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.

3.0

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,567 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.

2009 Kia Optima engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #7

Oct 022015

Optima

  • 100,000 miles

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

The contact owned a 2009 Kia Optima. While driving 35 mph, another motorist notified the contact that the undercarriage of the vehicle was on fire. The contact coasted to the side of the road and noticed smoke and flames under the hood of the vehicle. The fire department extinguished the fire. A police report was filed and there were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to a tow lot. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Atlantic Beach, FL, USA

problem #6

May 062013

Optima

  • miles
The light has been on since the middle of 2013 and the dealership when asked during each oil change is we will check it out. Ever since I have purchased this vehicle there has been problems with this vehicle.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #5

Apr 152011

Optima 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
I have the same problem as other describe here. I had this issue in 2011 when slowing down from 10 mile speed (believe). Dealer fixed with programming (as they said). Now recently last three month happening exactly like following post. I have contacted dealer and have appointment this week. (see what happens..) =========================== late last year (2014) in our Kia Optima 2009 got some transmission issue which is difficult to explain for. To me it looks like a manufacturing defect which Kia must resolve. This is what I experienced: In 2014 October, I started feeling a heavy jolt/jerk whenever I used the car and the engine is cold. The jolt is so strong that every passenger noticed it. This happens only when I try to slow down the car and it gets near to 20 mphr. So the factors are: 1. cold 2. downshift 3. speed 20 mphr on slippery roads it may be very dangerous which can lead to major injuries. Kia must accept this dangerous manufacturing defect before it start taking lives. It is very annoying issue too, it is always on my mind while driving which is causing distraction while driving. Kia must take an action instead of sitting quite. They must issue recall this to fix this dangerous issue. NHTSA also should support all the people with same problem so that people can believe their safety standards. I took my car 2-3 times there and explained the issue, but they could not fix it so far. If Kia's own dealers cannot fix this problem then who will? thanks for reading my complaint against Kia!

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #4

Oct 012014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles

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

Late last year (2014) in our Kia Optima 2009 got some transmission issue which is difficult to explain for. To me it looks like a manufacturing defect which Kia must resolve. This is what I experienced: In 2014 October, I started feeling a heavy jolt/jerk whenever I used the car and the engine is cold. The jolt is so strong that every passenger noticed it. This happens only when I try to slow down the car and it gets near to 20 mphr. So the factors are: 1. cold 2. downshift 3. speed 20 mphr on slippery roads it may be very dangerous which can lead to major injuries. Kia must accept this dangerous manufacturing defect before it start taking lives. It is very annoying issue too, it is always on my mind while driving which is causing distraction while driving. Kia must take an action instead of sitting quite. They must issue recall this to fix this dangerous issue. NHTSA also should support all the people with same problem so that people can believe their safety standards. I took my car 2-3 times there and explained the issue, but they could not fix it so far. If Kia's own dealers cannot fix this problem then who will? thanks for reading my complaint against Kia!

- Troy, OH, USA

problem #3

Apr 022013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
The vehicle had three expensive problems in rapid succession. The first was the transmission which started a severely hard downshift on braking from about 25 mph. The whole car shuddered and felt as if we slammed on the brakes for a second. After troubleshooting, Kia told us we needed a new transmission for $2700 with no help from Kia. After this repair, not even two weeks later, the air bag light came on. Diagnosis from Kia, defective sensor in the passenger seat, not covered by warranty and a $1500 replacement estimate. We decided not to fix this item because we were going to trade the car in on another make and cut our losses. The third problem which occurred one week later was a failure to start after parking the car for an hour at a doctor's office, stranding my wife in 95 degree heat. The car was towed to a non-Kia repair shop as I no longer want anything to do with Kia who will deny any claim against their so-called quality products and will be disposing of the car as soon as it is running again since Kia does not stand behind its defective products. After three major failures in a short period of time we feel this is an unsafe vehicle.

- Spotswood, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jan 302013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
After returning from work and parking my vehicle at home, the car sat in my driveway in 40 degree weather for approximately 12 hrs. I woke up the next morning and found my car on fire and is a total loss. The police and fire department were called and dispatched to my home. The fire department extinguished the fire and determined it was probably an electrical fire. There is no remote starter installed or any other accessories installed in the vehicle after purchase. The fire started in the engine compartment and started spontaneously, perhaps due to a manufacturer defect in the electrical system. I was about an hour away from leaving with this car to return to my office and I am concerned it could of started while I was in it, perhaps causing injuries or death. I am also concerned that if this could happen to me, that there are other vehicles with the same faulty electrical system and it could happen to someone else. I believe Kia has a hidden manufacturing defect as was described in my incident, and its very possible it exists on other Kia vehicles. Please take my concerns seriously and I think Kia needs to look into this matter asap. Although the car is damaged beyond repair, I welcome and encourage Kia to take the vehicle back to assure it doesn't happen again to anyone else. Updated 03/12/13

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #1

Mar 212011

Optima 4-cyl

  • 18,970 miles
The first signs of any trouble with the vehicle started in February/March of 2011 when the shifting on the vehicle was erratic on takeoff and especially bad when the vehicle was slowing down, roughly shifting in and out of gear. It took two occasions to "fix" the issue even though a few weeks later the shifting appeared to subside it still had the occasional issue on take-off. The issue progressively got to the point when I lost total engine power while crossing lanes of traffic, almost getting hit. I stepped on the accelerator but no matter what I did I could not get the vehicles RPM??S above 1500 (about 5mph). Took it to the dealership where they stated they "fixed the problem". returned to driving the vehicle until my wife had the same issue happen to her about 9 days later coming within inches of getting hit while turning into a business. Took the vehicle back again and was told it was "fixed" two days later. Started it up the day after it was returned and had the loss of power issue again. Beside the power loss even the shifting continued to be rough and erratic. Returned it yet again to the dealership and was told it was fixed. Customer service did not take my safety concerns seriously. I am still unsure of the status of the vehicle and I am very concerned about the safety of this vehicle. I will find other means of transportation until this vehicle is returned. Beware that the power loss can happen at any time creating very serious driving conditions that could lead to accident or injury.

- Williamstown, NY, USA

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