hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,500 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.

2003 Kia Optima accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Kia Optima:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #29

Aug 012011


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the driver side door lock was inoperable and the contact was unable to enter or exit through the driver side door. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer were notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 44,000.

- West Seneca, NY, USA

problem #28

Aug 302011

Optima 6-cyl

  • miles
The front driver and passenger door locks are defected. When I push the automatic switch to unlock the doors, the driver side door stays locked and have to push it on and off a few times for the passenger side door to unlock. I took my car to a Kia dealer for a diagnosis and was given an estimate of $807 for both door lock latches. I still have not had it fixed, being that I cannot afford it right now, so now I have to get in and out through the passenger side door. I researched this problem online and discovered that there are similar complaints with the same car make and model. The door lock latch should be recalled and repaired by Kia. Are there any new solutions to this problem? please let me know....

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #27

May 152006


  • 45,000 miles
Power door locks re-lock after you unlock them and pull on the door handle to open the door. This can either trap you in your car, or trap you out. You have to go around to the other side, but crawling over the center console to the driver's side is almost impossible. Had the switch and actuator replaced on the driver's side. About a year later, the same thing happened with the passenger side door. Kia doesn't seem to care since it gets them over $300 worth of business each time.

- Columbia, PA, USA

problem #26

Jan 012008

Optima 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


Power door locks instantly lock after unlocking continuously, prohibiting entry or exit to the vehicle. This poses a safety hazard if there were to be an accident locking me and my children inside the vehicle. Sometimes it takes 5-10 minutes to get in or out of the car trying to catch the door handle at just the right time to be able to open it.

- Wickliffe , OH, USA

problem #25

Jun 172011

Optima 4-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
Once you lock the doors on a 2003 Kia Optima, you cannot unlock from either the inside or outside for long periods of time. If you keep locking and unlocking from inside, they will eventually stay unlocked. Very unsafe if you need to get out of car quickly.

- Platte City, MO, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #24

Jun 152011


  • 80,000 miles
Owner of 2003 Kia Optima - driver door won't open from inside our outside. Owner must use passenger door to gain access to vehicle. Exterior door handle seems loose. Unable to open door to remove door panel.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #23

Feb 042011


  • 85,000 miles


Door locks stop working, can't open the car.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #22

Feb 012009


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Optima. The contact stated that she became locked inside of the vehicle and was unable to exit. The locks had malfunctioned and she had to exit the vehicle by crawling out of the window. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure persisted for two year before the dealer was contacted. The dealer referred her to the manufacturer and the manufacturer agreed to assist with repairing the locks for the driver side door only. The contact stated that all four door locks were affected by the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The current mileage was 73,442 and failure mileage was unknown.

- Platte City, MO, USA

problem #21

Mar 112010

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the door latches on both the driver and passenger side were not functioning properly; the contact was unable to open the doors to get in or out of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who stated that the latches needed to be replaced. The contact called the manufacturer who stated that she would be responsible for repair costs. The consumer also stated the cv joints needed to be replaced, but the parts were not available. Updated 02/16/11 updated 3/8/11

- West Harford, CT, USA

problem #20

Dec 152006


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the front passenger and driver seat doors remained locked without a warning. The dealer was notified and advised him that there was an electrical defect. The contact did not inform the manufacturer. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was approximately 120,000. The failure mileage was approximately 70,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #19

Dec 102010

Optima 4-cyl

  • 84,200 miles


Driver's door won't open. Failed in shut position.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #18

Sep 012009

Optima 4-cyl

  • 66,196 miles
The contact owns 2003 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the driver and passenger door locks failed and the contact was unable to unlock the doors from the inside or use the key to open the doors from the outside of the vehicle. The contact had to climb into the driver seat from the rear in order to enter and exit the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to be diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 66,196. Updated 01/31/11 the consumer stated the vehicle was taken to the dealer for repairs on November 17, 2010. However, the doors were still locking on their own. Updated 03/11/11

- Shaker Heights , OH, USA

problem #17

Oct 102010


  • 95,000 miles
2003 Kia Optima driver side door locked and won't unlock. Cannot open door and I'm locked in vehicle. Must climb through window or passenger side. Key will not unlock drivers door. I cannot lock the rest of the doors to vehicle in fear I will be locked in or out for good.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #16

Jul 102009


  • 64,000 miles
The driver door on my 2003 Kia Optima will not unlock with my key, even though the inside lock would move to the "unlock" position. It will only open with a combination of turning the key and pulling the door handle at the same time or having my son push down on the inside lock while I turn the key and pull the door handle. This solution to the problem only works about half the time. If the door will not unlock, I have to enter the car through the passenger door and the driver door will still not unlock, even from the inside.

- Perrysburg, OH, USA

problem #15

Feb 102009


  • 65,000 miles
Driver side lock defective. Driver get locked in. 2003 Kia Optima.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #14

Jul 182008


  • 90,000 miles
***safety issue*** 1) under normal operating conditions without abuse or consumer modification. 2) door locks frequently fail to unlock or will automatically re-lock when attempting to unlock either manually or electronically. This could cause an inability to escape the vehicle in a reasonable amount of time or may result in being unable to access children trapped inside. Thus, leading to heat stroke, death, or other physical harm. 3) had to pay to replace door latch assembly, but still intermittently fails to unlock as of the date of this report. There is no manual override to unlock the doors with this mechanical/electrical failure.

- Worthing, SD, USA

problem #13

Jul 032010


  • 117,000 miles
The doors on my Kia Optima (2003) lock by themselves after I unlock the car. When I go to open my driver side door is when the car locks by itself. I am afraid of locking my kids in the car because of this problem. The other day I couldn't get the driver side door open at all.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #12

Jun 262010


  • 84,226 miles
Have 2003 Kia Optima. Car stops while running.looks into google. Is common problem. Camshaft position sensor. Also locks on the driver side not working, locks self inside the car.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #11

Feb 162009


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Optima. The contact stated the interior door locks were inoperable. When exiting the vehicle, the contact would have to reach outside the window and unlock the doors from the outside latch. Once the doors were unlocked, they would independently relock within seconds. The dealer was not able to provide a reason for the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 90,000 and the current mileage was 107,000.

- Monroe, GA, USA

problem #10

Dec 032009


  • 54,000 miles
The door locks would not work properly. Sometimes the doors would unlock electronically and sometimes not. Several times we could not unlock manually either. A few times the passenger had to climb over the center console and exit the car on the passenger side. I was able to take it a Kia dealer January 28, 2010 and they replaced both door latch assemblies. The locks were working until this week, May 6, when there seems to be a problem beginning to appear. I understand that there may be a problem with an electrical component but the door should be able to be unlocked manually.

- Brawley, CA, USA

Read the next 9 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?