2018 Kia Forte Problems and Complaints


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2018 Kia Forte Sedan Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: May 21, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

In the world of subcompact sedans, the 2018 Kia Forte is one that brings a lot of excitement. It has dashing looks, a relatively accessible price, and a few good powertrains. In terms of reliability, it has performed decently well although it has 47 complaints and 3 recalls. With most complaints relating to the powertrain, some owners have faced issues but overall, the car is peaceful in terms of maintenance. It starts at an MSRP of $17,685, along with maintenance costs projected at $1,526 for five years. The 2018 Kia Forte engine recall also fixed its major lubrication problem. Its competitors include the Honda Civic, the Mazda 3, and the Volkswagen Jetta. Let us read more about the 2018 Kia Forte problems through this article.

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2018 Kia Forte User Complaints and Problems

Mechanical problems:

  1. Many owners have complained that the brakes of the car are making a squeaky noise. On several occasions, the brake pedal fails to respond causing crashes.
  2. In many cases, the engine jerks and stalls and the car has to be restarted. The issue could be due to the oil pump problem that this known in this particular model year. In other cases, it is due to a faulty crankshaft sensor. Several owners have also reported that the engine needs new spark plugs much more frequently than other cars.
  3. One of the most common Kia Forte car complaints seems to be the engine failing to respond to driver input. It does not have a smooth transition and jerks while being given input, although that hints more at Kia Forte transmission problems. On other occasions, it fails to respond completely. However, the Kia Forte engine recall has fixed the problem.
  4. The steering system in this car is also known to cause some issues. There are complaints about the tie rods breaking and one wheel being completely uncontrollable.
  5. The tires that come from the factory have also attracted a few complaints relating to tread separation and blowouts.

Electrical system problems:

  1. The engine start-stop system has been reported to have multiple complaints. Many owners have had to jump-start the car in several locations. Kia Forte starter problems are rare but serious.
  2. The instrument cluster in this car is known to be a common area of failure. It shuts down completely and needs to be replaced.
  3. There is a serious Kia Forte immobilizer problem and the manufacturer has to follow up with necessary updates to stop the issue. Several cars have been stolen and owners have suffered losses.
  4. The gas cap cover release system does not work properly in many cars. Many people have also got warnings regarding the doors being open, even when they were shut.
  5. There was one instance of an electrical fire completely consuming the vehicle.

Exterior problems:

  1. There have been a few instances of complaints about the trunk of the car being open and not being able to shut it. The Kia Forte trunk latch recall has fixed the problem.
  2. There are many complaints about the exterior lights of the car not working. The issues are relating to the indicators, the brake lights, and so on.
  3. One owner reported that the windshield glass cracked while using the wiper.

Safety problems:

  1. There have been multiple accidents owners have had in this car. However, despite the situation, the airbags have failed to deploy and the owners were not saved from injury.
  2. One owner has raised a complaint about the seatbelt material fraying. This will prevent it from securing an occupant properly.

2018 Kia Forte Recalls

S. No.


NHTSA Campaign Number

Issues Noticed

Additional Remarks



January 25, 2022


Airbags may not deploy

The airbag control unit cover can contact the memory chip on the circuit board and damage the circuit. This can prevent airbags from deploying

Dealers will replace the ACU and update the software


August 9, 2021


Trunk emergency release may fail

The emergency release in the trunk failing can result in a person being trapped inside

Dealers will replace the trunk latch assembly


April 13, 2021


Foreign particles can cause the engine oil pump to fail

Foreign particles may get into the oil pump and cause failure, resulting in engine damage

Dealers and replace the oil pan

Should you buy the 2018 Kia Forte?

The Kia Forte is a car that is punching above its class in terms of interiors and convenience features. Its driving manners do not exactly match up to its rivals but still delivers a decent experience. However, in terms of reliability, even though there are a few complaints, Kia has followed it up with an adequate number of recalls. Overall, it is a car we would recommend to our readers.

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