Car sold without spare tire leads to horror for motorist

By on July 31, 2013

Dear Editor:

Last October 2012, I purchased a pre-owned Kia Rio with about 1,000 km. It still had the original warranty, five years or 100,000 km.

Recently I went on a road trip to Calgary from the Okanagan. On the return trip I got a flat tire. I went to the trunk to get the spare and discovered, to my horror, that there was no spare tire in the compartment where there should have been.

The location where the flat occurred was a flat stretch of unshaded highway. The temperature hovered around 40 degrees and the traffic was nonstop. My companions were prepared to change the tire, had there been one, and we could have been on our way in half an hour. As it was, it took us close to two hours to get out of the heat and to a tire repair shop.

The following day I phoned Kia and was told it had been a decision by Kia Canada to no longer put a spare tire in our particular model Kia. Instead they substituted the spare, the jack and the wrench with “tire mobility kit sealant”. It did not work for us, and the tire shop told me that in their experience none of these kits had ever worked to inflate a flat enough to get them to a repair shop.

So if you are thinking of buying act Kia Rio, and it has no spare but only a tire mobility kit sealant, I would suggest caution. Personally I would not buy another Kia Rio without a spare tire.

Lorna McKay

Osoyoos, BC



  1. Barb Haskell

    August 7, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Sorry you had to go through that … thanks for the warning!

  2. Bill Taskinen

    November 18, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Bad idea to not include a temporary spare tire, this is a definate stain on the Kia brand and Kia should consider this a misfire and should send those who purchased a 2013 Rio 5 hatchback a free temporary spare tire kit free of charge to save face. What was Kia thinking!

  3. Jason

    March 27, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Hello. I own a 2012 SX Kia Rio5 w/17″ rims. The same happened to me, except that I knew the car came with this ‘tire mobility sealant kit’. The problem is the kit doesn’t cover all aspects of deflated tire issues. I was coming back through a TN mountain pass, just north of Chattanooga, that was recently treated due to snow and ice. I hit a pot hole that caused the rapid deflation of the tire. Unknowingly, I applied the kit to remedy the issue only to discover that a section of inside of the rim (lip) was bent. So no matter how much sealant I applied or how much air I put in, it was negated by the structural failure of the rim, therefore the kit did not work and added no value to this situation. KIA I think made a big mistake in its decision to go this route assuming: A. that all deflated tire issues are solved by the implementation of the kit and B. that all drivers have cell phones thus are able to contact and have readily available to them a tow truck.

    So, beyond a new tire costing about $180, a new rim: $560 and the associated labor, KIA wants to charge me $181 for a spare tire that “should” have came with the car. Additionally I would add or caution that the tire height, e.g. edge of rim to the top of tire, is very thin, so hitting a hole no deeper than say 2-3 inches can cause this tire/rim combo to fail as did in my case. The fact that KIA chooses not to work with me on the issue (could be a dealer issue, I don’t know) has made my decision a very easy one, I will not buy another KIA product.

    Jason in Georgia
    Dealer, Cobb County KIA

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