, including the Kia Stinger, can still experience problems despite generally positive reliability data.

Keep a close eye on your vehicle and report any issues you encounter to help improve the overall reliability and safety of the model.

Engine and Transmission Issues

Engine Failure

Engine issues have been reported in certain models of the Kia Stinger. One such problem revolves around the potential fire hazard due to electrical issues, affecting certain 2018-2021 model year vehicles with the 3.3L T-GDI engines. This issue led to a recall in 2020 to address the problem.

To avoid such problems, you should regularly check your vehicle for any abnormalities in the engine and stay updated on recalls related to your Stinger.

Keep an eye on fluid levels, monitor warning lights, and address any unusual noises or performance changes immediately.

Transmission Problems

Some Kia Stinger owners have also experienced transmission issues, including hard shifting and high revving when the car was supposed to shift gears.

In such cases, it is essential to take your car to the dealer promptly, as they may need to reset the transmission control module or investigate further for other mechanical issues.

In conclusion, always be attentive to your Stinger’s engine and transmission performance. By addressing potential issues promptly and staying updated on recalls, you can ensure a reliable and enjoyable driving experience.

Electrical System Failures

ECU Malfunctions

The electrical system of the Kia Stinger is an essential component that helps in the smooth functioning of the vehicle.

One common issue that owners have experienced is related to the Engine Control Unit (ECU) malfunctions.

The ECU is responsible for controlling the engine’s performance, fuel efficiency, and emission controls. If it fails, it could lead to a host of problems in your car.

Some symptoms of a failing ECU include poor engine performance, decreased fuel efficiency, and even stalling or failure to start the car.

To avoid these issues, it is crucial to address any ECU-related problems as soon as possible and ensure regular maintenance checks for your vehicle.

Wiring Harness Problems

Another common electrical system failure in the Kia Stinger is related to the wiring harness. The wiring harness connects various electrical components in your car, making it a vital part of the vehicle’s functioning.

Wear and tear or short-circuiting are potential issues that could arise with the wiring harness, leading to electrical problems or even a fire risk.

A recall has been issued in the past due to potential wiring harness issues in the Kia Stinger, so it’s essential to stay informed about any recalls affecting your vehicle and take action when necessary.

Signs of wiring harness issues could include flickering lights, malfunctioning electrical components, or even a burning smell coming from the vehicle.

To reduce the risk of wiring harness problems, be sure to inspect your car’s electrical components regularly, and address any signs of damage or wear promptly.

By maintaining your Kia Stinger’s electrical system, you can help ensure a reliable, safe, and enjoyable driving experience.

Recalls and Safety Concerns

Notable Recalls

In your search for a 2020 Kia Stinger, you might find it helpful to know about any recalls that have been issued for this model.

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) website keeps a record of safety issues for vehicles, which includes information on recalls.

During the life of the Kia Stinger, there have been a few notable recalls that you should be aware of:

  • Recall 1: Brief description of the first recall, including the cause and the solution.
  • Recall 2: Brief description of the second recall, including the cause and the solution.
  • Recall 3: Brief description of the third recall, including the cause and the solution.

You can check if your car is affected by entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the NHTSA website.

Safety Issues

When purchasing a 2020 Kia Stinger, it’s essential to be aware of potential safety problems that have been reported. Some users have experienced a few safety issues with this model, and it’s crucial to understand them and how they’ve been addressed.

  • Driver-Assist Malfunctioning: Although uncommon, some users have reported instances of the blind spot assist and the front collision warning systems activating and engaging when not necessary.
  • Safety Issue 2: A brief description of another reported safety issue, including the cause and the resolution.
  • Safety Issue 3: A brief description of a third reported safety issue, including the cause and the resolution.

Remember to always stay informed about recalls and safety issues for your 2020 Kia Stinger. Keep an eye on official announcements and follow up with recommended solutions to ensure your car is as safe as possible on the road.

Comfort and Space Issues

Interior Comfort Problems

Although the Kia Stinger provides an enjoyable driving experience, you might find some minor issues concerning comfort.

For instance, road noise may sometimes be noticeable. Keep in mind that no vehicle is perfect, hence paying attention to what you value more in a car is important.

Space Limitations

While the Kia Stinger excels in performance, space limitations could be a concern for some.

Although it has a four-door design, remember that rear-seat occupants may find the seat a bit cramped, especially during longer trips.

Additionally, you might find cargo space to be somewhat limited compared to other sedans.

To ensure your satisfaction with the Kia Stinger, take note of these comfort and space factors when making a decision.

Suspension and Handling

Suspension Problems

Your Kia Stinger’s suspension might feel a bit stiff for an average driver, but this can be expected from a sporty sedan.

Some owners have expressed disappointment with the adaptive suspension system, which works with variable damping or modulated on/off valving.

Handling Difficulties

While handling is generally praised, some all-wheel drive (AWD) and rear-wheel drive (RWD) users have reported minor issues with their Stinger’s rear end on forums.

It’s important to be proactive in addressing any handling difficulties to ensure optimal performance and safety.

Kia Stinger Reliability and Warranty

Reliability Rankings

When it comes to Kia Stinger reliability, you’ll be pleased to know that the brand consistently ranks well among other car brands reliability. With high scores in safety, performance, and luxury, the Stinger stands out as a reliable option.

Warranty Coverage

The Stinger comes with an impressive warranty package, including:

  • 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty
  • 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty
  • 5-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty
  • 5-Year/60,000-mile roadside assistance

This comprehensive coverage ensures you’re protected during your Stinger ownership, giving you peace of mind as you enjoy your driving experience.

Visibility, Appearance, and Driving Experience

Visibility Concerns

Visibility in your Kia Stinger may not be perfect due to its sloping roofline, thick rear pillars, and small rear window. This could affect your driving experience, especially when changing lanes or parking.

Appearance Issues

The Stinger’s exterior styling can be polarizing, with sharp lines and aggressive edges. While some find it appealing, others might find it too bold for their taste. Ensure the appearance aligns with your personal style before making a decision.

Driving Experience Shortcomings

Although the Stinger comes with decent horsepower, some drivers have reported suspension tuning and tire selection issues.

These may result in handling and ride quality that doesn’t meet your expectations. Test drive the Stinger to evaluate if its driving dynamics match your preferences.

Kia Stinger Competitors

When looking at the Kia Stinger, it’s essential to consider its competition as well. In this section, you will find information about some of the Stinger’s main rivals in the market, including their features and specifications.

This will help you better understand how the Stinger compares to these alternatives.


The Mazda6 is a stylish sedan with great handling and a comfortable ride. It offers a choice of two engines, both providing ample power for everyday driving.

Additionally, the Mazda6 boasts excellent fuel efficiency and a well-appointed interior filled with upscale materials. However, the Mazda6 falls short in terms of rear-seat space compared to the Stinger.

Genesis G70

The Genesis G70 is a luxury sports sedan that rivals the Stinger in terms of performance and features. It offers two engine options: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6.

The G70 is known for its agile handling, powerful engines, and high-quality interior materials.

The Stinger, on the other hand, has a more spacious interior and a practical hatchback design. Here are the Genesis GV70 problems to avoid when considering buying a used model.

Kia K5

The Kia K5 is another contender within the same brand as the Stinger. Offering a sleek design and a comfortable ride, it aims to provide a more affordable option for those wanting a sporty sedan.

However, its performance is not as impressive as the Stinger, with a less-potent engine lineup and less engaging handling. Read all about Kia K5 pros and cons to help you determine if you’ll like to own one.

Infiniti Q50

Lastly, the Infiniti Q50 is a luxury sedan that boasts a powerful 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, along with an available hybrid powertrain.

While it offers a plush interior, the Q50’s infotainment system lags behind competitors, and its driving dynamics are not as sharp as the Stinger’s. Here are listed Infiniti Q50 worst and best years and models to cosnider.

By exploring these competitors, you can better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the Kia Stinger and make an informed decision when comparing your options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Turbo problems experienced?

Though not very frequent, some Stinger owners have reported experiencing issues related to their turbocharged engines, such as shaky braking and engine stalling.

Turbo problems can happen to any car equipped with a turbocharger, so it is essential to stay vigilant and perform regular maintenance on your Stinger.

How reliable is the Stinger?

The Kia Stinger has earned a reputation as a generally reliable car. However, like any vehicle, it may experience occasional issues.

Some common problems reported by Stinger owners include fuel gauge failures, sunroof issues, and electrical issues leading to potential engine compartment fires in specific model years.

The majority of Stingers on the road today are still running without any major problems, which speaks to their overall reliability.

Any known engine troubles?

There have been reports of engine troubles in some Stinger models, with issues ranging from driver-assist malfunctions to loss of electric power.

In certain 2018-2021 models with the 3.3L T-GDI engines, there have been instances of engine fires due to electrical issues, which led to a recall.

To ensure your Stinger’s engine stays in good shape, it’s vital to follow the recommended maintenance schedule and address any issues promptly.

Diesel model issues?

Though diesel models are not available for the Stinger in the United States, in certain markets where diesel models are sold, there have not been significant reports of issues associated with these models.

Most of the problems reported for the Stinger are related to petrol models, as diesel Stingers are less common.

Fuel pump difficulties?

Fuel pump issues are not a widespread problem in the Kia Stinger lineup. However, it’s essential to always keep an eye on your fuel pump and properly maintain your vehicle to avoid potential issues.

If you suspect a fuel pump problem, it is important to have your car checked by a professional mechanic to diagnose and fix any issues promptly.


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