definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,286 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.

2001 Kia Optima brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #7

Sep 272010


  • 50,000 miles


The front frame and many components of my 2001 Kia Optima have completely rusted out. It currently has 50,000 miles on it and has had many problems since I purchased it. Check engine light is pretty much on every day. I was told it was something to do with the gas cap, although that never really came up as the reason, there was more than that- resulting in multiple repairs. The O2 sensor has gone twice, the brakes have corroded so badly my repairman had to hit them off to remove them. I had to replace all of the brake lines since they all rusted out. The airbag light goes on and stays on and noone can figure out why. The silver trim on the back window has fallen off. The paint comes off in random places making weird spots of primer show. The transmission has almost caused an accident numerous times because the car would not accelerate from a stop. Speed sensor was replaced twice. The same headlight goes out almost monthly and is almost impossible to put in and find in stores. Door locks will lock and unlock on their own, locking me in or out of the car. The windows have very weak motors that barely roll up or down. This is a car I bought from a dealership and am still making payments on it. I have taken excellent care of it. I have brought it in for regular service and have spent more than the car is worth on repairs while still making car payments and keeping full coverage insurance. I am very upset because the frame has rotted out and I was told to junk the vehicle by bill Dodge Kia service and then again by the gentleman doing my state inspection today. Kia states there is no recall currently on my VIN #. I find that difficult to understand. I believe this vehicle should be replaced or all the parts that have corroded should be completely replaced free of charge by Kia motor co.

- North Waterboro, ME, USA

problem #6

Mar 162006


  • 14,000 miles
Since purchasing my 2001 Kia Optima, I have had nothing but difficulty. I purchased an extended warranty at the dealership I purchased it from in case I needed repairs. I got my money's worth. But the problems I had are common problems with the vehicle, locks not working, windows not rolling up, paint peeling off, transmission problems, check engine light constantly on, decreased acceleration, heat surges when gas pedal released and pressed and the list goes on. It is not hard to find other Kia owners with the same problems. The repair that bothers me the most is the complete transmission it needs. There is 41,000 miles on the vehicle. Common problems that are widely known and should be repaired at an authorized dealer at Kia motor company's expense.

- Westbrook, ME, USA

problem #5

Aug 032006

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
When I first brought the car and drove it, the lights became dim in the inside and the headlights. The radio turned off and on, took it to dealer 4-5 times for problem and they could find nothing wrong. The car doesn't pick up spend when going over hills not even little ones. The gas needle does not read full even when the tank is practically overflowing with gas. Reading a full tank of gas happens every once in a while. Check engine light comes on. Have taken to shop and was told that my spend sensor is going out and that is why the car is going from 1st to 3rd gear and skips 2nd altogether I've only had the car for one year the warrinty is gone and I was never offered the extended warrinty and really didn't think of it since the car was only 4 yr old. Back brakes have also gone out at least I think so they started grinding with no warning 2 days ago I'm going to have them checked this weekend. Air (never used befoe this summer)doesn't get cold like it should. Door lock making a crazy sound on drivers side, believe the motor is going out on power locks they also tend to not want to unlock sometimes. Atenna broke.air bag light came on and won't turn off. Also how can I find out if any recall items have been fixed on my car or not or if they still need to be replaced.

- San Bernardino, CA, USA

problem #4

Mar 152003


  • Manual transmission
  • 0 miles


I don't have the exact dates of these repairs as my car is at the dealership right now being looked at again and I am going to get a history when I pick up the car, here are the issues I've had since spring/summer of last year. We have lost time, money, wages and possible employment because of these problems! 1. air conditioner seemed very cool, but not cold. Checked two or three times, each time service dept. Said it was fine. 2. car died and wouldn't restart without a jump 3 times. Called towing twice. Service could not "recreate the problem." third time they replaced the battery. Seemed to fix the problem temporarily. Fourth time (current) car had to have the headlights replaced once a month, windshield wipers, door locks locked and unlocked on their own when entering/exiting the car, windows rolled up/down slowly, blower on air went up and down with engine speed, lights behind console go out and come on periodically, clock loses time, headlights dim when using power, radio flashes on and off. Today total system failure, all electrical systems went down while driving. Towed car to dealership. Have to pay out of pocket rental fees. Still waiting on result. 3. loud rattling underneath car periodically. 4. whistling in engine 5. check engine light came on periodically. 6. antenna broke and then fell off. 7. suspension very poor. 8. when purchasing car, dealer stated air bag recall had been fixed on car. When looking online, found another recall on the car, called Kia and they said the air bag repair had not been made. I've only had this car for 17 months and have had nothing but problems. Currently in contact with lemon law laywers in Indiana to get total refund for car. Only physical problem right driver door panel from small non-fault accident, no internal damage.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #3

May 012002

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
I've taken my 2001 Kia Optima into the shop going at least 6 times. My brakes are a problem. They squeak and my front end vibrates. The dealer, galeana Kia, says there's nothing wrong with the car, just brake dust. They've tried to fix it, but the problem comes back. Kia gave me 500 dollars (customer satisfaction money) and they said they'd fix the problem. I took the money, but the problem continues. Don't know what to do. Bought car with 18 miles on it... and started having problems right away. Car now has 20 thousand miles.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #2

Aug 152002

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
When the brakes are applied, the rear brakes have been squealing like nothing I have ever heard. Brakes were checked out at a local brake shop and recommended replacement of the rear brakes. At that time the car only had 15,000 miles on it. It now has 29,000 miles on it and the noise is even louder. I contacted the dealer and they said if there isn't anything wrong with the brakes I would have to pay for the brake check and the replacement of the rear brakes. Brakes don't normally go bad that fast unless something is wrong!!

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 172002


  • miles
While driving the vehicle and applied the brakes, the pedal goes to floor resulting in extended stopping. Dealer replaced the brakes. Consumer states the problem still reoccurring.

- Norwalk, CT, USA

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