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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,866 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.

2013 Kia Optima drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2013 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #10

Jun 012015


  • 32,000 miles


After purchasing the vehicle brand new we noticed a problem with the steering. When you turned the steering wheel while stopped you would get a loud knocking noise. The power steering rack was replaced twice already and the vehicle just now has 43,000 miles. Our biggest concern has been an engine knocking noise that started to occur at just over 35,000 miles when you start vehicle. We had brought our vehicle to libertyville Kia in libertyville, il for our problem and they said they could not duplicate what we are hearing. The service manager verbally told me to wait for it to get worse that it is hard to get Kia to cover this known engine problem. After reaching out to Kia with this engine problem and getting no help except them blaming us for lack of oil changes and maintenance. Which was absurd when we only took the vehicle to Kia for service since purchasing new. Filed a formal complaint with Illinois attorney generals office lisa madigan to get help with this and Kia has botched their records and still sdays we have not maintained the vehicle properly. Buyers of Kia and Hyundai I strongly urge to think again. I hope everyone that has had problems like this get the honest help they deserve.

- Vernon Hills, IL, USA

problem #9

Jul 242016


  • 64,837 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. While the vehicle was parked, the gears failed. The contact used the shift lock release to take the vehicle out of gear. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be duplicated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 64,837. The VIN was unavailable.

- Covington, GA, USA

problem #8

Jul 232014


  • 47,500 miles
Fuel will heat up and bubble out of fuel tank after extended periods of idling. 4 hours idling with 3/4 full fuel tank. Liquid fuel and vapors escaping from gas cap and dripping down the side of the car.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #7

Jun 122013


  • 2,320 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate from a stand still position, the vehicle would shudder and failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician stated that this was a normal occurrence. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 2,320.

- Manchester , MD, USA

problem #6

Feb 252015


  • 25,000 miles
After coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, when I tried to accelerate to turn onto a busy road my car lost power halfway into the intersection. This has happened twice. My first reaction was to push harder on the gas pedal, as there were cars coming at me from both directions, and after a few seconds the car violently lurches forward and regains power. This is a terrifying issue and a serious safety threat. I had 2 children ages 8 and 12 in my vehicle both times this has happened.

- Baraboo, WI, USA

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problem #5

Jun 232014


  • 17,000 miles
The traction control system is designed so poorly that when I pull into traffic from a stop I have to disable the system completely or risk being a sitting duck in the middle of an intersection. It seems that if the traction control system detects any amount of tire slippage it cuts power to both wheels completely. Your instinct is to press the accelerator harder to make the car get out of the intersection which causes the wheels to slip when the car reapplies power and the whole problem starts again and you are still in the intersection. The power is cut so dramatically that it is almost as if the brakes are being applied and vehicle occupants lurch forward. After a second or two the vehicle gradually reapplies power. The only way to avoid this is to disable the system which has to be done each time you start the car. If you forget to disable it you are fumbling on the dash while driving to disable it. When I reproduced the event at the dealership they said that this was how the system is designed to work. All it takes is a couple rocks on the ground, a little rain, or even a heavy fog and the system will completely kill the power for between 1 - 2 seconds when you start off from a stand still.

- Houma, LA, USA

problem #4

Aug 222014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles


Our vehicle changes gears from automatic to manual shift on its own while the car is in driving and the vehicle is moving. This has happened 5 times. After the 1st occurrence we contacted our dealer to notify them of the issue. We were told unless the issue happens again and they see it, nothing can be done. Well since then the issue has happened 4 more times. The last occurrence, we took the car to the dealer and then were advised to contact Kia Consumer Affairs to have them authorize the dealer to inspect the issue. The dealer provided a loaner vehicle at that time of drop off. After 2 weeks or inspecting the vehicle and with a diagnostic test done, it was deemed that the car was operable and safe. My wife, who drives the vehicle, feels no confidence and safety to drive the car. I have reached out to Consumer Affairs again to discuss options upon which I was told a few times there was nothing further to do and that if the issue happens again we should bring the car back to the dealer. This would then bring us back to step 1 again and the possibility of nothing being resolved. I cannot accept that as my final answer. If the vehicle slows suddenly and an accident occurs, we would have a different discussion. I cannot accept the fact that it would take an accident to occur before real action is done.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #3

Feb 202014


  • 22,000 miles
My Kia gets stuck in a few inches of snow or any ice. Slides easily in rain or icy or cold weather. I live in the midwest. I have been pushed by strangers, countless times, trying to get me out of subdivisions because this car will not move. I had to call a tow truck and he mentioned he had to tow 3 of these same fancy vehicles that were stuck in a small amount of snow. I am unable to park in my garage because the car is not dependable if any snow or ice is on the driveway. I drive for a living and I have been stuck in patient's driveways. They laugh and say the other nurses do not have any problems with their cars. This is humiliating. This car costs almost 40,000. It should be dependable instead it is unreliable and dangerous: Other cars may run into me when my car starts sliding backwards on the streets. I have literally been stuck in the middle of the road. I have had to call in sick several times because my car will not back out a few feet from my driveway if there is 3 inches or more of snow on the ground. Also the engine whines alot. It seems to lag in shifting and the RPM goes up to almost 4 before it will shift into 4th gear. I am afraid the engine will explode or blow up.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #2

Jun 212013


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. The contact stated that when attempting to accelerate from a complete stop, the traction control system would erroneously engage causing the vehicle to stall. The vehicle was able to be restarted. The failure was recurring over a six month period. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician diagnosed that the vehicle was operating as designed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 2,000.

- Poughquag, NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 012012

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
2013 Kia Optima. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle steering to the right the consumer also stated, sometimes the belt made a squeaky noise. He also noticed a slight hesitation when pulling off from a red light or stop sign. The consumer also stated the vehicle did not come with a key to open the trunk. Updated 01/22/13

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

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