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:
86,280 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.

2004 Kia Optima body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 182012


  • 125,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the door lock failed. In addition, the doors would automatically lock once opened with the key fob. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 125,000.

- Bentonville, AR, USA

problem #6

Feb 202015


  • 138,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the driver side door failed to unlock or open. The contact had to get in and out of the vehicle by using the passenger side door. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 138,000.

- Longwood, NC, USA

problem #5

Jun 132014


  • 107,000 miles
Driver side door does not open from inside, even when in 'unlock' position. I drove to work, having no problems opening the door to get into the car, nothing unusual happened during my 15 minute commute. I arrived at work, and was forced to exit the car through the passenger side door. The driver side door will now only open if you use the key and can randomly find the perfect timing of turning the key and pulling the door handle. It is nearly impossible to perform this maneuver from inside the vehicle. Having no ease of access from the driver side front seat of the vehicle poses an extreme safety concern to all those driving similar vehicles. Having performed just cursory research over the past two days, I have come across hundreds of similar accounts from other Kia owners. This is obviously a manufacturing defect, and should be handled as a recall.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #4

Nov 032011


  • miles


The drivers door will not open from the outside or the inside. I have to crawl in from the passenger side and then when I want to get out I have to crawl over and exit from the passenger side. Tried to unlock it with my keyless entry and now it doesn't work. Replaced batteries but still not working. My son kept turning the key in the door and finally got it opened. The next time I drove it the same thing happened. I am tired of having to crawl in and out of my car. I always enjoyed driving my Kia but not anymore.

- Montevallo, AL, USA

problem #3

Jul 242011


  • 85,960 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the driver side door was defective and would not open from neither the inside or outside of the vehicle. The dealer diagnosed that a module inside the door would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was not contacted and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 85, 960 and the current mileage was 86,000.

- Greeg, SC, USA

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problem #2

Nov 272010


  • 116,000 miles
The driver's side door on my 2004 Kia Optima locks itself back when I open it. I can't get in or out the car because the door will not open. I went to get in the car and it would not open. I've had to climb across the center console to get in the car. This is a safety issue for me because it hurts my back everytime I have to do this. This is my only form of transportation so I need to have this fixed. Did an online search to see what the problem could possibly be and found out that I wasn't the only one with this issue. I feel there needs to be a recall on this vehicle to remedy this issue with so many people complaining about the same thing on the same year, make, and model car. Will check back to see what is being done to resolve these issues. If nothing is being done then will seek other avenues to handle this matter.

- Spartanburg, SC, USA

problem #1

Nov 142006


  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the front driver side door would become stuck and he was unable to open the door. The contact would have to exit the vehicle through the passenger side door. The contact stated the vehicle was previously repaired for the failure four years prior to the most recent recurrence. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 32,000 and the current mileage was 98,000.

- Newport News, VA, USA

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