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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,289 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

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 #9

Feb 212015

Optima 4-cyl

  • 3,300 miles
My wife, son and I were on the way home from town in our 2013 Kia Optima. I stopped at a local grocery store to pick some eggs as my wife and son stayed in the car. I turned the car off and went into the store for about 7-8 minutes, when I walked out the door my son came running up to me yelling our car is on fire, you could see the flames coming out of the hood and bottom of car. The car was a total loss. When I contacted the Kia dealership they did not seemed to concern and gave me the number to report. After doing so I received a call from Kia corporate a day later asking questions. They wanted me to send them pictures of the fire to do their investigation because they only had two engineers who could look into this. It is now may and still I have not heard anything. I have made contact with the dealership numerous times and sent emails to Kia corporate. My wife & kid was in this car when it caught fire while parked and not running at a parking lot. This is ridicules.

- Wolcottville, IN, USA

problem #8

Apr 132015


  • 19,333 miles
Had oil change 5 days prior, and recall for acceleration. Called the, dealership because I heard a knocking noise in the front end. Was on my way to dealership on the, expressway, car lost power, put it in neutral and pulled to right side of filled with smoke and fully engulfed in flames. Waiting to hear if insurance is looking into faulty work with recall or oil change.

- Braintree, MA, USA

problem #7

Feb 192015

Optima 4-cyl

  • 22,286 miles


On 2/19/2015 at 8:30 a.M. my wife drove our 2013 Kia Optima approximately 6 miles to the local supermarket and then drove the 6 miles back home. Maximum speeds reached were no more than 50 mph with the majority of the drive being at 35 mph. About halfway home she noticed an unfamiliar smell but was not sure what it was, and the car seemed to be driving normally and no warning lights ever came on. As she pulled into the garage at our home she then noticed smoke coming from under the hood. She immediately opened the hood and saw flames shooting out from the back of the engine compartment near the turbo. She ran into the house and grabbed a fire extinguisher. She used the entire extinguisher to put out the flames. I came home and together we pushed the vehicle out of the garage and called Kia. The vehicle was then towed 43 miles away to the closest Kia dealership. Kia cooperate Consumer Affairs division was immediately in contact with us, we stated that we no longer felt safe with this vehicle and wanted it replaced. The dealership informed us that they could not even touch the vehicle until an investigator from Kia Corp. Looked at the vehicle. After pictures of the incident were received by cooperate the whole situation changed. I feel that since the vehicle was not burned badly (only because of my wife's quick action) Kia is not treating this as serious as they should anymore. I was informed by Kia corporate that they would be fixing the vehicle under warranty and returning it to us. I have been in contact with the dealership and they have told me the vehicle was driven once for a short period and when it returned the turbo charger was "glowing red hot like lava" they also said that Corp. Engineers from Kia were performing tests remotely and that no attempts had even been made to try and fix the problem yet.....updated 06/09/15

- Big Bear City, CA, 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

problem #5

May 042014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 6,300 miles
During the second oil change at the dealership, I indicated that the vehicle's exhaust was very strong and was coming into the vehicle both at speed and while sitting. The service technician stated that the vehicle needed to have only premium fuel in it to stop the issue. The owners manual does not state that this is the case but in order to prevent the strong exhaust, we switched to only use premium fuel which prevented the majority of the strong fumes but not all. In getting the vehicle's third oil change, the oil was extremely dirty and the service technician stated that he had seen no reason why a vehicle of such low mileage should have oil anywhere near the condition that it did.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #4

Nov 182013


  • 10,000 miles


This has happened three times now, and just the third this past weekend so I am finally writing a complaint. My Kia has a faulty map sensor, the dealer says, and when it goes out (about every 2 months) my car completely dies on me; I have no acceleration, brakes lock up and my power steering is gone. This is a very dangerous situation since two of the three occurrences have been on the highway. When it happens, I am forced to yank the steering wheel to a shoulder and let the car come to a stop. Sometimes it restarts, sometimes it does not. In all three instances, my car has had to be towed. This is very dangerous for not only me by anyone in the car with me as well as any other Kia driver's out there. I have filed my complaint with Kia Consumer Affairs but they do not offer a replacement, just money. While I appreciate the offer, money does not do anything for my confidence in driving the car. It is a brand new car, just one year old. I fear for my life each time I drive my car but I have no other option, I drive a lot for work. All I am seeking is a replacement car, I love the car and all it offers but it does not perform well at all and I am very fearful of this. Please help if you can or if you have had similar issues.

- Lagrange, IL, USA

problem #3

Mar 252013


  • 50 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. The contact was driving 5 mph when the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but the failure was unable to be diagnosed. The manufacturer was not contacted about the issue. The failure mileage was 50 and the current mileage was 8000.

- Jolon, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 122013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 600 miles
Driving on a city road during normal traffic (4:30pm est) my vehicle began to make large rattling noise from the engine compartment. At first I thought I had picked up somthing on the road, but as I accelerated/deccelerated the noise became louder/softer. I immediatley contacted my Kia dealership. After speaking to the service manager he told me to bring the vehicle in next week since that would be the soonest it could be looked at. I informed him that I did'nt think I could even make it home let alone wait a week to bring the vehicle in. He stated I could drop it off, but it would not be looked at until next week. Either way, within 10 miutes of driving a large banging noise went off under the hood, engine oil sprayed throught the engine compartment and I had complete loss of power. Kia roadside assistance towed the vehicle to the dealership where they have informed me that the engine needs to be replaced. The vehicle is less than 2 weeks old and had 600 miles when this occured. I informed the dealership I would not want a vehicle with a replaced engine and they have informed me that is my only option. I will not be purchasing from Kia again as there was no support from their corporate customer service either.

- Brunswick, OH, USA

problem #1

Apr 262013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 6,600 miles
Driving down interstate, engine made loud, clanking noise. Pushed on gas and noise got louder and the car slowed down. Car did not respond when gas pedal applied. Turned on hazard lights and worked way over to outer lane and finally to side of road. Was almost rear-ended when happened; car slowed way down. Towed to dealership where purchased. Replaced fuel pump but noise still occurring. A week later, informed had to replace engine. Week later engine, and now parts, were on back order. Following week, informed by dealership, Kia would not put new engine in car because over 5,000 miles (only 6600). A remanufactured would be used. Asked to see car and asked if they discovered what was wrong. Engine out of car and completely apart. Informed the "end" piston broke. Looked at piston, and portion appeared to have broken off. They said the broken part had fallen inside and was causing noise. Not happy with Kia. Doesn't seem like they stand behind their product...

- Storm Lakke, IA, USA

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