fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,968 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #9

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 #8

Dec 182006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
I purchased my car in 2001 new. I had many problems since then. The alternator and axles had to be replaced in 2005. The locks are malfunctioned. They automatically lock causing us to get locked in the car. The check engine light and the air bag light has been on for a while. The car stalls, jerks when I am driving. The car failed inspection novembeer 30-emissions related. The power steering pump had to be replaced in October. I have spent so much money repairing this car. I took the car to the dealer. I purchased it from Kia /bronx. My car was there for 4 days. The service mechanic refused to make the repairs and told me to pick up my car. The car was not repaired and I am still unable to get it inspected. I called the manufacturer. They are of no help. They tell me to take the car to another dealer. They also keep reminding me that the basic warranty has expired and the warranty only covers the powertrain. However, if there is a problem with the transmission, they may ask for maintenance records. The car is clearly unsafe to drive. I recently found out that there are two recalls on the 2001 Kia which I was never informed about. The two recalls may be the problems my car is having. I am classifying my car as a lemon and would like help in resolving this issue

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #7

May 132002

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,264 miles
I purchased my brand new car on August 31,2001. I started having electrical problems 9 months after I bought it. I now have a list of problems from electrical to check engine light, fuel sensors, 2 new batteries etc. I have a long long list of repairs that nobody can seem to fix. I am told the problem has been fixed and then my check engine light comes back on and I am told there are additional problems. Meanwhile, I have been stranded on the highway due to these problems, I have had to be towed out of my own driveway to due the electrical problems. I have tried numerous times to tell Kia corporation that I do not feel safe driving this vehicle any longer and nobody is listening. The general manager of the dealership I bought the vehicle from even agrees and feels this car to be very unsafe and dangerous to drive. I have tried to talk to joe petazoni(spelling) who is supposed to be a Kia representative that would decide what to do, he has been no help at all. I feel that Kia corporation should buy back my vehicle because of all the unsafe issues I have had. I feel I bought a lemon and if I can't get anywhere with the company, I will be forced to contact the states attorney's office regarding this lemon of a vehicle!!!!! I have left messages for debbie wojciechowskii and she will not return my calls. I have told the people at 800-333-4-Kia how unsafe I feel and nobody puts that information into the system.

- Battle Creek, MI, USA

problem #6

Feb 172004

Optima 6-cyl

  • miles


While driving at any speed, the check engine light appeared on the dashboard intermittently. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealership for inspection, but the dealer was unable to resolve the problem. The button on the shift lever popped out. The warning light had come on due to an open circuit and the seal on the gas cap was deformed, there was a rattle coming from the rear ash tray, the front window was inoperative due to a tangle wire in the drum, there were engine/electrical problems due to the oxygen sensors and crank sensors, the ABS light had come on, the console lid was loose due to cracked screw holes, there was a body electrical problem with the driver side regulator, there was poor sound in the radio due to an open circuit. The air bag light illuminated.

- Martinsville, VA, USA

problem #5

Oct 292003


  • miles
The air bag light came on. The consumer was informed if the air bag light was on the air bags would not deploy. The consumer experienced problems with the electrical system and the transmission dropping to 3rd gear when going uphill. The dealership told the consumer the vehicle was not powerful enough to drive uphill in 3rd gear. The driver door lock actuator and latch was replaced because the door would not lock or remain unlock, the window made a chattering noise when it was rolled down.

- Soulsbyville, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 172003


  • 20,000 miles
Electrical system has failed two times in the last week. Dealer notified.

- Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #3

Jun 122003

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,950 miles


My 2001 Kia Optima has become the modern age, this vehicle has a mind of it's own. The power locks shuts open and locks on it's own, the vehicle is not reliable when crossing a highway on our street. Vehicle stalls at the point of acceleration and does not respond to pressing of gas pedal. When car electrical system fails and you are in the vehicle the power locks do not operate causing driver and passengers to be locked in vehicle. I was recently locked in my vehicle with my daughter for exactly 4 hours when the power finally returned and I was able to get out. I contacted Kia motors Corp. And was simply not taken serious with this complaint. I hope that you follow up with manufactures possible death trap and that no loses their life.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #2

Feb 202003

(reported on)


  • miles
The vehicle failed to start, the dealer replaced the battery, however the problem recurred.

- New Castle, DE, USA

problem #1

Jun 012002

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,500 miles
The vehicle would down shift, and loose power while driving, the electrical system would operate intermittently. Mr the transmission jumped out of gear.

- Columbus, OH, USA

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