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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,693 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.

2011 Kia Optima steering problems

steering problem

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2011 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Oct 222015


  • 89,000 miles


Suddenly at 89,000 miles the steering column shaft caused a severe vibrations in the steering wheel at a speed of 50 miles per hour. There was a great deal of play and a clicking sound in the steering wheel while standing or moving. The car is a 2011 car purchased in the month of December of 2011 so it has only been on the road for

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #37

Aug 072014


  • 54,000 miles
The steering wheel makes clunking noise that you feel in steering wheel, left to right play. The vehicle's steering column also rattles loudly over bumps in the road. It is worse in reverse.

- Hamlet, NC, USA

problem #36

Sep 252015


  • 75,000 miles
Steering wheel has a clicking sound when turning. Bought it into a collision center, the technician said that it was a service recall on Optima. He knew that sound before I described it to him. Brake light bulb blows as soon as you put them in. The tech said there was a problem with the electrical system.

- Chalmette, LA, USA

problem #35

Aug 312015


  • miles


While driving on streets or highways at speeds from 10 mph and up, a constant rattle is heard inside the steering column. A loud clunk/rattle is heard if driving over a bump. When turning the steering wheel while parked, there is a thud and a thud is also felt. When taken to dealership, they informed me the steering coupling ring needed to be replaced. The mileage on car when brought to dealer was 63,000(61,000) when apt was initially made. They told me it was a 2 dollar part but would cost 350 to replace it. The warranty for steering wheel parts expired at 60,000 miles. Part was not replaced at that time.

- Meridian, MS, USA

problem #34

Sep 232015


  • 58,000 miles
Steering column feels loose especially when going over bumps in the road or railroad tracks. Going to take it in to be looked at today. It has been doing this for a few months and getting worse when I last drove it on 9/23/15.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #33

Sep 032015


  • 44,850 miles
While backing up from a parking space, heard and felt a low thud on the steering wheel as I turned the wheel to the left and also to the right. While driving speeds about 20-30 mph it appears fine. It is most noticeable at low speeds >10mph and going over bumps of any kind while turning either left or right. It is definitely on the upper steering column close to steering. Making appointment to have Kia dealership to look into this.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #32

Jul 152015


  • 75,000 miles


The steering has 1-2 inches of play in the steering wheel.

- Wesley Chapel, FL, USA

problem #31

Aug 252014


  • 58,652 miles
While sitting with the car running the steering wheel has play and makes a knocking sound while moving the when back and forth. Took the vehicle to my local garage and they thought the problem was in the telescoping linkage from the rack and pion steering but the linkage was fine and tight like its supposed to be. The tech stated it has to be in the steering column. If you drive over a bump you can hear the rattling in the steering wheel.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #30

Aug 102015


  • 99,902 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While driving at various speeds, the steering wheel makes clunking noise, left to right play. The vehicle's steering column also rattles loudly over bumps in the road. Vehicle was taken to the dealer. The dealer stated that the steering coupling ring needed to be replaced, $350 repair.

- Ocoee, FL, USA

problem #29

Jul 242015


  • 108,000 miles
When driving on the highway 55mph or higher steering wheel has a loud knock and pulls left. It is very dangerous to drive because the steering wheel is uncontrollable. When in park and turning the wheel it makes the knocking noise also. Updated 10/07/15

- Williamston, NC, USA

problem #28

Jul 012014


  • 98,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While making a turn, there was an abnormal noise coming from the steering wheel. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred mostly when making a left turn. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The dealer was informed that there was a manufacturers recall related to the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 98,000.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #27

Sep 062014


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While driving at various speeds and making a turn, the steering wheel made a clicking noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The dealer stated that the steering coupling ring needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- South Miami, FL, USA

problem #26

Jan 252015


  • 82,000 miles
My headlights have gone completely dim. I can't see more than 4 ft in front of my car so no longer drive at night. I have taken it to the Kia dealership here in orlando and they stated this has happened because the heat of the bulb cause the paint in the unit to peel away. I have not had any accidents yet, but have had a few occasions where a car cut me off and another almost ran me off the road because my light to not illuminate. The dealership said since I am no longer under warranty it would cost me $1200 to fix. I have researched and found some forums where other drivers have complained of the same issue for years and nothing has been done. There is also an issue with the steering. There is a clicking noise and rattling when I drive and hit a small bump. I was told by the same dealership that it would cost $400 to fix that $3 piece of plastic that holds that together. If it not fixed in time that the steering would be gone completely. I don't think consumers should have to pay for the manufacturer taking short cuts and using cheap products that cost us tons of money to fix.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #25

Mar 012015


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While driving at an unknown speed and making a turn, the steering wheel made a clicking noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the power steering hose O ring failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 82,000.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #24

Sep 012014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 51,900 miles
The car pulls continuously to the right when riding in a curve going to the right or making a right turn. I spoke to technicians at the dealership where I purchased the car. The issue was supposed to be fixed, but I am still experiencing the same problem.

- Pine Buff, AR, USA

problem #23

Oct 312013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
My car has been pulling to the left every since I purchased it. I took it to the dealership to get an oil change and to register a complaint about the pulling. The car was test driven on the highway. Afterwards I was told that this is a "feature" of the steering wheel. It is called a "smart wheel" and there was nothing to worry about. I have always had this problem and I have never been able to get used to this "feature".

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #22

Oct 022014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 5,200 miles
Just weeks after purchasing my Kia, it had to be brought back to replace cracked dash, heated steering wheel peeling, tires wearing on the outside, wiper blades sucked & you could not see out of them when it rain, cracked outside of sunroof seal, pulling to left side and surges. They put new tires, steering wheel & fixed the dash. The service manager stated the specs were within normal limits for the alignment & transmission. The outside of the sunroof is normal wear & tear & it will crack again, stated the sun cracks it! it has been in the service department 5 times! even though my car is still under warranty! I have had 4 set of tires & they wear on the outside, it stills pulls to the left & I was told the alignment is normal. 6 sets of new wiper blades & they say that's not a problem. My car surges & it has not even been addressed! in late September my check engine light came on the day after I had my oil changed, I took my car to my dealership service, they kept it, fixed the 'oil control valve" within 5 miles from my dealership, check engine light came back on. After a week & a half, my 'intake cvvt timing & my 'exhaust cvvt timing! my warranty will be up in the next few months & I am worried about what is going to happen next & then there's no warranty! there should be a recall on Optima's steering to the left & on the tires either, alignment! I have went as far as contacting the Georgia consumer protection, Kia consumer hotline, us department of transportation, traffic safety, the attorney general's office. I have also contacted my local & national news station & will be meeting with them next week. If this does not raise a few questions, I will hire an attorney!! this is not about money, verses what is right!

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #21

Feb 012012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
When I purchased the vehicle I noticed it pulled to the left and I brought it back to the dealer and they "said" they performed a fix according to an internal Kia tsb-032 document. When I brought the vehicle back for a 15,000 mile service and another tire rotation they rotated the tires and the car aggressively pulled to the left again. I brought it back and argued over paying for an alignment and they said they would do the alignment to correct the problem. At this point, it did not correct the issue and the tires were put back prior to the 15K rotation. Since owning the vehicle, I am unable to rotate the tires without an aggressive pull to the left. Just today, 8/24/2013, the dealer told me Kia had numerous complaints with nexen tires and have since switched to kumho. There should be a recall because Kia used a product line that is obviously flawed and now the dealer is saying I have to spend >$1000 on a set of new tires for a problem that has existed since I drove the vehicle (brand new) off the lot.

- Gurnee, IL, USA

problem #20

Nov 012011

Optima 4-cyl

  • 15,700 miles
First noticed abnormal tire ware on the outside edge of the front right tire, took to dealership. Was told that the vehicle was out of the adjustment period. So I had to pay for an alignment. Received the spec sheets after. The alignment was out.15 degrees rf, .01 degrees lf, .19 degrees lr, .13 degrees rr. Vehicle was set back to factory settings, and dealership blamed the mis alignment on Michigan roads. Car was set to have the alignment checked 1500 miles later or 30 days. 2nd time in the shop for alignment check and was out. 09 degrees lf, .11 degrees rf, .02 degrees lr, .04 degrees rr. Dealership set the alignment back to factory specs. Car again was set 30 days later or 1500 miles for another alignment check and was out once again..21 degrees lf, .13 degrees rf, .26 degrees lr, .02 degrees rr. At this time the mileage was 22300. After the 3rd time to the dealer and taking their advice to give them the chance to fix the problem. In the end, the dealer said that there was nothing wrong with the car, yet every time it was there the alignment had to be adjusted and put back to factory settings. As you can see by the number of degree changes, more than.05 degrees is astronomical when it comes to toe settings on any car. This car has a 100,000 mile warranty, yet Kia, nor the dealership is standing behind the product, they manufacture or sell!

- Whitmore Lake , MI, USA

problem #19

Jan 092012


  • 100 miles
This is a brand new hybrid. Since initial purchase the car has been observed to steer to left on its own at lowest speeds. Tire pressure has been checked weekly and has been maintained as per specs. Car still veers to left. On researching have found that this is an issue with all 2011 Kia Optimas including other models. Continuously observed this for next 500 or so miles and then took to dealer who acknowledged the issue but said Kia corporate has not notified them of any issue so they do not know what to do as this hybrid car is too new. The same issues has been reported on other Kia non hybrid as well.the dealer was dulles Kia in leesburg, va. I would not worry about cosmetic issues but on a brand new car such safety issues are troublesome especially when dealers have no clue. Dealer indicated these are new cars with new power steering modules and hence they have seen lot of these cases. Kia needs to recall and replace asap. NHTSA needs to issues safety research. The car on higher speeds also pulls to left and is dangerous with windy conditions.

- Leesburg, VA, USA

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