10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,233 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 #39

Jan 232015

Optima 4-cyl

  • 19,900 miles

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

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

Optima

  • 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

Optima

  • 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

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

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 www.carcomplaints.com/Kia/Optima/2013/steering/steering.shtml 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

Optima

  • 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

Optima

  • 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

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
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

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 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
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
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

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