Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,425 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2001 Kia Optima body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2001 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #4

Oct 172012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 210,000 miles


As I was leaving my neighborhood, my car drifted to the right and fell on top of the right front tire. After inspection of the car, we noticed that there was a hole in the subframe where the suspension broke apart. Insurance informed me of recall SC075 and not Kia. Insurance will not cover because of recall and Kia will not cover because they did not recall it, they say.

- Boiling Springs, SC, USA

problem #3

Feb 122008

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,700 miles
On February 12, 2008 my car began to drive very erratically with snow on the road. It was difficult to keep the car from steering off the road. It wasn't just road conditions. I thought something was broke. I took the car to the shop the same day. Initially the technician stated I need and alignment. I had just got 4 new tires and alignment in December 2007. I stated this condition just started today. The technician when back and inspected the car in more detail. He returned an said that the alignment could not be done to get it within specifications. He took me to the lift where the car was and showed me why the car could not be aligned. The lower control arm assembly was separating from the sub frame or engine cradle of the car, because the frame was completely rusted through. He technician stated this wasn't in a very safe condition. He also noted a 7 years old should not show this type of decay in a major structural component. I asked the technician to get the alignment as close to the manufacturers specification so I return home safe. Internet research shows the replacement part costing $1400. The engine and steering components attached to this part. I will be contacting the local Kia dealer for a labor cost estimate. An internet search shows that other owners have experienced this problem.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #2

Nov 032007

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
On November 3, 2007 my wife and daughter brought our 2001 Kia Optima to atlantic Kia in lindenhurst NY for an oil change and wheel alignment. After waiting several hours, my wife was told that the alignment could not be done on the car due to a problem with the tires, and to bring the car back to where the tires were purchased. The tires are 4 months old. She then brought the car to pep boys in patchogue, NY. They said they would inspect the tires and offered to do the alignment. After several more hours, a technician brought my wife to the lift where the car was and showed her why the car could not be aligned. The lower control arm assembly was separated from the frame of the car, because the frame was completely rusted through. The only thing holding the right side of the car up was the tire. The tech then told her that the car should not be driven and asked where the dealer was located. Since the dealer is located about 20 miles from that shop, my wife was told that she could not drive it there, the car was very unsafe. Atlantic Kia was notified of this on Sunday, November 4th. She was told to call back on Monday the 5th. She did, and was given rude and unacceptable treatment from the service manager. She was allowed to drive a hazardous vehicle from the dealer and then in turn was treated very badly. Atlantic Kia wants to take no responsibility for the car even though it has been there for other problems in the past.

- Holbrook, NY, USA

problem #1

Feb 172004

Optima 6-cyl

  • miles
While driving at any speed, the check engine light appeared on the dashboard intermittently. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealership for inspection, but the dealer was unable to resolve the problem. The button on the shift lever popped out. The warning light had come on due to an open circuit and the seal on the gas cap was deformed, there was a rattle coming from the rear ash tray, the front window was inoperative due to a tangle wire in the drum, there were engine/electrical problems due to the oxygen sensors and crank sensors, the ABS light had come on, the console lid was loose due to cracked screw holes, there was a body electrical problem with the driver side regulator, there was poor sound in the radio due to an open circuit. The air bag light illuminated.

- Martinsville, VA, USA

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