really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,333 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #3

May 172012


  • 40,000 miles


I had problem with brakes locking up on 2003 Kia Optima, had it at a dealership to get fixed. They said they fixed it, but had same problem. They had it towed, took it back to fix it again, then put a governor on it, said the brakes were now fixed. Well, this evening, enroute to pick my daughter from the daycare facility, I saw traffic stopped, went to slow up by applying brakes and guess what" no brakes! this did not happen all the time, but intermittently, now caused me to have an accident because the brakes did not work! the repair shop at the dealership is the one who said it was all taken care of, however, as you can see, it is not taken care of as the brakes failed!! the brakes did not engage, I was going to try to go in the lefthand lane of the two lane highway on my side of the road, however there was a car already in position on that side and the curb, grass and then a pizza hut on my right, leaving me no where to go but under the bumper of a pick up. It pushed the grill into the radio, therefore the hood is buckled, the bumper destroyed and car will be totaled by the insurance company as it is cost more to repair as it also tore off side strip and other parts on the left hand side of the car. The left hand turn signal blinks twice as fast as it should as I checked out everything as the police officer said it was drivable. I drove it home very slowly with my dad in a car behind me to make sure I did not leak any fluid and also to make sure I got home alright with my 8 year old daughter after we picked her up at daycare. This should not have happened so what is wrong with the 2003 brakes on Kia Optimas" if there is a recall on them I need to know as I am trying to find a website for them as I have been told there have been brake issues on Kia for several years, one of which is the 2003 Kia Optima. Thank you ahead of time for your prompt response. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Hagerstown , MD, USA

problem #2

Sep 172011


  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Optima. The contact stated that she smelled smoke when she applied pressure to the brakes. She attempted to activate the emergency brake system, but it failed and did not activate. The dealer inspected the vehicle and informed the contact that the rear end of the vehicle was rusted to include the brake housing unit. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure nor was the vehicle repaired. The current and failure mileages were 69,000.

- Wodbridge, VA, USA

problem #1

Dec 012004


  • miles
Brake failure, front rotors grooved, pads heat glazed, rear rotors also. Plus rear calipers were bounded up. The doors locked by themselves, and there was squealing when the consumer placed the vehicle in reverse. It was found that the doors harness connection was poor and shorted out.

- Rochester, NY, USA

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