Korean automaker Kia has produced the Sedona minivan since 1999 and has offered it for sale in the U.S. since 2003. Redesigned for the 2006 model year, the Sedona continues to be among the lowest-priced minivan options in the North American market in 2009. Despite relatively good reviews and reliability ratings, the Sedona is known for a series of problems that owners and potential buyers should be aware of.
One of the most commonly cited problems with the Kia Sedona involves its braking system. Early models used front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, with many owners experiencing worn brake pads and shoes, vibration during braking or excessive noise. In its 2009 version, the Sedona is available with four-wheel disc brakes. Problems with Sedona disc brakes can include worn rotors that need resurfacing, adding to the cost of routine brake maintenance.
Ignition and Starting
Other problems with the Sedona involve difficulty in starting the engine. In some cases, a problem with the steering column makes it difficult or impossible to insert the key. Other ignition issues result in not being able to turn the key once it is inserted, or not being able to remove it once the car is shut off. Problems with the electrical system have been known to prevent the Sedona from starting, regardless of the key position. Most of these ignition issues are intermittent and can be repaired easily.
Throttle Position Sensor
Kia Sedonas are also known for problems involving the throttle position sensor. This is an electronic sensor located in the engine that regulates the amount of fuel used for combustion. Problems with the throttle position sensor can lead to the Sedona stalling while idling or driving, or uneven engine operation resulting in a lack of power or bucking during acceleration. Problems with the throttle position sensor can be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms are similar to those of faulty spark plugs or other common engine problems.
Some Sedona models are equipped with power automatic sliding side doors. These doors are notorious for experiencing a range of mechanical problems. In some cases the sliding doors fail to respond to the "close" button on the key fob, or close but then immediately reopen. The same problem can happen when the door is closed by using the internal button, or when closing it manually. Door problems may be a result of a faulty door motor, but are more often attributable to an electrical malfunction in the control mechanism. Doors that will not close or remain closed pose a serious safety risk.
The Sedona has been the subject of a number of recalls by Kia. Several such recalls, mainly involving Sedonas from the early 2000s, involve the seats or seat belts. In 2005, over 89,000 Sedonas were recalled to repair the speed control wiring, while a 2006 recall affecting over 13,000 vehicles dealt with a brake issue. Other Sedona recalls have been enacted for problems with anti-lock brakes, the rear liftgate, the electrical system and the engine cooling system.