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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,816 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

problem #13

Jan 062016


  • 41,183 miles


Recently bought this car right before christmas. When turning or pulling out car tends to stall and the accelerate S.

- Louisville, OH, USA

problem #12

Nov 162015


  • 56,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. While the contact's mother was behind the wheel and the vehicle was idling, the vehicle accelerated while her foot was on the brake pedal. The steering ability failed and prevented her from turning the steering wheel. The contact's mother lost control of the vehicle and crashed into an embankment and a ditch. The air bags failed to deploy. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed, pending the insurance company's investigation and analysis. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was not provided. The failure mileage was 56,500.

- Ft Washington, MD, USA

problem #11

Dec 262013


  • 10 miles
Steering, hard to keep in lanes, loud hard ride. While test driving my 2013 Kia Optima I told my sales person that I was having trouble keeping keeping it on the road. He said that's B/C its a new car. It'll ease up. I thought it was loud & took smal bumps like a big pot holes. And the gas pedal & acceleration was wierd. He said bring it back & the service department will drive it & fix it. Don't worry. Well after several trips to the service department they said they could not emulate the problem. I asked them to let me drive with service person. Could not do. Break it in & it'll go away. Well at 11,000 miles took it back & complained. Same answer. Now 19,703 miles not only do I have the same problems.they got worse. In addition my paint scratches & chips so easy that there had to be something wrong with my paint. Back to service & body work they told me that was normal. Bring it in for detailing & we will get it looking like new! don't have $175 to do that. I do not get close to quoted gas mileage. It has a mind of its own it accelerates & gears don't takes off or doesn't all by itself. Seems like transmission trouble. Its so loud I cannot use hands free phone & conversations are difficult. The steering is so off, I'm afraid I'll get pulled over & fined. Very hard to keep on road. And my car squeaks as you get in & out of my car. Very disappointed. I want an investigation. I'm afraid it will be in an accident & hurt myself & others.

- Shenandoah, PA, USA

problem #10

May 282015


  • 76,678 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. While driving at approximately 20 mph, the gears failed to shift and the engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was able to restart. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the vehicle speed sensor failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 76,678.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #9

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 #8

Feb 132015


  • 13,131 miles
Vehicle in reverse backing up on steep driveway, foot on fuel pedal, car began its automated hill holding function, while in reverse, heard high RPM, transmission was slipping into neutral, car began rolling forward, put foot on brake, brake failed, car accelerated rapidly, and engine died, then hit the wall inside the garage. I estimated, speed at time of impact approximately 10 to 15 mph. Noticed another entry filed similar to this, had same fuel, brake fail symptoms.

- Howard, OH, USA

problem #7

Feb 062015

Optima 4-cyl

  • 42,205 miles


I was sitting at a stop sign waiting to cross two lanes, when clear I pressed the gas pedal. The tires spun a little on some antiskid; as a result the traction control intervened. The car seamed to loose all power!!. with traffic on its way I drifted across one lane before getting full power back. This tcs in my 2013 Kia Optima is not safe-- someone is going to get killed! what should I do !?

- Altoona, PA, USA

problem #6

Oct 312013


  • 18,000 miles
If the wheels slip slightly when accelerating from a stopped position, the car looses all power and stops. I realize that there are skid control mechanisms, but this is not safe. I brought it to the Kia dealer in denville NJ and they claim it is "normal". this morning, I pulled out onto a busy road and the tires slipped slightly on the wet surface. The car lost power and stopped. I can close to causing an accident when it should have been safe for me to enter the road.

- Randolph, NJ, USA

problem #5

Jul 212014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 11,205 miles
When stopped at a stop sign or light and trying to go after the light turns green accelerator won't go down and move car forward because it sticks and I have to take foot off accelerator and push it down again to get it to go. This is now happening every day from time to time. Taking it to the dealer tomorrow because I found no recalls on this car listed yet.

- Bedford, TX, USA

problem #4

Jun 012013

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the vehicle had a sudden loss of power and speed reduction intermittently. The contact experienced the vehicle decelerating and had to depress the acceleration pedal to increase speed. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on several occasions and the failure was not able to be replicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 1,000. Updated 09/15/14 updated 1/8/2015

- St Robert, MO, USA

problem #3

Jun 142014


  • 15,000 miles


I have found the traction control to be too drastic at times. When pulling on to a highway there is usually a small bump (difference in height, about 2", between the road and the parking area). If I'm accelerating (which you usually have to do to get onto a busy road), when the car goes over the "small bump" the traction control kicks in and the car loses a lot of the power you need to avoid the oncoming traffic. The traction control causes the car to come to a "rolling stop". this seems a little too extreme to me and I feel like this will cause an accident and potential loss of life. I have owned 4 other cars with traction control (2 Saturn, 1 corvette, and a Kia forte). None of the vehicles mention had an issue like this. Usually the traction control will "gradually" slow down the wheel or wheels that are turning faster than required. The Optima almost comes to a complete stop, losing 95% of it's power on June 6, 2014 I returned the car to the dealer (fette Kia). I was able to reproduce the problem and they said this was how the car was designed. The issue has occurred numerous times the date above was used to complete the form.

- Little Falls, NJ, USA

problem #2

May 152014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 19,700 miles
On 5/15/14 at approx. 0430am, while at a stop light, the vehicle experienced unintended acceleration. With my right foot on the brake pedal the car suddenly accelerated. Because my foot was on the brake pedal the car moved less than two feet. I then placed the automatic transmission into neutral, where the motor rev'd to approx. 7000 RPM. I then immediately turned the car off, and then back on. After turning it back on, the car then resumed normal functions. Later the same day I took the vehicle to my local Kia dealership. According to the serviceman, a comprehensive analysis was performed, however they were unable to duplicate the issue.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 292014


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while at stop, the brake pedal was released and the vehicle surged as the engine RPM's increased without warning. The contact mentioned the brakes were engaged and was able to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure was unable to be replicated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000 and the current mileage was 19,000. Updated 3/14/14

- Blacklick, OH, USA

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