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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 1 of 4)

problem #73

Nov 092016


  • 60 miles


I have a 2013 Kia Optima. Like everyone else I am having steering wheel issues. This needs to be on recall!!!!! I am a little over $60,000. This is a major issue possible lawsuit. I called Kia talked to the service manager and she said this sounds normal and I need to bring it in to do a computer reset. I don't agree with this. Not happy. This needs to be on recall!!!!!!!!

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #72

Jun 012015


  • 32,000 miles
After purchasing the vehicle brand new we noticed a problem with the steering. When you turned the steering wheel while stopped you would get a loud knocking noise. The power steering rack was replaced twice already and the vehicle just now has 43,000 miles. Our biggest concern has been an engine knocking noise that started to occur at just over 35,000 miles when you start vehicle. We had brought our vehicle to libertyville Kia in libertyville, il for our problem and they said they could not duplicate what we are hearing. The service manager verbally told me to wait for it to get worse that it is hard to get Kia to cover this known engine problem. After reaching out to Kia with this engine problem and getting no help except them blaming us for lack of oil changes and maintenance. Which was absurd when we only took the vehicle to Kia for service since purchasing new. Filed a formal complaint with Illinois attorney generals office lisa madigan to get help with this and Kia has botched their records and still sdays we have not maintained the vehicle properly. Buyers of Kia and Hyundai I strongly urge to think again. I hope everyone that has had problems like this get the honest help they deserve.

- Vernon Hills, IL, USA

problem #71

Oct 252015


  • miles
Difficult to keep car centered while driving. Steering wheel makes a clunking noise and has become jerry with small movements. Tendency to pull hard to the left or rights. Steering wheel jenks when traveling on error any size bump in road. Back up camera cuts in and out. Never obtain epaulets fuel milage estimates.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #70

Aug 012016


  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while operating the vehicle at various speeds, the steering wheel had suddenly began jerking and sticking making it difficult to properly steer the vehicle. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #69

Jul 262016


  • 33,600 miles
My 2013 Kia Optima has had difficulty remaining in a sraight line on the freeway. Tends to pull left and right. The rate of travel is aprox. 45-65mph. There is also a problem with "oversteering" when I attempt to return to the center of the lane. I had been driving my other car for 29yrs, and I assumed that newer cars may have been differnt, such as being more sensitive with steering. I have almost had a collision on the freeway because there are also blind spots in several areas of the Kia otima. This time I did end up in collision because of blindspots and oversteering in order to avoid hitting the car next to me, and instead hit the car next to me on the other lane when I attempted to move out of their way this occurred from sensetive oversteering. Our airbags did not deploy. Before this accident, I had received a letter from Kia stating they wanted to know if I would like to trade up to the knew Kia Optima. The email stated they had new features; such as cameras for blind spots. This made me aware that Kia knew there was a problem with these serious.blindspots. The car was also beginning to rumble, and I believed it was coming from the engine, in fact quite sure it was from the engine. I also had received a letter in the mail from Kia, stating they were having problems with the engines from certain years of the Kia Optima my car was within the years stated. It stated they would honor this problem if you kept this letter in your car, when bringing it in for repairs. I was going to do this, but the car is now totaled after the accident.

- Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #68

Apr 152016


  • miles
-1st problem- headlights/ fog lights seem to burn out way too often. I've owned cars for over 30 years and never had to replace bulbs as often as I do with this car. -2nd problem- steering seems to be difficult to keep on road and wheel seems to be sticking. I find myself over-correcting to "unlock" the steering wheel. I have a long daily commute, 184 miles round trip, so my 3 year old car has over 100,000 miles. I bought it brand new and never had the steering problem until recently. The headlights burning out has been on going since about 2 months after buying the car. Other than those 2 things, the car has been great with great gas mileage, good ride, etc. However, the steering problem scares me now.

- Delmar, MD, USA

problem #67

Apr 212016


  • 41,000 miles


At speeds above 50mph, after Kia performed and alignment and new tires installed, the steering requires constant correction. There also appear to be alot of play in the steering wheel. The car will not drive in a straight line. It takes alot of work correcting the steering.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #66

Mar 022016


  • 55,000 miles
The steering wheel makes a clunking noise when barely turning left to right, and also shakes when going over bumps. The clunk noise occurs all the time even when in park and turning the wheel left to right. Feels as though it's something going bad in the steering shafts or column.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #65

Feb 102016


  • 10 miles
Every since I purchased my car, new I have noticed a tugging or pulling when I am driving or turning. The steering seems to 'stick' and sometimes causes me to over turn. This has been on going and the dealership says 'it's part of the car'. I don't agree and feel this needs to be looked into, I see all these complaints and they are of the same issue.

- Wheaton, IL, USA

problem #64

Jan 022016


  • 15,000 miles
Steering wheel sticks in middle driving down the road, makes a click when it breaks loose. Car is almost impossible to hold straight driving

- Jefferson, GA, USA

problem #63

Nov 182015


  • 18,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. While driving at various speeds, the contact had to apply a little bit of force to the steering wheel in order to steer the vehicle. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 18,000.

- Methuen, MA, USA

problem #62

Oct 012015


  • 25 miles
I purchased my 2013 Kia Optima on 9/29/2013. I drove it less than a month and the steering started sticking. I had to jerk the wheel to get it loose. Took car in for service and was told, " this is what it should do". I am not dumb. I knew their was something wrong. Took to another dealer and had to call Kia consumer to get it diagnosed. Found out some type electric motor was gone. Got the car back and upon driving the steering started spining around like a merry go round. Took back to Kia service per the consumer office. I have gotten car back and was told, "_it's better than it was by the service department"". now the steering is very tight and stiff to drive. The car pulls to the left and right and I feel like I am fighting to keep it in a straight line. Very exhausting to drive. Now eben making turns I'm S curve to the left can sometimes hear a list clicking noise. These cars with steering problems need to be recalled and repaired. Something has to be done before S fatal accident. All these actions to place while driving the vehicle. It happens on streets and on the highway.

- Jackson, GA, USA

problem #61

Jan 012015


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. While driving at a high rate of speed, the steering wheel was difficult to turn. The contact had to apply force to the steering wheel in order to steer the vehicle. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000....updated 02/08/16

- Winter Garden, FL, USA

problem #60

Oct 142015


  • 100,000 miles
The steering wheel sticks pulling in either direction, first noticed this after 100000 miles. This always happens at highway speeds.

- Desoto, TX, USA

problem #59

Oct 102015


  • 40,000 miles
The steering wheel is 'cog-wheeling' to far left or right. Can't keep the steering wheel neutral/center to keep the vehicle straight. Either the steering wheel is rotated just off the center, cogged too far to left or too far to right. I need to constantly make adjustment and zig-zag through the straight road. This is a common problem with 2013 Kia Optima, and should be addressed and fixed.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #58

Nov 222012


  • 30 miles
While traveling at highway speeds, the steering wheel seems to stick. When it releases, the vehicle will almost over correct so that it looks like "jerky" steering/driving. It has done this from the beginning, I assumed it was because it was a newer vehicle, but it's still doing it. And on longer road trips, I get worn out fighting the steering wheel. Not to mention it can be a safety hazard.

- Chelan, WA, USA

problem #57

Aug 312015


  • 49,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 65 to 70 mph, the steering wheel swerved to the right and left. The contact had to place force on the steering wheel to keep the steering wheel under control. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 49,000.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #56

Sep 142015


  • 33,900 miles
My steering used to be great, with no issues. A few days ago my steering wheel started to fight me while I was driving home from work. Straight, turning left, turning right, it seemed to fight me no matter the situation. All of a sudden, any tiny bumps in the road that the car comes into contact with throws the steering wheel a different direction. Also, the car veers right when the steering wheel is perfectly straight. My normal drive before this incident was phenomenal, with no complaints... the car took tiny bumps in the road but it was not felt in the steering wheel. I took the car to a dealership and they "fixed" the problem by aligning my tires and updating the electrical power steering settings. I was excited to get back into my car with the problem fixed but all I noticed afterwards was that the steering wheel is tighter with the same problems. The tightness of the wheel does not make the problems as noticeable, but the car still directs right when the steering wheel is straight, the steering wheel is jumping with even the slightest bumps in the road, and driving the vehicle is stressful and uncomfortable as I always have to be on high alert - this is not pleasant when I drive long distances everyday for work. Needs to be fixed!

- Sewell, NJ, USA

problem #55

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 #54

Aug 312015


  • 26,000 miles
Steering issues at high speeds on expressway. Vehicle goes into other lanes constantly. I thought it just needed to be broken in but it has never gotten better. It could cause a terrible accident if not taken care of by a recall. If not, I will not buy another Kia.

- Dacula, GA, USA

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