Kia's Stinger Has a Big Yellow Problem

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Kia’s Stinger burst onto the automotive landscape in what seems like the rear-drive sedan’s twilight years, enlivening the lower end of the market with its pleasing profile, available twin-turbo V6, and palate of eye-catching colors. It’s one of those colors — Sunset Yellow — that’s causing headaches for the automaker.

Apparently, the Stinger might decide to shed that paint one day.

As reported by Australia’s Car Advice, the vibrant shade is providing Kia with anything but sunny days. There’s now a global stop-sale order on Stingers dressed up in Big Bird’s preferred ensemble, as an oil residue mixed in with the paint isn’t lending itself to proper adhesion.

In other words, chips, cracking, and flaking are all things to look forward to if you’re the owner of a yellow Stinger. The automaker has offered to respray all affected vehicles under warranty. Thankfully for Kia, Sunset Yellow only appeared on a limited edition GT variant, so the price tag for Operation Topcoat won’t be as consequential as if it were a more popular shade. Just 400 of these Stingers were allocated to the U.S. market.

We should probably use this opportunity to take the Stinger’s sales temperature. The first Stingers trickled onto (and off) U.S. dealer lots last November and reached a monthly high in May, when 1,761 of the rear- or all-wheel-drive Koreans found American suitors. June saw 1,579 sales, bringing the year-to-date total to 8,638 vehicles.

On a YTD basis, these figures make the Stinger — something of a niche vehicle in today’s market, but one with five-passenger, liftback utility — the third worst-selling vehicle in Kia’s stable, though its sales are more than double that of the front-drive Cadenza, which pulled in 3,301 buyers in 2018. Don’t get us started about the K900.

Put another way, the Stinger’s TYD sales are a tad more than that of the Lexus LS and GS, combined.

In Canada, a country with a population one-tenth that of the U.S., sales are almost exactly one-tenth of America’s tally. Over the first six months of 2018, some 876 Stingers invaded driveways in the Great White North.

[Image: Miami Lakes Kia/ YouTube, Kia Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Labelnerd Labelnerd on Jul 16, 2018

    I actually own a silver 2.0 and it is the extremely fun to drive with no paint issues. I’ve seen the yellow up close and it is just a plain, dull yellow, not metallic, pearlescent or otherwise appealing in any way. But then again I guess those getting yellow don’t necessarily care about that detail since it is definitely eye-catching regardless. Also.....Kia is sending offers to the yellow owners offering to repaint the entire car or buy it back plus extra cash. I don’t think BMW or Audi would do that without being sued first.

  • Hifi Hifi on Jul 24, 2018

    It's a Kia. When they're good, they're good. But when they're bad, watch out. All of them deteriorate at a very fast clip.

    • Labelnerd Labelnerd on Jul 24, 2018

      Like most on here you obviously haven’t driven a Stinger.

  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh Market saturation .. nothing more
  • Lou_BC I've been considering a 2nd set of tires and wheels. I got stuck in some gooie mud that turned my Duratrac's to slicks. I personally would stick to known brands and avoid Chinesium knock-offs.
  • Carson D How do you maximize profits when you lost $60K on every vehicle you produce? I guess not producing any more vehicles would be a start.
  • Carguy949 You point out that Rivian and Tesla lack hybrids to “bring home the bacon”, but I would clarify that Tesla currently makes a profit while Rivian doesn’t.
  • Cprescott I'm sure this won't matter to the millions of deceived Honduh owners who think the company that once prided itself on quality has somehow slipped in the real world. Same for Toyoduhs. Resting on our Laurel's - Oh, what a feeling!