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10.0

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 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

Dec 202013

Optima

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Problem is ongoing. Vehicle wanders at highway speeds. Constant steering correction necessary. You cannot drive the car in a straight line. This happens on perfectly flat roads with no wind. The vehicle drifts independently if the steering wheel was not held tightly. I constantly have to nudge the steering wheel slightly left or slightly right to keep the vehicle somewhere in the middle of the lane. It becomes a strain on my arms and my wrists ache after a long drive. There are so many complaints about this problem. Why isn't Kia addressing this issue? I don't trust going to the dealer because, from all the reviews, it seems like nothing is or can be done. I had a Hyundai sonata for years and loved it. I went with the Kia due to the new look, paying good money for a quality car. Something needs to be done both this problem!!!

- Logan Township, NJ, USA

problem #32

Jan 152013

Optima

  • 20 miles
Very hard to keep on a straight track at highway speeds. Sight corrections have to be constantly made to the steering wheel to keep the car going in a straight path. This drifting will happen no matter how much the wind blowing or the type of road surface, it is definitely coming from the car. It's been happening since day one. I've tried reducing the air pressure in my tires and it helped a little, but only a little. I took it to the dealer and they said nothing was wrong. This is not normal. Now I find out that many other Optima owners have this same steering issue. Kia/Hyundai corporate needs to come up with a comprehensive solution to this steering issue before someone has an accident. Request research help.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #31

Jun 262014

Optima

  • 13,500 miles
I purchased a 2013 Kia Optima from a local dealer who was selling it second-hand. The car has 13,500 miles on it at purchase. When test driving the vehicle I went in a small circle that included only very minimal highway driving. On June 26,2014 my family left for a 5 hour trip to charleston, SC. It was on this trip I started noticing very early on that I was having to constantly correct the steering to the left and then back to the right, over and over and over again...all the way down to charleston. Since noticing this problem has been an issue every single time I've driven the car on the highway, and it has resulted several times in me veering into the lane beside whether to the left or right. I literally have to continuously micro-steer the car just to keep it within the lane it's supposed to be in. There is absolutely no play in the steering whatsoever. You cannot look in your side view or rear view mirror without the car drifting to the right or left. There is a serious problem with the steering in the 2013 Optimas. I know for a fact that there have been many complaints about this to Kia, and Kia does nothing about it because they say it's within specs. There will be many head on crashes where cars cross the center lane because of this steering, and im sure many fatalities will result. I can promise you this will happen if it already hasn't. there are certain 2013 Kia/Hyundai models that have had this same problem reported. 2013 was the first year Kia/Hyundai utilized electronic steering. 2014 and newer models also have electronic steering but they have three steering modes on them to adjust the steering. This problem is specific only to 2013 models. There absolutely needs to be a recall and something done about this before someone is killed. It will happen, and I will be keeping this correspondence for my own future legal protection.

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #30

Sep 232013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 50 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My 2013 Kia Optima LX, which I bought new with only 7 miles, is hard to keep on a straight track at highway speeds. Slight corrections have to be constantly made to the steering wheel to keep the car going in a straight path. This drifting will happen no matter how much the wind blowing or the type of road surface, it is definitely coming from the car. It's been happening since day one, but I chalked it up to the new tires needing to be broken in. Now the car has 12,000 miles and tires have been rotated and the issue is still there. I've driven enough cars to know that this is not normal. Now I find out that many other Optima owners have this same steering issue. Kia/Hyundai corporate needs to come up with a comprehensive solution to this steering issue before someone has an accident. Updated 11/24/2014

- Mandan, ND, USA

problem #29

Mar 072014

Optima

  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver as the vehicle swayed independently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed however, the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 51,000 and the current mileage was 53,000.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #28

Feb 042014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 12,600 miles
Driving on highway at about 75 mph with out warning the car abruptly swerved to the left into the other lane towards the middle concrete barrier. Was able to gain control without hitting barrier. Returned to dealer told them about the issue and that we did not want the car anymore due to it being a death trap. They could not reenact the situation so therefore there was nothing wrong with the car. Told them this car needed to be dissected to find out what happened before someone dies. They claimed they contacted Kia and was told to call 800-333-4kia number they had not record of this issue. We no longer own the car and according to Kia we no longer have a say in this vehicle.

- Ocean Park, WA, USA

problem #27

Mar 252014

Optima

  • 15,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

There is a real problem with the handling of this vehicle when it is windy. It is a struggle to keep it on the road at any speed above 30mph. I'm having to avoid certain roads and bridges (I.e. tampa bay's sunshine skyway) due to the faulty and inconsistent response of the steering when driving in even the slightest wind. God forbid that a sudden gust come along!! I, too, have spoken with the dealership. Their response is that this is a common complaint, but they don't have a solution. Thinking that this issue should be addressed at the corporate level!! and soon!!

- Trinity, FL, USA

problem #26

Sep 122012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
I agree with the May 24, 2013 - scottsdale, AZ overview regarding wind. The car is easily affected and moves in the wind and is a challenge to stay straight in the lane. I feel like other drivers must think I am a drunk driver. The car does not really drift but the steering is sluggish with play and dead spots/harder to make first part of a turn, (almost like steering sticks). Also as someone else said, the steering is a challenge on the highway at higher speeds and is hard to maintain in the lane.... may also be a suspension problem. It is easy to lose control at high speeds if the roadway is not perfect. Constantly fighting the loose steering to the point where again, it looks like I am a drunk driver. Increasing the air in the tires was of no help toward the steering stability. I spoke to the local Kia dealer service manager (February 2012), and he noted that the conditions sounded typical of what he has heard with the newer model Optimas which have the electronic steering. He was going to check with Kia for their thoughts. No response yet. What ever happened to the good old tight, rack and pinion steering" enough of this mushy steering, this is supposed to be a sporty car... am I finding out that it is just good looks" I have owned and driven similar priced Chrysler and Ford products prior to this and never uncomfortable with the steering.

- Ambler, PA, USA

problem #25

Sep 272013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
Steering wheel stays straight but car wanders from left to right in lane. This is a common problem.

- Deland, FL, USA

problem #24

Nov 072013

Optima

  • 1,200 miles
Recently I leased a Kia Optima sx, after 1 week noticed the steering would drift from side to side in lane while steering wheel kept straight at center position. When correcting "drift" steering over compensates for correction and sways vehicle other way. Have had car in for service 2 times in 2600 miles for this issue. First time they reset alignment, the 2nd service dept. Says everything is within Kia specs and there is nothing more they can do. Car still "drifts"while on road most noticeably above 50-60 mph while on expressway, while somewhat present car acts more normally on street speeds under 45 mph. I have driven many vehicles with electric steering and this is the only vehicle that I have had problems getting to track straight. Really disappointed in an otherwise very nice vehicle. I would really like to have my vehicle perform as it should and track properly while being operated. I feel this is a large safety concern especially while driving on snow as it causes the vehicle to want to travel into other lanes of traffic while driving.

- Wixom, MI, USA

problem #23

Dec 052012

Optima

  • 800 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver as the vehicle swayed independently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis however, the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 800.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #22

Dec 122013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 9,750 miles
When traveling at speeds above 45 mph the cars steering wheel sticks at center. Simultaneously the car wonders drastically on the road - to correct you try to steer the steering wheel, but with the sticking in the center your corrections cause drastic "back and forth". have taken the car in 3 times. All I am told is it is the alignment. Nothing is fixed.

- Idaho Falls, ID, USA

problem #21

Nov 012012

Optima

  • 1,000 miles
2013 Kia Optima. Have the same issues with the steering, has been going on since I bought it. I drive for a living and fighting this problem is really getting stressful. I would suggest Kia look into this issue before a major incident occurs due to a failure.

- Faribault, MN, USA

problem #20

Jul 082013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
Car sways back and forth. Hard to keep on the road. Took it to the dealer they adjusted the steering from sport to standard. Gave it a try and it still continued to handle terrible. Took it back to the dealer again and left it for a few days. They keep telling me that the car is acting normal and that there is nothing wrong with it. The service manager made a comment that 5 gallons of gas and a match would fix the problem, then said he was kidding. I didn't find it funny because it only a matter of time before this car kills me or someone else. I hate the car and fear driving it. I've only had it 7months and it has about 5,500 miles on it. Car still does it and I'm exhausted from trying to keep it on the road.

- Tuckerton Nj, NJ, USA

problem #19

Jul 182013

Optima

  • 450 miles
On straight a ways the car wanders (pulls) from side to side and we have to continually turn the steering wheel back and forth to straighten the car out. The car will not track straight. We have to continually correct the steering. Because we travel on a lot of 2 lane roads we are already considering trading the car because of safety concerns.

- Rockton, IL, USA

problem #18

Sep 192013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 175 miles
Vehicle will not track straight. Vehicle wonders left and right at speeds of 40 mph or higher. Has been doing this since I purchased it.

- Riverview, FL, USA

problem #17

Jul 282013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 150 miles
Vehicle's steering will not stay on center. Pulls primarily to the left, many times pulling me into the opposite lane of traffic. Very dangerous. It's also physically exhausting on my arms constantly having to redirect the steering to center and attempt (unsuccessfully) to keep it there. As soon as the car is redirected from veering to the left, it then oversteers and veers to the right. There is no centering this vehicles steering. I've already taken the car in for service once for this issue and it wasn't corrected. I called Kia service department and told the manager that I am aware of the many dozen complaints of this same issue with the Kia Optima and that I want it corrected. He then said he was not aware of this "issue" and told me he would look into it and get back to me. There was no follow up from him.

- Bullville, NY, USA

problem #16

Jul 222013

Optima

  • 66 miles
I recently purchased a new Kia Optima and I am having the same issues others are complaining about with the car not tracking properly by either veering to the left or to the right constantly. In my case, I notice it in city and highway driving. I brought it to the dealer, and they found nothing wrong, but after a long debate, they aligned the vehicle finding it to be off alignment slightly. I noticed no significant change in the problem, so I changed the tires since they install very poor quality oem tires. Not much better as far as steering, but way better wet/dry road traction. I will be getting another alignment from an independent shop, but I feel there is a greater issue with the steering components, and based on all the complaints, Kia needs to investigate this issue and come up with a fix a.S.a.P before someone gets hurt. I'm stuck with this car for 35 more months, hopefully, they'll come up with something soon.

- North Bergen, NJ, USA

problem #15

May 272013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 25 miles
While driving at or around 50 mph the car started drifting left then right.

- North Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #14

Oct 022012

Optima

  • 40 miles
Vehicle wanders at highway speeds. Constant steering correction necessary. You cannot drive the car in a straight line. Vehicle will dart to the left or right without any input from the steering wheel. This happens on perfectly flat roads with no wind. Steering wheel is also turned to the left when driving straight. Dealer says everything in spec.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

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