really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,662 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

Jun 012010

Optima 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 89,323 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Kia Optima. She stated while driving at speeds of 30 mph, the brakes were applied and would not engage. The contact utilized the emergency brakes in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility where it was discovered that the master cylinder had fractured. The mechanic replaced the master cylinder at the owners expense. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were 89,323. Updated 08/03/10. The rear wheel cylinders, rear brakes and rear drums were replaced. Updated 10/12/10

- Carson City, NV, USA

problem #1

Jul 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
Purchased car brand new on April 30, 2003 - incident #1: July 15, 2003, I was traveling about 30-35 miles per hour exiting the mass pike exit at route 30. All traffic was slowing to exit - I applied the brakes - went all the way down - realized that the breaks were not working - panicked - impacted the vehicle in front of me. The airbags did not work. Incident #2: August 8, 2003, when vehicle was repaired the owner of bucci's auto body took the car in the parking lot for a test drive. At about 15 miles per hour - when brakes were applied the front freezed up and the back pushed forward to create a lunge forward effect. I contacted Kia motor America in irvine, ca and have a complaint file number. After about 1 month of doing nothing I demanded, on August 8th, that they tow the car from the body shop to boch Kia (where the car was purchased)and check out the master cylinder/proportionate value system. They did so and on August 12th I was told that an engineer looked at the car and found nothing wrong. Kia refuses to stand accountable and alledges that the vehicle has no problem. I am forced to drive a car that has bad brakes until 2 more incidents happen in order to proceed under the Massachusetts lemon law. Every model of Kia in 2002 has had hydraulic as well as ABS break failure. Seems to me that Kia needs to redesign the braking system - or - perhaps try this new tag line in advertising: Kia - buy our car - just don't ever have to stop fast!

- Lincoln, RI, USA

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