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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,896 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #53

Jul 312015


  • 33,333 miles


Car started having a clicking noise when turning steering wheel to both right and left. Car has been pulling to the right on the highway, will even pull to the right at low speed rate. Car was bought brand new, should not be having steering issues.

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

problem #52

Jul 202015


  • 33,000 miles
When turning my steering wheel there is a clicking sound, it first started when you make a right turn, now regardless of which way you turn the steering wheel there is a clicking noise.

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

problem #51

Sep 252013


  • 500 miles
Shortly after buying my brand new 2013 Kia Optima LX I noticed issues with the steering when traveling at highway speeds. When driving on any type of highway the car wonders once I reach highway speeds (usually 65mph or more). The first time I noticed this it was a windy day and I thought maybe it was just due to the high winds... but, I've noticed this same issue every time I drive on the highway, even when there is little to no wind. The car refuses to stay in a straight line, constantly veering left and right (even on a flat surface). The steering wheel barely moves, but the car itself will wonder back and forth, requiring constant correction by the driver. The dealership has repeatedly said its the slope in the road, even though I've told them I've experienced it on multiple highways. Now I am noticing the same problem at regular speeds of 35mph and more. The steering wonders and my suspension seems nonexistent. Simple tar lines in the pavement feel like I'm driving over potholes. Dealership says they do feel a bit of a rough ride, but see nothing wrong with the car. These issues combined make driving unsafe and at times, scary. I hope something is done soon about the multiple complaints owners have submitted about this issue. I love the car, other than the steering issue.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #50

May 092015


  • 24,800 miles


I was traveling on 85 North at an approximate speed of 70 mph when the steering wheel became really stiff and it was very hard to move to the left or right! finally it released and I was able to move it again. I didn't really think that there was a possible issue but my friend suggested that I search the internet for any recalls regarding steering. In searching the internet I found 100+ complaints regarding this same issue for 2012-2013 model Kia Optimas. This is a real safety issue that can result in injury if the steering remains locked while driving! please investigate this matter!

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #49

May 172015


  • 18,000 miles
I bought the car with 17996 miles. After a few miles driving on the I-95 I noticed that the 2013 Optima has a very weird steering problem while driving over 50mph. It's very hard to keep it in a straight path. You have to constantly make adjustments to the steering wheel in order to keep on the correct lane. I took it back to the dealer a couple days later and told them that I've seen multiple complains of this known issue on the internet. I've also told them that there is a patch that was released on April 2015 but they said it wouldn't apply for my car. It's very unsafe. Kia needs to give special attention to this issue and take immediate action as it's very unsafe.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #48

May 312013


  • miles
My wife's 2013 Optima has very stiff steering while on the interstate or long stretch road. It's very hard to stay in a straight line. The steering locks when going straigh and it feels like it catches when you turn left or right. I ignored it for the first few months thinking maybe a "break in" stage. Still at 40K miles it's the exact same way. It's very unsafe. I noticed I'm not the only one with this problem. I hope Kia fixes this problem. May be my last Kia car!!!

- Lagrange, GA, USA

problem #47

May 012014


  • 0 miles


Wife's 2013 Optima has a very stiff steering while on the interstate. It's very hard to stay in a straight line. Its almost as if the steering locks at 12 oclock and it breaks free at any left or right movement. Over correcting is inevitable. We ignored it for the first few months thinking maybe it's just in a "break in" stage. Now at 30K miles it's the exact same way. Dealer says it's normal and wants me to pay to have it checked out cause there are no recalls. It's very unsafe. I'm obviously not the only one with this problem. I hope Kia man's up and fixes this problem.

- Slidell, LA, USA

problem #46

Jul 052014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 8,146 miles
Bought the car with only 27 miles on it. We took car to dealer to get first oil change and asked them to check the steering because the car is very hard to control, especially on the freeway. Dealer said the electronic steering was already set to the least sensitive setting. Driving in a straight line is near impossible, especially on freeway. It is all over the road and requires constant correction to stay in your lane. It has done this from the beginning. I'm sure Kia will just ignore this problem because that is what they did when I contacted them before about a different issue. I already have called Kia about the fact that my car gets nowhere near the stated mpg. They told me there was nothing I could do because my car was not included in the list of cars with overstated mpg. So I wouldn't be surprised if they ignore this issue as well. This steering problem is a big issue and needs to be addressed. How many accidents and complaints have to be filed before Kia does something about it? this car also skids easily in the rain.

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #45

Mar 182015

Optima 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
At highway speeds, the steering becomes very stiff and rigid. To make minor adjustments to stay within your lane, a significant amount of force is required. This results in over correcting causing you to basically swerve down the lane. Additionally, this difficult steering results in driver fatigue and frustration. Any of these factors could easily result in a crash at highway speeds. Kia states the steering falls within their normal "specs", however this is clearly a safety concern.

- North Aurora, IL, USA

problem #44

Oct 112014


  • 32,000 miles
While driving at normal highway speeds the steering wheel seems to stick. You have to use force to turn the wheel and then the car is all over the road. I have never had this issue before. The alignment was checked and was good. The car has new tires but still did it while it had the factory oem tires on it. After research I understand the 2013 has an electronic steering module and several people have had this same complaint but Kia will not do anything about it.

- Sanford, NC, USA

problem #43

Feb 272015


  • 21,000 miles


During a trip that was only 100 miles one way I had to correct the steering so many times that on the return trip I was so tired I did not want to drive any more that evening. I had to constantly correct the steering (right or left) and dreaded the return trip. I have seen many similar complaints filed. I am expecting the U.S. govt. To help us find a solution to this dangerous problem. Dealer claims there is nothing wrong with the car. I asked the customer service person to google the problem, of course he refused. He explained he knew of no other complaints. I don't think he was being honest, however that is just my opinion. Somebody please help!

- Laredo, TX, USA

problem #42

Jan 082015

Optima 4-cyl

  • 27,565 miles
Problem is ongoing. Vehicle wanders at highway speeds. Constant steering correction necessary. You cannot drive the car in a straight line. Slight corrections have to be constantly made to the steering wheel to keep the car going in a straight path.. I literally have to continuously micro-steer the car just to keep it within the lane it's supposed to be in. This drifting will happen no matter how much the wind is blowing or the type of road surface. I have installed new top quality tires and had an alignment scrupulously performed. No improvement.

- South Pittsburg, TN, USA

problem #41

Jan 062015


  • 19,900 miles
Is anyone going to do anything about the overly sensitive electronic steering on the 2013 Kia Optimas that cause the car to zig zag within the lane of travel"?? this type of complaint is prominent all over the internet on many different sites. There is, quite simply, a major safety issue with the steering on these cars, and complaints to Kia or the nhtsb seem to fall on deaf ears. Will it take a fatality due to these issues for someone to take notice of the major hazard these particular cars present to drivers?!? the electronic steering is extremely overly bad that one can barely look down to turn the defrost on or look into the rear view mirror or side view mirrors without the potential for the car to drift in another lane in the same direction of travel, or even in an oncoming lane of travel!! you literally cannot move your hand at all one way or another without the steering reacting. A 1/4 movement to the left or right??" you'll feel the car shift in the direction turned, so that leaves the driver having to continually keep his hand turning the steering wheel slightly to the left or right just to keep it in the lane of travel, thus causing the car to zig zag down the lane of travel, giving the appearance of an impaired driver. At highway speeds or even speeds 45mph or higher it is impossible to keep the car going in a straight line without having to continually correct it one way or another. About a month ago I looked down to turn the defrost on and when I looked back up the car was halfway in the oncoming lane of travel for god's sake! someone is going to be killed because of this issue, whether it be a side swipe on the highway or a head on collision, something will eventually happen, and when someone finally dies maybe then Kia or the nhtsb will finally look into the issue.

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #40

Jan 212015

Optima 4-cyl

  • 30,126 miles
The steering gets stiff and tends to stick when going straight this causes slight over steering back and forth constantly. It seems to come on worse the longer you drive.

- New Florence, PA, USA

problem #39

Jan 232015

Optima 4-cyl

  • 19,900 miles
This is the most recent of a large number of times my car has wondered into another lane of travel by itself. Today my son and I were going out to eat. There was a cold rain falling, so the windows started to fog up a bit. I looked down just long enough to turn the defrost on and when I look back up my vehicle is about 3/4 into the other lane of travel and my hand did not move at all!!! had there been another car coming in the opposite lane of travel there would have been a head on crash and there probably would have been fatalities too, all because Kia will not fix this issue they know they have with the 2013 Optima. The car wonders constantly so you are not able to look in your rear view or side view mirrors, not can you look down long enough to turn the heat or ac on without the possibility of the car wondering to the left or right into other lanes of travel, potentially causing accidents. On and trip of length, in order to prevent this wondering from happening you have to 100% of the time correct to the left and then back to the right and then back to the left and back to the right, all the way to your destination, and all without turning the steering wheel no more than 1 inch to the right or 1 inch to the left, so in essence I am having to constantly steer the wheel back and forth within a 2 inch range of motion. There is no centering of the vehicle and holding the steering wheel straight and the car stay straight. There is always a constant back and forth to keep the vehicle in the lane of travel. That is how sensitive the eps is. It is not an alignment issue. Now there are several post on the internet of Kia dealers being able to adjust the sensitivity of the steering through the computer, and these people also say that initially Kia tells them nothing can be done about it. It appears Kia is deceiving their 2013 Optima owners.

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #38

Feb 102014


  • 22,500 miles
I purchased the vehicle with 22000 miles. On my first relatively long trip, I got up to highway speeds and noticed that the car has no straight position. It needs constant adjustments, either left or right (mostly right ). the vehicle has been checked for alignment discrepancies, but everything is within manufacturer specifications. There needs to be an update to the electing power steering module/steering angle sensor. This is a potentially life threatening design flaw. How many complaints until you listen, Kia? we the people call upon the appropriate authorities to help in resolving the issue.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #37

Dec 022014


  • 22,400 miles
Impossible to hold the car on a straight track. Will drift left, when attempting to correct to a straight track, the steering requires so much force to correct that the result is an over correction to the right. This scenario repeats forever. The steering sticks and cannot be held in a straight line.

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #36

Dec 272014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
Having purchased the car on 12/11/14 my daughter did not have much experience driving the car.... on December 27 she "lost control" of the car, and ran into the wall on a busy highway in Chicago. The accident occurred on a dry evening, and she emphatically states that she does not know how she lost control of the car, and that it was pulling to the left. The only rationale conclusion was that she might have had a tire blow out. That is, until a friend recommended I check the web, and check if others may have been or are experiencing the same thing. Although I had done my due diligence when researching the car e.g. recalls, known problems, etc. Prior to purchasing this car, I did not check specifics such as steering. Long of the short, two days after the accident and when I googled steering problems, this site was one of the first to show up. I was amazed to find 35 complaints in reference to the same steering issue. After reading the complaints I am I convinced that this steering issue is the contributor to my daughter¿'s accident. It is the only logical explanation other than a blow out. I think this may be a result of the steering problems associated with the 2013 Optimas. I wonder how many accidents or deaths it is going to take for Kia to admit something is not right and do the responsible thing? it sounds as though there needs to be a manufacturers¿¿ recall before a fatal accident occurs, if it hasn't already....

- North Aurora, IL, USA

problem #35

Jun 112013


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. While driving 50 mph, the steering wheel seized. Once the contact was able to move the steering wheel, he lost control and the vehicle swerved from left to right. As a result, both front tires were beginning to wear. The failure recurred multiple times. The dealer replaced the steering system. The failure recurred. The VIN was unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 2,000.

- Logan Sport , IN, USA

problem #34

Nov 172014


  • 17,000 miles
Vehicle is hard to hold straight at higher speeds. The steering locks into a position and requires extra effort to turn the wheel causing over correction. This causes mental and physical fatigue on longer trips and could cause an accident. 

- Oakland Park , FL, USA

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