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Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,667 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #3

Sep 012006

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


- the contact stated that the 2003 Kia Optima's with 50000 failure mileage lights, locks, radio did not work. The vehicle would not start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer multiple times. The dealer installed a new engine. The vehicle did not work properly. The current mileage was 56,000.

- Winchester, MA, USA

problem #2

Dec 272004

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles
I was driving my 2003 Kia Optima on I85 at 65 mph when the vehicle suddenly lost power and slowed quickly to less than 10 mph. The vehicle continued to sputter and backfire until I was forced to pull over and wait approximately. 15 minutes before proceeding normally. My wife has also experienced the same problems and is afraid of being involved in an accident. The vehicle has been in the shop for this issue 4 times. The last repair involved paramount Kia in hickory where the mechanic replaced many of the assumed problem parts such as faulty wiring harness, ECM, maf sensor and fuel pump without resolve. The service department stated that they had no idea on how to fix the problem.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #1

Feb 042003

(reported on)


  • miles
The accelerator pedal sticks and the vehicle randomly starts.

- Lancaster, OH, USA

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