really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,092 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.

2002 Kia Optima brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 132004

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,185 miles


2002 Kia Optima LX. There is an electrical problem with the vehicle. The lights will start to flicker, and then the vehicle will lose power and shut everything down. When the temperature was around 80-90 degrees and at long distances this problem will happen. The dealership changed the battery twice, the alternator twice, the main wiring harness, and the main computer for the vehicle. This still did not fix the problem. Consumer took vehicle back to the dealership when the power wentout on 7-14-05. This caused consumer's vehicle to run a stop sign, and hit another vehicle, causing both vehicles to be totaled. The brakes went out as a result of the power outage, and could not stop the vehicle. Also, there was no steering. The vehicle was not overheating. The airbags did not deploy. Everything electrical failed with the vehicle. The fire department disconnected both batteries to prevent fire from happening. When they did this it deleted all the codes that would have told dealer what the problem was. The mechanic said that there was battery acid all over the computer, they still were unable to identify the problem. The electrical problems have been happening since purchase. Consumer has contacted the Kia manufacturer at least ten times, complaint numbers for the first was 24306, on 7-18-03, and the last was on 9-13-04, complaint. 56482. When the consumer contacted the manufacture after the accident they said they wanted a copy of the police report and pictures of the vehicle after the accident.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 142003

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
Feb. 14, 2003, driving a 2002 Optima Kia and applied brakes hard about 70 mph and car was completly uncontrollable sending me off the road into various trees eventually hitting a tree head on. Car caught fire and completely burnt down. I was sent to a trauma unit at forest general in hattiesburg ms with a punctured lung, spleen removed and extreme damage to the ribs which I am presently in pain management for and on ltd.

- Picayune, MS, USA

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