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.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,568 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.

2002 Kia Optima accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2002 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #9

Oct 062008


  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the actuator door locks for the front driver and passenger doors failed. The contact stated that the window was used in order to enter the vehicle. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. The the front passenger actuator was repaired previously. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Canyon Lake, TX, USA

problem #8

Feb 152014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Front door fails to unlock after multiple attempts. Door must be unlocked with a key, using the power locks or manually flipping the door lock doesn't do it, and the key only unlocks it approximately 1 out of every 20 tries. There are multiple complaints about this online, see for instance:

- Fall River, MA, USA

problem #7

May 282012

Optima 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the front driver's side door would not unlock with the key fob or manually. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The mechanic stated the door lock motor would have to be replaced. After the repair, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #6

Jul 262011

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Kia Optima. The contact stated the front drivers side door would not open after it was locked. The driver was forced to enter and exit the vehicle by climbing out of the window. The dealer was notified; however, the vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileage was 43,000. Once the driver side door is locked it cannot be unlocked for the inside or using a key for the outside. After working the lock for sometime it may unlock or stay locked. What we do now is to leave the car unlocked which is not the best idea. The problem is not getting into the car but getting out. No recall from Kia. Updated 10/26/2011

- Horseheads, NY, USA

problem #5

May 232011


  • 161,000 miles
Door locks when using the door handle to open the door after the door has been unlocked using key or keyless entry. So far only been locked out of the car, but concerned I will be locked in the car at some point.

- York, PA, USA

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problem #4

Sep 132010


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the drivers side door would not unlock by using the key or the keyless entry. The contact had to entered through the passenger side of the vehicle in order to unlock the drivers side door. The dealer nor the manufacturer were notified of the failure. The contact was concerned about the safety issue being addressed by the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 25,000.

- Cherryville, NC, USA

problem #3

Jan 102009


  • 75,095 miles


Was locked inside vehicle. After climbing out window, was locked out of vehicle. The door would unlock with key then when you try to open door it locks itself, even with key still in door. When this happens door will not open by manual use of locks either.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #2

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 it legal for a dealership to sell a vehicle like this.

- Sanford, FM, USA

problem #1

Apr 272008


  • 102,000 miles
2002 Kia Optima -- when you unlock the doors either manually or with key fob and attempt to open the passenger door it immediately locks and does not allow you to exit the vehicle. It locks from both inside and outside of vehicle. This incident has happened in the past approximately April of 2005 with the exception it also included the driver door. Had to climb out of window to exit vehicle.

- Byron, MN, USA

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