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1.6

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
102,176 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 #20

Oct 212015

Optima

  • 190,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 30 mph in the rain, the vehicle swerved to the right. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the front end needed to be aligned. The vehicle was not repaired because the front subframe was corroded and needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact was made aware of NHTSA campaign number: 09V183000 (suspension); however, the VIN was not included. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 190,000.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #19

Sep 012010

Optima

  • 113,400 miles
The contact owns 2001 Kia Optima. The contact stated that NHTSA campaign id number: 09V183000, suspension: Front was related to the corrosion on the front sub frame of his vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who sprayed an under coating on the bottom to cover the rust, corrosion and replaced the sub frame. After routine maintenance, he found the entire bottom of the vehicle including the fuel well covered with rust again. The vehicle was not taken back to the dealer. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 113,400.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #18

Sep 272010

Optima

  • 50,000 miles
The front frame and many components of my 2001 Kia Optima have completely rusted out. It currently has 50,000 miles on it and has had many problems since I purchased it. Check engine light is pretty much on every day. I was told it was something to do with the gas cap, although that never really came up as the reason, there was more than that- resulting in multiple repairs. The O2 sensor has gone twice, the brakes have corroded so badly my repairman had to hit them off to remove them. I had to replace all of the brake lines since they all rusted out. The airbag light goes on and stays on and noone can figure out why. The silver trim on the back window has fallen off. The paint comes off in random places making weird spots of primer show. The transmission has almost caused an accident numerous times because the car would not accelerate from a stop. Speed sensor was replaced twice. The same headlight goes out almost monthly and is almost impossible to put in and find in stores. Door locks will lock and unlock on their own, locking me in or out of the car. The windows have very weak motors that barely roll up or down. This is a car I bought from a dealership and am still making payments on it. I have taken excellent care of it. I have brought it in for regular service and have spent more than the car is worth on repairs while still making car payments and keeping full coverage insurance. I am very upset because the frame has rotted out and I was told to junk the vehicle by bill Dodge Kia service and then again by the gentleman doing my state inspection today. Kia states there is no recall currently on my VIN #. I find that difficult to understand. I believe this vehicle should be replaced or all the parts that have corroded should be completely replaced free of charge by Kia motor co.

- North Waterboro, ME, USA

problem #17

Feb 172010

Optima

  • 113,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Kmc's recall campaign no. SC075 the sub frame on our Kia Optima 2001 has rusted through this caused the lower control arm and strut to collapse inward pinning the wheel at 45 degree angle and damaging the tire. The car is undrivable. Kia says they will only honor the damages in a northern state.... that uses road salt but we live on the gulf coast that is also a slat hazard area.

- Richwood, TX, USA

problem #16

Nov 102009

Optima

  • 138,000 miles
While driving my 2001 Kia Optima on North interstate 65 to Indiana, in four lane traffic my Kia right front wheel nearly came off due to corrosion of the sub-frame and lower wheel control arm causing separation. My husband and I could have both been kill along with many other people. I loved my car and I praise the Kia, now they don't care about me or other people in Kentucky. They want fix my car but most of the states around my state is doing so, they are thousands of recalls on all other car's I am sending a letter to the president of the U.S.a. I will not stop until ky or Kia is allowing vehicle in ky not be in the recalls. Tells me people in ky just don't matter to Kia or ky, we are people to, and this car would have last me a life time I am sure if this had not happen. Just because my VIN number was not in the system, even though 2001 - 2004 Kia Optima has been recall ky lags behind and does not care about me. My car is just junk now and I can not buy another. I will continue to spread the word about how they are treating me I will never give up.

- Cave City, KY, USA

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problem #15

Nov 102009

Optima

  • 138,000 miles
While driving my 2001 Kia Optima on North interstate 65 to Indiana, in four lane traffic my Kia right front wheel nearly came off due to corrosion of the sub-frame and lower wheel control arm causing separation. My husband and I could have both been kill along with many other people. I loved my car and I praise the Kia, now they don't care about me or other people in Kentucky. They want fix my car but most of the states around my state is doing so, they are thousands of recalls on all other car's I am sending a letter to the president of the U.S.a. I will not stop until ky or Kia is not allowing vehicle in ky not be in the recalls. Tells me people in ky just don't matter to Kia or ky, we are people to, and this car would have last me a life time I am sure if this had not happen. Just because my VIN number. Was not in the system, even though 2001 - 2004 Kia Optima has been recall ky lags behind and does not care about me. My car is just junk now and I can not buy another. I will continue to spread the word about how they are treating me I will never give up.

- Cave City, KY, USA

problem #14

Jan 092008

Optima

  • 62,728 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

We have a 2001 Kia Optima and our wheels caved in because the sub frame rusted out cost us $2,500. They refused to warranty it. We submitted request for compensation feeling it should be covered especially on a car with only 49,000 miles. They refused. Now a recall has been issued and yet they are dragging there feet. It has been another 6 months now and still nothing. I feel we should all band together and file a class action suit against Kia for issues and there poor handling of there car owners.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #13

Jun 192009

Optima

  • 171,479 miles
I noticed my 2001 Kia Optima pulling to the left so I took my vehicle in for a wheel alignment. The technician stated he could not perform the alignment because the subframe was rusted and had a fist size hole in the passenger side of the subframe. The vehicle is currently at a Kia dealership. The service manager said the subframe needs to be replace. He ordered the subframe, but a week later said he is unable to complete the job since my VIN number does not match one of the vehicles that have been part of the recall. I'm waiting to here from Kia Corp. To determine if the vehicle will be included in the recall. The car is said to be unsafe to drive because the right tire has buckled in.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #12

May 312009

Optima

  • 107,000 miles
Was driving into my driveway when the car pulled severely to the right. Upon inspection, the subframe was totally rusted on the passenger side. Below front wheel.car is undriveable.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #11

May 172009

Optima

  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 25 mph, the contact drove over a small pothole and the vehicle lurched. He noticed that the steering wheel appeared crooked. He went to a repair shop and the mechanic stated that the subframe was rotted and needed to be replaced at the cost of approximately $2,500. The dealer stated that they could not assist unless prompted by the manufacturer. The manufacturer stated that they could not assist unless the dealer chose to assist. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were approximately 94,000.

- Chesterton, IN, USA

problem #10

May 142009

Optima

  • 83,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. While performing an oil change on the vehicle, the mechanic noticed that the frame was rusting. The manufacturer advised the contact to take the vehicle to a dealer to see if they could repair it under warranty. The contact feels that it is unsafe for rust to form on a vehicle that was manufactured in 2001. The current and failure mileages were 83,000.

- Ardsley, NY, USA

problem #9

Apr 162009

Optima

  • 133,000 miles
Front subframe has completely rusted out causing the car to be undrivable. This occurred just as the car was pulled into the driveway. Otherwise it could have been a complete disaster.

- Independence, KY, USA

problem #8

Feb 252009

Optima

  • 95,200 miles
I have a 2001 Kia Optima which has had a very bad vibration for a long time. Taken to multiple shops and problem could not be found at any of them. Just recently steering wheel of car became off center and the more I drove it the worse it got. Finally it was taken to a shop to find that the front subframe has broken where the lower control arm mounts to it. Car is now marked as unsafe to drive. Called Kia customer service to find out that the car is out only by time not mileage of its corrosion warranty. Kia customer service of no help. Car is very unsafe to drive. L/F wheel is completely loose at lower half and R/F is cracked badly.

- Souderton, PA, USA

problem #7

Nov 062008

Optima

  • 56,212 miles
I purchased my vehicle on 10/20/08. Upon purchase, private dealer notified me of a recall on the vehicle. Vehicle was taken in to the local Kia dealership on 10/24/08 and recall SC037 was performed. Upon pickup of vehicle, I was notified by Kia dealership of recommendations listed on service invoice. On 11/06/08 vehicle was taken to my regular mechanic for inspection and service for items on the recommendation list from Kia dealership. Upon lifting the vehicle up in the air to research one of the Kia dealerships recommendations a softball size hole was found rusted in the sub frame where the lower control arm is to be attached. When Kia dealership was notified about the hole and said they wouldn't have lifted car up. Kia motors America was phoned and told about situation and treatment by Kia dealership. Kia motors America told me to take vehicle back in to dealership to have a diagnosis on vehicle and to call back and I was given a name, extension number and a case number. I had to tow the vehicle back in to the Kia dealership and they looked at it and said they never saw the hole previously but here's an estimate for us to fix it. I contacted my mechanic and asked what his estimate would be to fix it and how much the part would be, and if this was something that could be gotten from a salvage yard. The local salvage yards were already phoned and the same thing was wrong with those parts and this is a common problem with Kia vehicles. I ordered the part from the Kia dealership, it is called a crossmember. I have had my mechanic replace it, I have had to get two new tires, a front end alignment and have asked Kia motors America to reimburse me for this. They are now saying they have no record of my purchase of the part although I have given them my invoice number. I still have the old part and the originals of all my invoices.

- Walkerton, IN, USA

problem #6

Nov 032008

Optima

  • 123,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. While the contact was replacing the timing belt on the vehicle, an automotive technician entered the shop and asked if he experienced a corroding subframe. He performed a visual inspection, but it yielded no results. The technician then performed a physical inspection and discovered that the subframe was corroded. The manufacturer advised him to take pictures of the vehicle and submit them for inspection. The dealer stated that they were not liable for the repairs. The VIN was unknown. The current mileage was 123,105 and failure mileage was 123,000.

- Heath, OH, USA

problem #5

Oct 152008

Optima

  • 99,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. While driving at an unknown speed, the contact felt the vehicle pulling to the right. She drove to a repair shop and the mechanic stated that the front passenger side wheel and subframe were corroded and cracking. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 99,000.

- St Clairsville, OH, USA

problem #4

Aug 082005

Optima

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. While driving over a bump at an unknown speed or turning the steering wheel to the right, the contact heard a loud clunking noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer six separate times. The rotors, brakes, bearings, bushings, and tires were replaced; however, the failure still persisted. Approximately one year later, the vehicle was taken in for an alignment. The tire separated from the frame and a pile of rust was found underneath the front passenger side tire. The vehicle had to be towed because the front passenger side engine cradle was completely rusted and the driver's side was barely hanging on to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Orange, MA, USA

problem #3

Oct 032008

Optima

  • 61,000 miles
I took my 2001 Kia Optima, V6, 61,000 miles, to a quick lube place for an oil change. While attendant was changing the oil, he showed me several holes and cracks in the subframe where it had rusted through. Seems odd for a low-mileage, garage-kept, 7 year old car and, of course, it's not covered under warranty.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #2

Aug 212008

Optima

  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the brake line in his vehicle was leaking. He took the vehicle to a local mechanic and it was discovered that the K frame was severely rusted. The passenger side of the vehicle is much more damaged than the driver's side; however, both sides of the frame are rusting. The mechanic advised the contact to have the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was unable to assist. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 78,000 and current mileage was 78,500.

- Zanesville, OH, USA

problem #1

Mar 102008

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,500 miles
Car hesitated once or twice upon acceleration, could not recreate problem. 1 week ago, while trying to pull out of the garage, car would not go into gear. When car finally went into gear car would not move unless accelerator pedal was pushed to the floor, and even then barely any movement. Took car to Kia dealership, three days later dealership called, the transmission needs to be replaced. Dealership said it had to "fight" with the factory rep to have the transmission covered under the warranty, even though I provided proof of maintenance. Dealership ordered new transmission, when prepping car for the new transmission a "hole was found in the subframe", that is not covered under warranty and the transmission cannot be put in the car with the hole in the subframe at a cost of $1,800. Dealership cannot explain how a garage kept 7 year old car has a hole in the subframe.

- Ingleside, IL, USA

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