Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

2.8

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,817 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.

2012 Kia Optima Hybrid engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #6

Oct 012016

Optima Hybrid

  • 88,000 miles

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

Need to replace complete belt tensioner & bracket assembly & serpentine belts. My concern is the plastic cracking in this assembly, the evaporative canister, also plastic is cracked and will be replaced also. Was there a bad batch of plastic used on these cars? cost to replace belt tensioner, bracket assembly & belts is approx. $800. The canister is covered by Kia - cost 164.00.

- Rising Sun, IN, USA

problem #5

Aug 282016

Optima Hybrid

  • 87,000 miles
The contact owned a 2012 Kia Optima hybrid. While driving approximately 60 mph, the contact heard an abnormal banging noise under the hood. The vehicle momentarily lost power and the contact noticed black smoke and flames coming from the engine compartment. The fire department extinguished the fire. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was deemed destroyed. The technician stated that the fire was due to a connecting rod malfunction. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 87,000.

- West Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #4

Feb 022015

Optima Hybrid

  • 80,000 miles
After ~20K miles, I noticed a slight tapping/knocking noise coming from the engine. I took the car to the dealership for maintenance and asked about the noise. They said there was nothing wrong. Over time, it got a bit louder but not much and each time it was taken to the dealership, they would say there was nothing wrong. At ~80K miles, my wife was traveling home on the freeway at 70mph when the engine started making a terrible noise (sounded like a rod was about to come through the engine), lost power, and all of the lights came on, which almost caused her to wreck, as she was in heavy traffic. She immediately pulled over and we had to call a tow truck. After calling the dealership, they said that they wouldn't fix it and that I'd have to pay 7K to have the engine replaced. I ended up buying an engine from a wrecked 2014 Kia Optima hybrid. So much for a warranty. After doing research, it seems that there are numerous people having the exact same issues I've experienced.

- Calera, AL, USA

problem #3

May 062015

Optima Hybrid

  • 35,000 miles

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

Our car is currently at the dealer for the 4th time for the same problem. Last spring the engine warning light came on with the message "hybrid system warning! safely stop and do not drive". the dealer said it was the battery (regular, not hybrid) so we had that replaced (out of warranty - we paid for that). This past August, the warning message appeared again - the dealer said there had been a technical bulletin, and they performed an update (covered by warranty). We had the car back for a few days and the message appeared again, as well as the following message "check charging system". the dealer replaced a wire (under warranty). A couple of weeks ago, the check engine light came on and the hybrid system warning appeared again. This time (4th time) the dealer said that the traction motor needed replacing and that we needed a new transmission (also under warranty). We believe that there is an inherent problem with this car.

- Long Beach, NY, USA

problem #2

Jun 012012

Optima Hybrid

  • 450 miles
(my report is exactly the same as id 10552403) this car severely hesitates/stalls after coming to a stop (red lights, stop signs, yield signs, and etc). Car hesitates/stalls for ~2-3 seconds before accelerating while at a dead stop. This has caused several near accidents. When it happens, I push the gas pedal to the floor and the car doesn't respond at all for about 2-3 seconds. This seems to be a serious problem when pulling out into traffic as incoming cars can close the safety gap quickly in 2-3 seconds. Cold weather causes the car to hesitate/stall more often than warmer weather from my experience, but it's happened when car has been running for over 20 minutes, as well. I hope Kia will check into this problem as my local dealership has no answer.

- Kirkland, WA, USA

problem #1

Nov 042013

Optima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 14,450 miles
This car severely hesitates/stalls after coming to a stop at intersections (red lights, stop signs, yield signs, and etc). Car hesitates/stalls for 2-3 seconds before accelerating while at a dead stop. This has causes several near accidents and scares to my family, friends, and myself. This morning, I pushed the gas pedal to the floor and the car did not accelerate/respond until 2-3 seconds later. This is serious and dangerous problem, while pulling out into traffic incoming cars can close the safety gap quickly in 2-3 seconds. Cold weather causes the car to hesitate/stall more often than warmer weather. I urge the federal government to step in and force Kia to find solution to this problem before this issue cause a fatality. Fuel economy is another issue in this car (hybrid), I typically donżżT get the estimated 35 mpg/city that the dealership sold me on, it is usually 28-30 mpg/city.

- Fayetteville , NC, USA

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