A local woman said her new car left her stranded several times, and she spent months trying to get the issue fixed.
Lizette Senti purchased a new 2020 KIA Sportage in July 2019. But within the first year of ownership, she said she started to notice issues with the vehicle.
“It just glides. After it shakes, it glides and shuts off,” Senti said.
Responding to every consumer complaint
She told NBC 6 Responds the car shut off four different times while she was driving.
“When I turn it on, it will shake like it is about to die,” Senti said. “I feel it on the steering wheel. I feel like the whole car is about to shake.”
She said each time the malfunction happened, her dashboard lit up and the car stalled.
“Every time I sit in the car, my nerves are on edge just not knowing when it is going to happen,“ Senti said.
Senti said she took the car back to the dealership where she bought it. But according to service reports provided to NBC 6 Responds, the technician was either “unable to duplicate customers concerns” or reported what was described as “misfires” and spark plugs were replaced.
She said she called NBC 6 Responds for help after five trips to the dealership without a fix to her problem.
“I watch you guys all the time so I said, ‘let me reach out to you guys and see what you could do for me,’” Senti said.
NBC 6 Responds searched the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s database and didn’t find any complaints or investigations reporting similar issues with other 2020 KIA Sportage vehicles.
“I just want a new car, a car that I am paying for, that I am driving, and that I feel safe to get on the expressway,” Senti said.
Weeks after we reached out to KIA Motors America, Senti told us she accepted an offer from the company.
“Kia Motors America (KMA) is pleased to have resolved the issue the customer experienced with her 2020 Sportage," KIA said in a statement on Tuesday. "KMA takes customer concerns seriously and works directly with our customers to resolve issues in a satisfactory manner. Kia customers with questions regarding their Kia vehicle should contact KMA’s Consumer Assistance Center directly at 1-800-333-4542 (4Kia).”
Florida’s Lemon Law does offer consumers some relief, but in order to qualify, you must report the issue within the first 24 months of buying or leasing a new car and have a record that you tried to fix the issue a “reasonable” number of times.
For more information on how to file a complaint for relief under the Lemon Law, you can click here.
Editor's Note (March 16) - This story has been updated with a new statement from KIA Motors.