really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
132,962 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2001 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 212015


  • 190,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 30 mph in the rain, the vehicle swerved to the right. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the front end needed to be aligned. The vehicle was not repaired because the front subframe was corroded and needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact was made aware of NHTSA campaign number: 09V183000 (suspension); however, the VIN was not included. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 190,000.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #9

Nov 232015


  • 236,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while the vehicle being inspected by an independent mechanic, the mechanic stated that the axle had fractured due to severe corrosion on the motor mount brackets. The contact was made aware of NHTSA campaign number: 09V183000 (suspension). The manufacturer was contact and informed that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 236,000.

- West Ary, KY, USA

problem #8

Feb 082013


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. The vehicle was previously included in NHTSA campaign number: 09V183000 (suspension). The vehicle was taken to the dealer for the recall repair. The technician did not find corrosion of the frame at that time and did not perform any repair. The contact stated while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle began to pull to the sides. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated the sub frame was fractured on the front passenger side destroying the axel and tie rods. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 82,000.

- Passaic, NJ, USA

problem #7

Oct 172012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 210,000 miles


As I was leaving my neighborhood, my car drifted to the right and fell on top of the right front tire. After inspection of the car, we noticed that there was a hole in the subframe where the suspension broke apart. Insurance informed me of recall SC075 and not Kia. Insurance will not cover because of recall and Kia will not cover because they did not recall it, they say.

- Boiling Springs, SC, USA

problem #6

Oct 042012


  • 122,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds the vehicle would veer to the right independently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnose that due to the moisture from the air conditioner the cross bar became corroded. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 09V183000 (suspension:front). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 122,000.

- Southport, NC, USA

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problem #5

Mar 062012


  • 157,930 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the driver was driving 65 mph when the front passenger side of the vehicle collapsed. The vehicle was towed to the contact's home. The contact noticed that the tire was stuck to the side of the vehicle and the fender well was damaged. The vehicle was not taken to a mechanic. The dealer was notified and they stated that there were no warranties covering the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 157,930.

- Lawton, OK, USA

problem #4

Apr 032012


  • 142,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Kia Optima. The contact stated the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for an unrelated repair and they detected the sub frame completely rusted. In addition, the front driver's side wheel assembly separated from the sub frame. There was a recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 09V183000 (suspension: Front). The vehicle was ineligible under the recall due to not being currently registered or originally sold in the states mentioned in the recall. The contact planned to notify the manufacturer of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 142,000.

- Winchester , KY, USA

problem #3

Dec 162011

Optima 6-cyl

  • 132,993 miles
While driving in a neighborhood, my daughter heard a loud "pop" and then the car came to a stop and shuddered. I got there and did a quick look and I noticed the driver side inside cv joint had failed and was leaking the grease out of the boot. We towed it home and was able to jack the car up and get a better view of the area and noticed the lower arm of suspension had pulled from the rusted frame. Looks like the same thing is happening on the passenger side. I came in to look up parts needed and found the recall info #09V183000 that showed the same exact problem we have but doesn't include Kansas"?? I actually bought this in Missouri, which is included??" I believe this should be covered. Please reply asap.

- Leavenworth, KS, USA

problem #2

Feb 122008

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,700 miles
On February 12, 2008 my car began to drive very erratically with snow on the road. It was difficult to keep the car from steering off the road. It wasn't just road conditions. I thought something was broke. I took the car to the shop the same day. Initially the technician stated I need and alignment. I had just got 4 new tires and alignment in December 2007. I stated this condition just started today. The technician when back and inspected the car in more detail. He returned an said that the alignment could not be done to get it within specifications. He took me to the lift where the car was and showed me why the car could not be aligned. The lower control arm assembly was separating from the sub frame or engine cradle of the car, because the frame was completely rusted through. He technician stated this wasn't in a very safe condition. He also noted a 7 years old should not show this type of decay in a major structural component. I asked the technician to get the alignment as close to the manufacturers specification so I return home safe. Internet research shows the replacement part costing $1400. The engine and steering components attached to this part. I will be contacting the local Kia dealer for a labor cost estimate. An internet search shows that other owners have experienced this problem.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #1

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

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