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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,399 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2013 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #14

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 #13

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 #12

Sep 152014


  • 38,000 miles
When I first bought the car in July 2013, it was less then two weeks and I told them at century Kia something was wrong with the steering. I later took it and had the alignment looked at I was told it was off just a little bit on the passenger side. About two months later it is swaying all over the road, I called century Kia and spoke with their repair department and explain the problem to him and he suggested it sound like maybe a suspension problem and I told him it was an alignment issue but he told me they would need to check it out to make sure, I was going to take it somewhere else to see if it's the same thing but will allow them to look at it again. Hopefully I will get some real help because I really like my car as well.

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #11

Mar 252014


  • 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 #10

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

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problem #9

Feb 202014


  • 22,000 miles
My Kia gets stuck in a few inches of snow or any ice. Slides easily in rain or icy or cold weather. I live in the midwest. I have been pushed by strangers, countless times, trying to get me out of subdivisions because this car will not move. I had to call a tow truck and he mentioned he had to tow 3 of these same fancy vehicles that were stuck in a small amount of snow. I am unable to park in my garage because the car is not dependable if any snow or ice is on the driveway. I drive for a living and I have been stuck in patient's driveways. They laugh and say the other nurses do not have any problems with their cars. This is humiliating. This car costs almost 40,000. It should be dependable instead it is unreliable and dangerous: Other cars may run into me when my car starts sliding backwards on the streets. I have literally been stuck in the middle of the road. I have had to call in sick several times because my car will not back out a few feet from my driveway if there is 3 inches or more of snow on the ground. Also the engine whines alot. It seems to lag in shifting and the RPM goes up to almost 4 before it will shift into 4th gear. I am afraid the engine will explode or blow up.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #8

Nov 072013


  • 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 #7

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 #6

Apr 062013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 60 miles
I bought this car brand new from gerald Kia in Aurora Illinois. Car pulls left then right. Assumed it was out of alignment. Made an appointment at obrien Kia in champaign, il to check it out on weds, 5-8. made ap[pointment on Tuesday, 4-30. Looked on google and found out this is a problem on 11,12 and 13 Optimas. There is even a video showing this problem on utube. I believe I bought a lemon. This is very dangerous, as if you look away for a second, you could hit someone head on. I want to give them there car back. Also I can't get the part to come up.

- Danville, Il, IL, USA

problem #5

Feb 092013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 22 miles
I've owned this vehicle for about one week. Within the first two days I noticed a slight drifting of the vehicle while driving above 40 mph, but dismissed it as being caused by the high winds that were occurring during that time. Over the next few days, these drifting experiences lingered. The worst experience occurred 02/14/13, between 5:30pm and 6:15pm, a high traffic period, on a freeway which is currently under construction. After making a left turn from a traffic light onto the freeway, I proceeded into the left lane. Within a few feet, or acceleration to 50 mph or so, the front wheels, began to pull toward the right. Both of my hands were on the steering wheel the entire time, but I had to steer slightly left to correct to avoid going into the right lane. A few seconds later, the same scenario occurred as above. I next changed to the right lane as my exit was nearing. Within 3/4 mile there is a slight curve left, which the car had issues cornering and again led to my having to steer to correct. This is safety concern, a serious one. This is not a random, every so often occurrence. It is daily, frequent, if I travel on a freeway or anytime speed limits are above 35 mph. There are other instances of what appear to be cornering issues. Left turns are awkward if you follow proper procedure for turning into the lane closest to you. Most turns end up wide, as if you're driving a wider chassis vehicle, I.e. a pick-up or SUV. The steering defect even appears noticeable upon parking, as the steering wheel is always a hair off center when you park straight in a stall or space. In the city I reside in the state of Nevada, constant road construction, lanes that change from horizontal to zig-zag every few feet, the last thing needed is a car that has any hint of a fault with steering or suspension.

- North Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #4

Jan 022013

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles


Car does not track straight while driving over 55mph. Driver has to continually correct wheel to keep car straight on road.

- Gulfort, FL, USA

problem #3

Oct 242012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 498 miles
About a day after I bought my brand new 2013 Kia, I noticed that the vehicle veered to the left. I took it back that weekend to get an alignment and the dealer told me that it wasn't an alignment, but that the steering column was off. So, they adjusted that. When I took delivery of the vehicle again, the issue was still there. I took the car to them again, and this time, they said the steering wheel was twisted. I then moved from va to fl two days later. At this point I only had about 1200 miles on my car. During the trip, I noticed the steering doing the exact same issue. I called the dealer and asked them to just tell me what the issue was with the car. I was told that my vehicle was made with a batch of other vehicles that had this issue and there is a technical bulletin involved with it. She said its protocol to bring the vehicle in multiple times so that they can rule out certain issues. She stated the next step was to redo the suspension. Unfortunately for me, I had to go to a different dealer for this because I was now in fl. Also, unfortunately for me, the first dealer didn't record when I went in the first two times. So when I go to this new dealer at 2500 miles, they have no idea what I'm talking about, give me an alignment that doesn't solve the issue and send me on my way. This is truly ridiculous. I bought a new car to avoid these issues. And Kia needs to own up and fix these steering wheel issues properly. I'm going back to the dealer again tomorrow. Please recall this steering wheel issue.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #2

Oct 182012


  • 2,800 miles
At highway speeds vehicle is not stable. I have had it checked at the dealer and they say that everything is within specs. Vehicle doesn't pull in one direction, but it has a hard time tracking down the road. Slight imperfections, wind, or tire issues will cause the vehicle to dart left/right. An immediate correction on the steering wheel is required which is slightly more than required to return to center-line and thus requires another correction in the reverse direction. Any deviation from the center-line requires two corrections and extreme vigilance on the steering wheel. It is easy characterized as a wandering, but is more accurately described as an unsettled issue at highway speeds. It is also most obvious at highway speeds around 70mph.

- Polk City, IA, USA

problem #1

Sep 012012

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
2013 Kia Optima. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle steering to the right the consumer also stated, sometimes the belt made a squeaky noise. He also noticed a slight hesitation when pulling off from a red light or stop sign. The consumer also stated the vehicle did not come with a key to open the trunk. Updated 01/22/13

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

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