2018 Kia Forte Trunk Won’t Open: 7 Reasons Why Car Trunks Don’t Work

Kia Forte is notorious for having a bad trunk door. In this article we explore why 2018 Kia Forte trunk won’t open and what you can do about it.

In September 2021, South Korean automobile manufacturer KIA Motors recalled 253,074 Kia Forte models. The reason? Some of the cars from the 2016 and 2018 series had a problem with their trunk latch, which is an integral part of the passenger’s safety feature. 

If you have been driving a Kia and have run into this problem, there should be a few things you should know about. Read on to find out the problem with this car and what you can do about it. 

2018 Kia Forte Trunk Won't Open

Kia Forte – What Are The Problems?

One of the first problems you will run into if your car’s trunk lid has a problem is the failure to open and close the lid. This means that if you are trying to open the trunk with too much pressure, the trunk lock may be jammed, and you may not be able to open the trunk lid. 

Other than this, older Kia models had complaints about the oil pump that led to engine damage in the cars. Though most of these cars were successful in the market, the 2016 models had been the main subject of complaints. 

Why Is The Car Trunk Not Opening?

Whether you are using a Kia Forte or any other car, there are a number of reasons that can cause your trunk not to open. Most of the time it is because of an external problem in the car or forgetting the keys inside, or the trunk getting damaged over time. 

Keys Getting Locked Inside

Forgetting your keys in the car or the trunk of your car is something most of us repeatedly do. While this can be harmless in most cases, if the keys fall inside the trunk and you close it, there is a chance you might not be able to open it quickly. 

In this case, there is nothing much left for you to do except to wait for a replacement key. You can also get in your car and find the trunk release behind your rear seats, which should give you access to the inside of your trunk. As a worst-case scenario, you may have to break open the trunk lid. 

Lock Is Broken

If the lock of your trunk is broken due to some reason, do not think much about it and bring your car to a locksmith. You also have the choice of getting in your car, lowering the seats in the second row, and getting access to the trunk from inside. But it is suggested that when the lock of a trunk is broken, do not try to jimmy the lock with different things, which may make the process more complicated.


2018 Kia Forte Trunk Won't Open

The latch of the trunk broken

The latch of a trunk can break due to a number of reasons, like if the rear end of the trunk is damaged due to an accident or you have slammed the trunk too hard. Once the latch is broken, the trunk will not close all the way through. 

The latch works as a hinge on the car’s trunk, closing it all the way through. But when it is broken, it will not open, and you will have to fix the latch to get the system working again.

Problem With The Keyfob

If the keyfob of your trunk is unresponsive for some reason, the trunk will not open. This is a problem with older car models as newer car models have a smart lock feature that gives you trunk access from your dashboard. 

If your keyfob is not working, try to use the manual release button, which can help you open the trunk directly. Otherwise, you will have to go to the locksmith to get the lock fixed.

The trunk Cable is damaged

Several car models depend on the trunk lever to operate, and there is no handle outside the trunk. Usually, there is a button or key that you can use to open and close the trunk, which is connected to the trunk lever. 

If the cable that connects the lever and the trunk wears out or somehow gets damaged, the connection is lost between two. Once the cable is damaged, there is no way to operate the trunk, and it will not open unless fixed. 

Actuator is malfunctioning

When the main actuator – that works on a small motor system connected with the lock – gets damaged, it will directly affect the trunk. You will not be able to operate the locking system, and sometimes, this will also mess with your vehicle’s doors opening and closing. 


2018 Kia Forte Trunk Won't Open


The locking mechanism is broken

Most modern car models have a trunk lock button on the keys or directly on the vehicle’s dashboard. This has a signal known as the lock actuator that locks the trunks of the car along with the other doors. 

When this locking mechanism is broken, or the batteries die out, it could affect the trunk’s mechanism. It can also happen that the mechanism locks all the doors except the trunk. In this case, you should get the actuator checked out. 

The best idea to fix a trunk that is not opening is to take it to your mechanic or contact an auto locksmith as soon as the problem arises. If it is an internal problem with the car’s system, it has to be inspected a little more, but luckily, the problem can be solved quickly. 

Is There A Solution To The Problem?

If you have kept your luggage in the trunk of your car or, let’s just say, for some reason, you lock a person inside, it is not a good thought that the trunk of your car is not opening. There are a few solutions to the problem that you can try for yourself before consulting a mechanic.

  • First things first, check the trunk again and see if a little more effort does the trick. In most cases, the trunk gets stuck due to obstructions like dirt or any object getting in the way of the trunk shield or lid. Try to clear it up and reopen the trunk.
  • When you cannot access the lock outside, try to use the interior access. The interior manual release lever, located on the driver’s side of your car, gives you a lever to open the trunk when it is locked from the inside.
  • As a last resort, if nothing works out, go to qualified professionals like an auto locksmith who can manually break and replace the lock. This can be necessary when your car keys are stuck inside the trunk, or they get stuck in the trunk’s lock. It is recommended that you have a locksmith available if your trunk is running into problems frequently. 

In the case of Kia models, there is a new Kia Smart trunk feature that enables the driver to operate the trunk from the dashboard. It decreases the chances of your trunk getting stuck for no apparent reason. Obviously, you don’t have to worry about getting your car to a mechanic or locksmith every time your trunk gets stuck.  


2018 Kia Forte Trunk Won't Open


Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I manually open my Kia Forte trunk?

There are two options you have for opening the Kia Forte trunk from the inside. Firstly, you can use the smart key that is available for the trunk of the car. Otherwise, you have to locate the trunk lid lever, which is under the driver’s seat, and you can release the lever from here. Once you pull up the lever, you can hear the trunk lever pop open. 

Is there a recall on the 2018 Kia Forte trunk latch?

A number of cars were recalled from the 2018 Kia Forte models for their trunk latch problems. This was especially because of the car’s trunk getting stuck or damaged during usage. This was a problem because the trunk could not be opened from the inside.

Why is my back trunk not opening?

If the back trunk of your car is not opening, check for any obstruction or if there is a problem with the trunk release button. You need to put a little more force to pop open the trunk if it is stuck. You can also try the trunk release lever under the driver’s seat. 

Why won’t my trunk open with my key fob?

If the key fob of the trunk is not working, it could be due to the batteries of the component dying out. If the contacts of the keyfob are worn out over time, the buttons stop working, and in turn, the key fob of the trunk will not be able to open the trunk. 


2018 Kia Forte Trunk Won't Open



The car’s trunk is essential when you are going on long journeys or just for storing your things when you are making a trip to the grocery store. If it gets stuck, it can indicate a manufacturing problem or some external issue that can be sorted out easily. Make sure that you contact a professional if the problem becomes frequent. 

We hope this article helps you out with the trunk problem. Thanks for reading!

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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