It isn’t simply the Stinger. As you can see from the linked searches above, individuals get the car model right (for example, the excellent Kia Carnival minivan), but they can’t pick out the automaker’s name from the logo.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, Google Trends reveals a similar-timed increase in searches for the same topic.
If Kia truly wanted to solve its logo identification problem, it could make a few design compromises to help clear up the confusion.
However, there is one advantage. The search engine Gods appear to have accepted the mistake, for if you Google “KN Car,” the top result is Kia—Bing and DuckDuckGo rank Kia slightly lower, but still on the front page. In fact, one might claim that Kia understood precisely what it was doing and welcomed the logo style in order to profit from keyword misspelling marketing. Not only did the brand transform the design of its vehicles to the point that consumers couldn’t tell a Kia from a wholly imaginary car brand, but it also elevated its image from a bargain basement to a household brand.