pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
135,400 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced the door latch (4 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Kia Optima accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #5

Apr 062016

Optima SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles


The drivers side door lock will not unlock from the outside or inside. The drivers side door will unlock the rest of the doors. All entry and exit must be done from the back or the passengers side of the vehicle. This causes a safety issue in the event of an emergency or accident. The door panel will have to be removed with the door closed, potentially causing further damage to the vehicle. estimated cost of repairs is $1100.00

- copterchief, Richmond Hill, GA, US

problem #4

Feb 192015

Optima LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 179,900 miles

This is the 2nd time this has happen. This one is on the passenger side. It just locks when you are unlocking the door and you have to open it with a key and pull handle at the same time. This is what happened two years ago on the driver side and it got to where you couldn't even open it, I had to crawl over from the passenger side and the console to get in and out. When I got the money it cost me about $200 for parts and labor. I'm told the passenger side would be as much. This is just one of many problems.

- Cat C., Dade City, FL, US

problem #3

Sep 192013

Optima LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

After having fixed the passenger door lock that wouldn't let someone out, now it's the driver's door. The latch won't disengage if the door is locked. I haven't locked my door for some time so I don't get trapped in the car.

If I lock the door, the lock won't release. The only way to get it back is lots of time, patience, and turning the key in the lock slowly while pulling the handle to open the door.

- Gerald N., Idaho Falls, ID, US

problem #2

Oct 052013

Optima LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

The first time I noticed the problem with my doors was last year when my daughter and I were at a department store. Before I went into the store, I locked the car as I usually would do. When I got into the car, the passenger door kept locking and unlocking on its own (switching back and forth). It was very scary and I had no idea what was going on. I rolled down the windows just in case the problem sparked a fire. The locking and unlocking finally stopped and as we drove away, I kept my window down as a precaution. I have had nothing but problems with my 2003 Kia Optima. I have gone through five alternators and now I have to put in my third water pump. I am afraid that my child or I will become trapped in this car due to the locking mechamism and if it results in loss of life due to Kia's negligence, Kia will definitely pay. Currenty, I have approximately 141,000 miles on the car and I am convinced that the 2003 Optima was a test car. I actually had a Kia mechanic tell me that when they were trained on how to work on the Optima, the training took all of 1 hour. Now you know that's a crying shame. Other well known auto makers have made mistakes by not recalling known car problems with their cars and they had to pay severly. I sure hope Kia will learn from their mistakes and do what is right.

- a.cca, Moreno Valley, CA, US

problem #1

Feb 022012

Optima LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

Door latch failed on the passenger side, trapping the person in or out. Sometimes it would release with turning the key and pulling the latch at the same time.

Pulling on the door handle inside would activate the power locks and lock the whole car.

I had the latch replaced and it works.

I took it to a body shop who replaced & fixed the issue. $35 for the part $40 labor. Driver's side is more expensive for whatever reason

- Gerald N., Idaho Falls, ID, US

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