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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 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Feb 232011

Optima 4-cyl

  • 0 miles


I bought the car in February 2011 and within several days, noticed the car would pull left after making a left turn or even changing lanes to the left. Thinking it was just an alignment issue, I took the car back to the dealer. The car has been back to the dealer for this issue 6 times, each time they did an alignment. Recently I noticed both front tires were wearing excessively, with less than 14000 miles, and have had to replace both tires. Since the new tires have been installed, the problem has gotten worse, like it was when I purchased the car. Now at the dealer for the 6th time, I was told that Kia has new alignment specifications, the 3rd set of alignment specifications Kia has had in less than a year. I was told also told that this issue was in part due to the nature of electronic steering. This is unacceptable and an excuse, not a reason.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #17

Dec 142011

Optima 4-cyl

  • 150 miles
I bought a brand new 2011 Kia Optima hybrid and the car pulls heavily to the left even on straight roads. I took the car to the dealer and they did an alignment and they say it is within specs but it acts the same. If you let go of the steering wheel for a couple seconds you're on the shoulder. This is a very serious safety issue. Second issue is that both driver and passenger seats were bolted down in one bolt out of four. The dealer installed the missing bolts but this makes me really worried about the quality control at Kia. What else might they missed? I don't even want to think what might have happened had I been involved in a collision before noticing this. Unacceptable!

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #16

Nov 172011


  • 5,400 miles
Kia Optima LX 2011 was purchased brand new at 4 miles in odometer. Problem 1 less than a month: Steering veering to the left an right. Had to steer this car to track straight. The dealer performed minor alignment in October. Car continues to veer left and right. Took car back to the dealer. The tech stated the front end off by 2 degrees and stated he performed the adjustment. The steering problem not fixed. Problem #2: car was parked with fuel reading 42 miles to empty. Returned to start car. Will not crank after numerous attempts. Towed the car to dealer. Car cranked upon de-tow at the location. But still left the car for why it will not crank in the first place. Returned 4 days later. I was advised that the car was empty of gasoline, even when fuel reader clearly indicated 42 miles to empty. Kia paid for rental for 4 days ($100). I was further advised that the fuel regulator was replaced and on back order. The steering problems and the stalling issues are significant public safety concerns since the lanes, arterial roads and highways that I have to drive daily are congested.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #15

Aug 192011

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 347 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the vehicle consistently pulled to the left. The contact had the dealer perform an alignment twice and both the struts and the bolts were replaced. The dealer insisted that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle, but the contact believed there was some type of defect. The failure mileage was 347 and the current mileage was 3,672. Updated 12/12/11 updated 01/23/12

- Woonsocket, RI, USA

problem #14

Sep 142011

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle pulls to the left and sometimes to the right. You have to hang onto the steering wheel with both hands to keep it straight. The pulling to the left is more prominent. I took it in on Sept 20th for the first time. They switched the wheels but the problem continued. I took it in again on Oct. 7th and at this time they told me there was nothing wrong with it. The problem continued still. On Oct 9th I was driving off a thruway ramp when the car almost swerved into on coming traffic. I took it back on Oct. 13th because I'm afraid to drive it. They still have said vehicle.

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #13

Oct 012011


  • miles
2011 Kia Optima. Consumer states problems with vehicle steering the consumer stated the steering would often veer to the left and then to the right.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #12

May 012011


  • 100 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle would pull toward the left. In order to keep the vehicle from driving into oncoming traffic, excessive pressure would be applid to the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on three different occasions, but they were unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100 and the current mileage was 6,425.

- Willowbrook , IL, USA

problem #11

May 182011

Optima 4-cyl

  • 111 miles
Purchased a 2011 Kia Optima LX on 5/18/11. Car constantly pulled left so bad that you would end up into oncoming traffic on a two lane road in you didn't continually correct to the right. Had the dealer align vehicle to factory specs with no change. Took car back to dealer who realigned to new specs received from Kia tech support. Vehicle now only has a tendency to pull left but will drift left if you take your hands off of the steering wheel. Dealer test drove the car again and claims the vehicle drives better than a new one on the lot. Dealer said they couldn't do anything else for me and referred me to Kia consumer relations.

- High Point, NC, USA

problem #10

Jun 152011


  • 20 miles
My 2011 Kia Optima pulls left and the dealer states this is normal operation. The vehicle meets factory alignment specs but still pulls hard to the left.

- Port Jervis, NY, USA

problem #9

May 122011


  • 150 miles
Car pulls to the left.

- Warwick, RI, USA

problem #8

Dec 282010


  • 0 miles


I purchased a 2011 Kia Optima ex on 12/28/10 from Kia country of savannah. Kia country obtained the auto from an orlando Kia dealer and drive it 269 miles to savannah where I took delivery. The steering pulls/drifts left while driving. It has drifted since I purchased it. Kia country attempted to fix it, but it still drifts left. Kia corporate has been notified, and are non responsive.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #7

May 022011


  • 325 miles
I am also having the left pull issue with my 2011 Kia Optima. I alerted the dealer as soon as it left the lot and took the car in for service on 5/2/11. Spoke with the service tech today (5/4) and he said that all of the alignment specs were within factory standards but the car is still pulling left. Currently awaiting guidance from Kia's corporate engineers. This presents a clear danger as the car will switch lanes unless constant pressure is put on the steering wheel.

- Catonsville, MD, USA

problem #6

Jan 082011


  • 81 miles
When I bought the 2011 Kia Optima ex I went around the block and came back to the Kia dealer because the vehicle was pulling to the left. The dealer technician looked at it and I left. I came back a week later for the same issue so dealer did a wheel alignment that did not resolve the issue. I contacted Kia directly and they sent a district manager to look at it. Later on Kia sent a district technician to look at it and re-do the wheel alignment. The vehicle is still pulling to the left and it is very dangerous. I understood by other Kia dealers that it is an issue with a lot of 2011 Kia Optima's.

- Catharpin, VA, USA

problem #5

Feb 262011


  • 61 miles
2011 Kia Optima pulls to left all the time. I have had it back to the dealer four times and they state nothing is wrong and it is within alignment specs. The car will change lanes if you let go of the steering wheel. You have to hold tension on the steering wheel so that it will stay straight. This is the worst car I have ever driven on the highway. I drive 50 miles one way to work and by the time I get to work my arm hurts. This car is a danger on the highway and the dealer told me they are not authorized to do anything more for me. I sure hope this gets looked into before someone gets hurt or dies because of this. If someone would let go of the steering wheel for a second the car could cross over into on coming traffic.

- West Mifflin, PA, USA

problem #4

Feb 112011


  • 68 miles
Upon driving home from taking delivery of my new 2011 Kia Optima on 2/11/11, my husband I noticed that the vehicle pulls to the left substantially. If you loosen the grip of the wheel the car immediately pulls to the left. I have had the vehicle in for service on 2/18, 3/5 and 3/14. Each time I have received the car back from the dealer, they indicate that it is within Kia specs and is ┐tracking┐ straight. I picked the vehicle up last night and the vehicle is still pulling to the left.

- Clarkston, MI, USA

problem #3

Feb 252011


  • miles
It's happening on my brand new 2011 Kia Optima. I drive an hour to work both ways, so any problem with a vehicle can easily present itself. On my first day of work, I realized the car pulled left. I thought it could have been in my head or simply the crown of the road. After a few days of ignorantly thinking it was just me, I noticed that when I let go of the steering wheel, it holds slightly left. Thus, the car pulls left. It does this about 85 percent of the time. I took it into the dealership and waited three hours. They adjusted the alignment and rotated the tires but to no avail. The car still pulled left. I took it in five days later. They gave me a loaner car for two days while they tried to figure out the problem. They call me and said it was fixed because they readjusted the steering wheel and replaced a tire (and realigned it again). I go and pick it up, take it on the highway, and the problem still exists. I take it back to the dealer and their head technician rides with me because they thought I was crazy (they never took it on the highway). He sees the problem and couldn't believe the car pulled like that. He said something was definitely wrong. The service manager then tells me to take the car home for the weekend and we'd set something up. I refused to drive it unless it was fixed so I am still with the loaner car five days later. I am still waiting to hear back. I've almost been in one wreck already because of the heavy left pull. It's extremely dangerous considering the types of roads I must drive on everyday.

- St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #2

Feb 172011


  • 10 miles
Purchased a new 2011 Kia Optima sx with premium touring package. The car has pulled to the left since I bought it. Seems to be more noticeable the faster you go. At highway speeds on a straight road I will be in the next lane in a second or two upon letting go of the steering regardless of which side of the road crown I am on. I also noticed the steering wheel does shift left during this and is off center.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #1

Jan 272011


  • 74 miles
Since the day the car was driven off the lot, on the expressway, it pulled to the left. Brought it to the dealer, and an alignment was performed. Dealer declared that it was fixed. On the drive home, the pull to the left persisted as it had done previously. Returned the car to the same service dealer. Another alignment was performed. I specifically requested that the dealer perform a thorough test drive to ensure that the issue was repaired. The general manager promised this would happen, and also promised that the service manager would ride along with me upon picking up the car to ensure that the problem was fixed. When I went to pick up the car, the service manager had left for the day, and when I drove home, it was still pulling left. Returned the car to service. Upon calling the service dept. To see if they had found a problem, the service manager declared that they had found a bad tire, and had swapped it to the back of the car. I had to argue with the manager that I did not want a bad tire left on my car. He finally conceded, and said he would take a new wheel and tire of a new car and swap it with the bad one. Drove the car home. Seemed a little better, but still was pulling left, and just felt unsettled, with very poor on center feel. Contacted Kia consumer relations. They sent out 2 engineers who validated the handling problems. Replaced left strut, tightened rear suspension, talked about software upgrades to the electronic assist power steering, but not sure exactly what they did to it. Drove the car home. Car performed better than it ever had, but now the steering wheel is cocked left, and the more I drive it, the more it pulls left again, and is reverting to the very poor on center feel. Consumer relations is starting to get irritated with my continuing phone calls. The car has been in to the shop 4 times for the same problem and it is still not fixed. I feel I deserve compensation under the lemon law.

- Grand Blanc, MI, USA

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