really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,112 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

Nov 192005

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


2003 Kia Optima with 70,000 miles just burst into flames and burned totally up while driving down the road. Fire started somewhere in engine compartment per the fire department. Vehicle was running fine prior to incident. Very dangerous situation for passengers and surrounding property.

- Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #2

Jun 142004

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,335 miles
It was raining hard in our area( 1 inches in 1 our). I live 3 miles in on a county dirt road and it was muddy with standing water. When all the water and mud was splasted in the engine compartment the was idleing rough. This is the (2) second time this happened. The first time was about 2 months ago in April when we had same type of weather. Took the car to my dealer service dept and was told they could not find nothing wrong and that I had water in my gas. I put atleast two bottles of dry gas in tank. Car ran fine until the eveing of 6/14/03 when again we had alot of rain and the same 3 mile wet, muddy, standing water dirt road.

- Nahunta, GA, USA

problem #1

Oct 282003


  • 11,000 miles
While driving 55 mph on the highway, consumer lost control of vehicle and hit the guard rail. The driver was injured and transported by ambulance to the hospital. Injuries unknown at this time. A police report was taken and the vehicle was towed to the dealer for analysis. Mechanic detected both frontal upper ball joints cracked.

- Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, USA

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