really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,017 miles

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problem #12

Oct 152017


  • 219,000 miles
The contact owned a 2002 Kia Optima. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle hydroplaned and crashed into a tree. The air bags failed to deploy. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed and towed. The dealer was not contacted and the manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 219,000.

- Adairsville, GA, USA

problem #11

Oct 012010


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #10

Jul 052008


  • 86,020 miles
After buying the vehicle from a auto dealer between July 2 and July 5...this vehicle began to have many problems like the audio receiver switch from radio to cd on its own, doors locks on its own, RPM runs to 4000 going 45mph after a hard jerk assuming that I was hit by a other car the air bag light came on after that 2 hard jerks while driving, ,(they didn't even deployed) can not pump gas due to fuel keeps over flowing when its barely empty....its been a living ?!@#$% and I'm still paying for the car....is it legal for a dealership to sell a vehicle like this.

- Sanford, FM, USA

problem #9

Jun 272007

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
I purchased a low mileage Kia Optima two years ago. Shortly after purchasing this car the airbag light deployed. I took it to my local dealer service dept @ gwinnett place Kia in duuth ga who at no charge made the light go off. Driving out of the dealership the light came back on and they again corrected whatever it was that was making the light appear, assuring me just because the airbag light is on it will deploy and it is fine. Two more time in the next few months for no reason again the light would appear and again I returned to the dealership. The last time 9 months agto when they installed a new airbag as they advise they did not know what was causing the light to come on agaim reassuring me just because the light was on the airbag would still deploy. I was frustrated at that point and although the light was on a few days later again, I felt assured I was in no danger and planned to trade in the car in the near future. Now it is the same problem and when I took my car to a mechanic whom I trust and who is a teacher of auto mechanics at a local college, he informed me today they gave me the run around, assuring me this is regulated by the federal govenment and I am not safe; as long as the airbag light is on my airbag will not deploy at the time of an accident. I am now fearful Kia hasl argued with me that despite the records of the mumerous times I have sought help from them for the same problem, the car is now over the 50K warranty and it is not their responsibility. They want to charge me $50 to just look at it and from there will charge me like anyone else. This is outrageous. I'm a single mom with kids and need to be safe. I will never purchase another Kia products again and am considering hiring an attorney to intervene for me to resolve this. They never "fixed" the problem to begin with and now want me to pay?

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #8

Jul 062006

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
: the contact stated that there were two accidents with the vehicle where the air bag did not deploy. In the first accident, in 2003, none of the airbags deployed. In the second of these accidents which was more severe, the vehicle was totaled, and none of the airbags deployed either. In the both accidents, the occupant were wearing their seatbelts however the contact expressed concern that there must be a problem air bag sensor of the vehicle.

- Zavalla, TX, USA

problem #7

Jun 142006

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
: the contact stated the airbag light illuminated and the vehicle was taken to the dealership. The dealership determined the driver side seat needs to be replaced.

- Duluth, MN, USA

problem #6

Dec 262005

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
: the contact stated the driver side airbag deployed without warning while driving 35mph. The driver seat belt was in use at the time of the incident and the brakes were not being applied. The sudden deployment of the airbag startled the contact and the steering wheel was jerked in reaction to the airbag. The vehicle left the roadway and struck a curb, the vehicle sustained damage to the passenger side and the oil pan was ruptured. The vehicle was towed to a service dealer who determined the air bag sensor/actuator was set too high causing the air bag to deploy prematurely.

- West Burlington, IA, USA

problem #5

Sep 132004

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,185 miles
2002 Kia Optima LX. There is an electrical problem with the vehicle. The lights will start to flicker, and then the vehicle will lose power and shut everything down. When the temperature was around 80-90 degrees and at long distances this problem will happen. The dealership changed the battery twice, the alternator twice, the main wiring harness, and the main computer for the vehicle. This still did not fix the problem. Consumer took vehicle back to the dealership when the power wentout on 7-14-05. This caused consumer's vehicle to run a stop sign, and hit another vehicle, causing both vehicles to be totaled. The brakes went out as a result of the power outage, and could not stop the vehicle. Also, there was no steering. The vehicle was not overheating. The airbags did not deploy. Everything electrical failed with the vehicle. The fire department disconnected both batteries to prevent fire from happening. When they did this it deleted all the codes that would have told dealer what the problem was. The mechanic said that there was battery acid all over the computer, they still were unable to identify the problem. The electrical problems have been happening since purchase. Consumer has contacted the Kia manufacturer at least ten times, complaint numbers for the first was 24306, on 7-18-03, and the last was on 9-13-04, complaint. 56482. When the consumer contacted the manufacture after the accident they said they wanted a copy of the police report and pictures of the vehicle after the accident.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 162004

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving an accident occurred. The vehicle flipped after hitting a pole. Upon impact, the frontal/side air bags did not deploy. The consumer had a diabetic emergency and collapsed at the wehel.

- Wadesboro, NC, USA

problem #3

Aug 302004


  • miles
My 2002 Kia Optima was in an accident on August 30th 2004. My daughter was driving West bound, a school bus driving East bound made a left turn in front of my daughter. She hit the bus at about 50 mph. No air bag deployed. I am interested in knowing if this has happened before. It was a full frontal impact. Thank god for seat belts.

- Monticello, MS, USA

problem #2

Jul 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
Purchased car brand new on April 30, 2003 - incident #1: July 15, 2003, I was traveling about 30-35 miles per hour exiting the mass pike exit at route 30. All traffic was slowing to exit - I applied the brakes - went all the way down - realized that the breaks were not working - panicked - impacted the vehicle in front of me. The airbags did not work. Incident #2: August 8, 2003, when vehicle was repaired the owner of bucci's auto body took the car in the parking lot for a test drive. At about 15 miles per hour - when brakes were applied the front freezed up and the back pushed forward to create a lunge forward effect. I contacted Kia motor America in irvine, ca and have a complaint file number. After about 1 month of doing nothing I demanded, on August 8th, that they tow the car from the body shop to boch Kia (where the car was purchased)and check out the master cylinder/proportionate value system. They did so and on August 12th I was told that an engineer looked at the car and found nothing wrong. Kia refuses to stand accountable and alledges that the vehicle has no problem. I am forced to drive a car that has bad brakes until 2 more incidents happen in order to proceed under the Massachusetts lemon law. Every model of Kia in 2002 has had hydraulic as well as ABS break failure. Seems to me that Kia needs to redesign the braking system - or - perhaps try this new tag line in advertising: Kia - buy our car - just don't ever have to stop fast!

- Lincoln, RI, USA

problem #1

Sep 172003

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Problems with air bag equipment on 2002 Kia Optima. A large piece of rubber had come off the tire of a semi-truck and when the consumer tried to avoid hitting it, he lost control of the vehicle and hit a wall divider.

- University Park, IL, USA