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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,754 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 #11

Apr 132016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2009 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while driving and depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle violently jerked. The contact mentioned that excessive force was required on the brake pedal in order for the vehicle to come to a stop. In addition, the contact stated while approaching a stop sign, the vehicle continued to accelerate while the brake pedal was depressed and failed to stop. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #10

Sep 012014

Optima 6-cyl

  • 88,858 miles
The contact owns 2009 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate from a stop, the vehicle hesitated and suddenly accelerated rapidly. The contact was able to immediately engage the brake pedal and stop the vehicle. The failure was experienced several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the electronic control module needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 88,858...updated 11/17/14

- Maple Grove , MN, USA

problem #9

Jul 092014


  • 83,000 miles
When I brake and slow down my Kia Optima and it gets to 20 mph or lower, it will jerk suddenly as if the transmission is changing abruptly and dangerously. This has been an ongoing issue and not just a recent occurrence.

- East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #8

Dec 312013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 28,500 miles


The car jerks violently forward as it downshifts at approximately 20 mph. The shift is strong enough to throw a person through the windshield if you were not wearing a seat belt. There are many other people with this same issue and Kia should face this issue and recall these cars.. they are dangerous and should be fixed. I could easily see this causing an accident, especially in bad weather.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #7

Mar 042013

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
1st ESC off light came on & stayed on, pressing ESC button did nothing. Cruise control began not working. Brake lights do not work. Blinkers work, but no brake lights. Fuses & bulbs have been checked and none are blown.

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #6

Apr 102012


  • 46,810 miles
The vehicle lurches when slowing down between 2nd gear and 1st gear. The lurch is strong enough to jerk passengers forward in their seats. I took it to the dealership in stamford, ct on April 27, 2012. They replaced the stop lamp switch. The fix lasted until 63,000 miles, almost 9 months later. It is happening again. I took it back to the dealership in plano, tx. They said it was a computer upgrade issue. The upgrade did not fix the problem. Kia is now telling me there is no refund, no fix, and that I'm not part of the recall for this same part on later year models.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 192009

Optima 4-cyl

  • 5 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while accelerating from a traffic stop, the vehicle began to surge forward. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who informed the contact that the vehicle was operating normally. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 5. updated 5/9/13

- Moline, IL, USA

problem #4

Feb 012013


  • 160,000 miles
In the past month I have noticed when coming to a stop and applying the brakes on my 2009 Kia Optima that the car jerks like it doesn't want to stop. I have had my brake pads checked and they are fine. I have however noticed that when I'm coming to a stop and put the car in neutral I stop fine with no jerking. I have taken it to a transmission shop and they have said that their is no problems there and have also called the local Kia dealership to have the problem looked at but they stated that if its something not covered under warranty I have to pay $100 just for them looking at the vehicle regardless if they find the problem or not. I have searched the internet and have seen similar problems with this particular car but no information on what is causing the issue.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #3

Oct 012012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
When braking at 25 miles per hour or less the vehicle has a very hard jerking motion. The way your vehicle jerks can make you overreact and it can cause a serious accident on the road. Noticed that I was not the only 1 having this issue with this vehicle. Went to 2 or 3 different transmission places. They all said the same thing that the vehicle needed some transmission work. Then I looked online and found that several others were having this problem and that the vehicle just needed to be relearned or something like that. Kia said they don't have enough people calling them about this issue therefore it is not a known issue yet I see over 20 to 30 others with the same problem.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #2

Aug 032011


  • 28,116 miles
While driving on a normal day with out rain and good road conditions ESC starts blinking and keeps blinking and the speed keeps going down. Even after flooring the accelerator. This happened 3 times twice after replacing a brake switch that went faulty. Technician at the dealership says that he could not find any code on the vehicle recorded. Really worried of thinking if this happend when I go on to a free way.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #1

Jun 212009


  • miles
Kia motors, 2009, Optima, dashboard, specifically the speedometer, odometer and other components of this area difficult and dangerous to view while driving, creating hazardous driving conditions from speeding too fast to fatal accident because the design defect regarding the inability to see this important element the speed the vehicle is traveling. Also, sold this vehicle with a sticker claiming a misleading statement of content equipped in the vehicle an "eco-minder" that was not or intended to be on the vehicle.

- Bonney Lake, WA, USA

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