hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,376 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #4

Oct 102012

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles


My main issue is the door lock on the drivers side. I can not open my drivers side door from inside or outside the vehicle. This is a major issue and the problem has been all over the internet for years. Everyone that I know that has a 2003 and 2004 Kia Optima has the same problem. I bet every vehicle Kia sold for these years has this problem. My other issue is I am unable to fill my fuel tank as I normally could do. I have to trickle the fuel in the tank because if I pump it too fast the pump will cut off. I've even had the fuel spill out of the tank before the tank was even full (it was at about 3/4 full). Please demand that Kia recall these problems. I can't believe it's taking this long for this recall to be issued. I just found out about this form and that is why I have taken so long to process this form. Thanks and I hope that you can help asap. [xxx] ps. As of today my vehicle has approximately 53,000 miles. I've driven it in one winter so far (last winter) and it started having the door lock problem at around 33,000. The fuel issue started around 2 years ago. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #3

Dec 232010

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the drivers side door locked and she was unable to unlock it manually or by using the key fob. She was forced to climb into the back seat in order to exit the vehicle. When the failure recently recurred all of the doors failed to unlock. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and the technician replaced the locks; however, the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 90,000. Updated 2/11/14 the consumer stated the trunk and ignition would not unlock. The ignition and trunk lock was replaced. Also, the alternator, fuel tank sensor and timing belt were replaced. The high beam lights would come on, when she made turns.

- Lancaster , CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 222007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,002 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Optima. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle decelerated when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The contact stated that the gas mileage was poor as well. The dealer was unable to diagnose the cause of the failure. The air filter and oil were replaced, however, the failure remained. The current mileage was 82,591 and failure mileage was 82,002. Updated 12-12-07. Updated

- Marshall, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 202006

Optima 6-cyl

  • 75,504 miles
It took 3-4 attempts to get the consumer's 2003 Kia Optima to start and the consumer also had to pump the gas pedal. While driving 45 mph the vehicle accelerated suddenly without warning. While attempting to accelerate from a stop the vehicle would not move. The consumer had to pump the gas pedal in order to get the vehicle to accelerate. These problems have been present since the date of purchase.

- Markham, IL, USA

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