Man talking(l), Kia sign(c), Man smiling(r)

Kent Johansson/Shutterstock @accurateautoinc/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘On my third Kia’: Mechanics reveal the most common problems they see with Kia cars

'Watching this while my 2021 Kia Soul is broken down in my driveway.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Feb 27, 2024   Updated on Feb 27, 2024, 9:06 am CST

If you have an older model Kia you might be in for a rude awakening, according to these mechanics.

In a viral TikTok video, an auto shop worker for Accurate Auto (@accurateautoinc) asked five mechanics what the most common issue that they find with Kias is.

Four out of five of them said the same thing—they get stolen easily and often.

Are they just so great that people want to steal them? That’s not exactly it.

Kia thefts, especially among certain models, have been on the rise over the last several years, largely because people figured out that they’re easy to steal.

Many Kia and Hyundai models from 2011 to 2021 have a keyed ignition, aka the standard setup where you need to insert a key to unlock the car as opposed to having a push-to-start car.

The issue here isn’t necessarily that you need to use a key, but that the ignition lacked crucial anti-theft technology that makes Kias and Hyundais way too easy to steal. Engine immobilizers, the part that prevents cars from being hotwired, cost about $100 to manufacture into a car, according to Vice, yet were missing from several models.

Despite this tech being widely adopted across the car industry and being required by law in Canada, as of late 2015 only about a quarter of Kisa and Hyundais had the antitheft device, leaving millions of vehicles vulnerable.

It also doesn’t help that people took to TikTok to show just how easy it is to steal one with just a screwdriver and a USB cord.

“Stolen car rates are not up by 10 percent, or 20 percent, or even 50 percent,” a Motherboard report stated. “In many cities, they are up hundreds of percentage points, Motherboard has found. Rates of stolen Kias and Hyundais in particular are up thousands of percentage points.”

Both companies are aware of the lasting problem and have developed software updates for affected vehicles, and have equipped newer models with the much-needed immobilizers. Cars with pushbutton start are considered less vulnerable.

Aside from getting stolen often, the mechanics also noted transmission issues and blown-up engines. Late last year Hyundai and Kia recalled nearly 3.4 million vehicles due to the risk of engine fires and offered to replace the anti-lock brake fuse causing the issue at no cost to owners, AP reported.

@accurateautoinc What are some common issues with Kia?🤔👀 #automotive #autorepair #carshop #mechanic #mechanicsoftiktok #car #carmaintenance #automobile #mechanical #repair #repairshop #kia ♬ original sound – AccurateAuto

“Recalls for Kia.. one caught fire at our body shop and destroyed 17 cars,” a commenter shared.

The mechanic’s take on the Kia issue has more than 200,000 views and nearly 300 comments.

“If you ask mechanics about a car brand and the only complaint is theft, that’s a win! A theft issue can be corrected easily enough!” a top comment read.

“My Kia is safe cause it’s a manual transmission most people can’t drive one these days,” a person said.

“On my third Kia. Common issue is no issues Great vehicle’s lots of bang for the buck,” another pointed out.

The Daily Dot reached out to the automotive shop via Instagram direct message.

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*First Published: Feb 27, 2024, 11:00 am CST