really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,817 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.

2004 Kia Optima accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2004 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #53

Oct 192013

Optima 6-cyl

  • 145,123 miles


In the car with the doors locked, parked and drivers door would not unlock. Tried the unlock button and the locks unlocked and immediately locked again. I tried several times. I tried to actually us the lock itself (manual) and did the same thing. I also tried the keyless remote and this didn't work either. The locks would unlock then relock immediately. I started to panic but leaned over to the passenger door and the manual look unlock just that door. If I were in an accident or if a child were in the car, this would be a huge problem! I am the original owner of the car and I haven't had other problems with it. I have read online and many people have had the same problem.

- Marshall, VA, USA

problem #52

Jan 012012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns 2004 Kia Optima. The contact stated the passenger front door lock failed to unlock electronically or manually. The air bag warning light also remained illuminated. The drivers door lock also failed at 41,000 miles; however, the actuator was replaced. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for the passenger door or the air bag warning light. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 41,000. The current mileage was 64,000...updated 12-30-13 the consumer stated the vehicle was taken to be repaied. The techician advised there was a nickel in the door panel and that the was repaired. There door was not actually repaired. Updated 1/16/2014

- Alice , TX, USA

problem #51

Jul 252013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 121,931 miles
When I started to leave for work this morning; I could not get into the car from the drivers side; the door would not unlock; I could not get it to open. This has never happen before so I looked carefully and saw no damage was done to my car so I tried again to unlock and open my door. I put the key in the keyhole as usual but I notice that it felt like it was not fitting correctly and as I turned the key and it was harder to turn but I could hear the sound of the doors unlocking so I pulled the handle to open the drivers door again and it still would not open. The other three car doors works fine; locking and unlocking like they should. I was then forced to get into the car from the front passenger door. There I attempted to open the drivers door from the inside but my efforts there also failed; which was very alarming. I could feel my anxiety building (feeling trapped & not able to open my car door at anytime) I was running out of time and have to go to work. I tried to open my door from the inside several times but nothing worked. I was able to start the car and let down all the windows. I could breathe some fresh air. All day I had to get in and out of my car form the front passenger door. I tried to open the drivers door several time throughout the day but nothing would work. My door being stuck shut is a horrible feeling to have when driving knowing that one of my ways to escape from the car gone almost helpless at first so I hope this problem is not a small matter to you because it is putting our life in a serious situation; so please treated this as such. Think of this: If there were fire marshalls for cars, would they ever tolerate a front door that can't be open when people are inside? no.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #50

Jun 022008


  • 80,000 miles


The driver side door will not unlock with the key or inside switch. All the other doors will unlock except the driver door. After turning the key for about 10 mins up to a day or a week it will sometimes unlock, but only using the key. This is a very bad safety hazard. It looks as if the plastic part inside the door that controls the locking is broken. There were no accidents that made this occur. I have talked to Kia on several occasions about the matter and this is one feature that the customer does not need to pay for. This is a defective part and can trap someone in a car. You have to crawl through passenger door to even to get in and drive. Shameful on Kia. Seems like its going to take some one burning or have a fatality for Kia to do a recall on this, but all about money when they pride on safety.

- Big Stone Gap, VA, USA

problem #49

Oct 282011


  • 160,000 miles
On my 2004 Kia Optima when I unlock the doors with the key all doors unlock except the drivers door real big safety concern, if I get stuck in my car during an accident an cannot get out I will sue Kia motor company for not issuing a safety recall, I have also notice a lot of postings based upon this issue on fixya.com for the 2003-2006 Kia Optima need attention asap.

- Columbia, MD, USA

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problem #48

Mar 122013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
The driver side door will not unlock.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #47

Mar 262012


  • 110,000 miles


The drivers door will not open either from the inside or the outside. The door remains locked as the button and key do not fully unlock it. Using both button and key at the same time, I was able to unlock the door and open it. Dissassembly of the door and latch located the problem to be the door latch mechanism. The door latch is designed to fail as evidenced by the number of complaints listing this part. The lever that is moved into place when the door is unlocked is blocked by the cam that it interfaces with because the cam has rotated beyond the point that it should. This has the potential to trap someone in the car if it should fail at the wrong time.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #46

Sep 142010

Optima 4-cyl

  • 93,700 miles
Driver side door will not open, accidentally locked door now it will not open, have to climb over from passenger side to driver side, will not open from inside or outside, I am disabled and it's very difficult to have to climb over to driver side, for a long time now I have left the car unlocked for this reason, seems I am not the only one with this problem, a lot of people have placed posts about this issue. It's not only an inconvenience but a safety issue. I feel this is a major recall that needs to be addressed and fixed. Anyone in an accident (god forbid) is trapped, more so if there disabled, people should not have to pay out of pocket for this issue. Thank-you

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #45

Oct 172012

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the driver's side door was locked but could not be unlocked. The contact stated that he had to manually unlock the door with the key in order to get the door to open. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 140,000. Updated 12/28/12 the consumer stated the driver's door would not unlock using the remote or switch. All the other doors would unlock and unlock using the remote or switch. Updated 01/09/13

- Mayfield, KY, USA

problem #44

Oct 012012


  • 133,200 miles
Driver side door will not open, stuck in locked position. Can't get out of car unless go over to passenger side door.

- Trumbull, CT, USA

problem #43

Aug 122012


  • 85,000 miles


Drivers side door latch failed and would not unlock from inside or out side. Had to exit the vehicle through passenger side door. Very dangerous if there were an emergency. I have seen many complaints online about this issue with the same make, model and approx. Mileage as mine. Kia needs to issue a recall before some one gets hurt.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #42

Jul 082012

Optima 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
I own a 2004 Kia Optima purchased brand new. I have been unable to unlock (or open) the driver side door. The vehicle has never been in an accident. The problem accorded a few weeks ago when I attempted to unlock my car door. Once I removed my key and lifted the handle to get in all of the doors lock. I had to enter through the passenger side door. The drivers side door will also not open from the inside. This is a safety hazard as if I get into a car accident I will be trapped inside and could die!! I am not the only person with this issue for this make and model. And it appears that the 2003 model has the same issue. As you can see from the following websites: vlane.com/discuss-topic/989/my-drivers-door-is-locked-will-not-unlock, as well as www.fixya.com/cars/+866401-drivers_door_will_not_unlock this is not an isolated incident. This is clearly a defect that needs to be addressed. Please issue a recall as I fear for my family's safety.

- Star, ID, USA

problem #41

Jun 252012


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the door locks failed. The contact stated that he tried to enter the vehicle with the automatic key fob but the doors would not unlock. The contact was able to unlock the vehicle by manually turning the key abruptly and pulling the door handle. The contact had previously been locked inside the vehicle as a result of the failure. He was able to exit the vehicle by constantly depressing the automated key fob until the door locks responded. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #40

May 122012


  • 120,000 miles
The driver's side will lock you in the vehicle and won't let you out. You can be driving with the doors unlocked and it will lock itself while in motion or you maybe ready to leave a location and can't get back in the car. I have had several problems within the last week of being trapped in my car and sometimes I can't get the locks to let me out on the passenger side either. This has been a scary situation and I hope it doesn't cause someone to be hurt or killed.

- Greenwood, SC, USA

problem #39

Apr 072012

Optima 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Driver side door automatically locks and will not unlock from outside with the key or from the inside unlock lever. Driver is trapped inside car and must exit by crawling over console to passenger side door. This happens sporadically and is a serious safety hazard. It renders the car unable to be locked at all. There seem to be plenty of others experiencing this same problem, yet no recall from Kia.

- Williamstown, WV, USA

problem #38

Oct 012011

Optima 6-cyl

  • miles
The driver side door on my car will not unlock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been putting up with this for 4 to 6 months now. And getting really upset please tell me if this is considered a safetly hazard and this is covered I really don't think I should have to pay for this problem to be fixed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the only way I have been able to get it to unlock is for me to crawl out of the passanger side. Then play with the lock with they key for a few days to have it unlock.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #37

Feb 012011

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
Driver side door will not unlock. Neither the key nor the door lock knob on the inside works to unlock the door. Unfortunately, we have been entering and exiting the driver side by entering the car from the passenger side. There are many others who have this problem with all Kia models as you can see on the website vlane.com/discuss-topic/989/my-drivers-door-is-locked-will-not-unlock. the problem is a safety hazard since once in the driver seat, the driver can not exit the car through the driver door which can prove to be a problem in an emergency. Kia is taking advantage of owners by not addressing the issue. I am afraid for my safety, my family's safety while driving and emphatically plead with you to recall these Kia cars to fix the problem.

- Rego Park, NY, USA

problem #36

Aug 252011

Optima 6-cyl

  • 88,801 miles
2004 Kia Optima ex. The driver door lock will not unlock trapping us in car. Must crawl out through passenger seats. Does not open from inside or outside. Locking mechanism is messed up on drivers side.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #35

Jul 052011

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Optima LX. The contact stated that the driver side door would not unlock when using the key. The contact had to enter the vehicle through the passenger side. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer nor repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were approximately 42,000. Updated 08/05/11 updated 08/15/11

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #34

May 062011


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the drivers side door locks malfunctioned. She was unable to enter the vehicle on the driver side and had to climb in on the passenger side. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer nor repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 83,000.

- Anthem, , AZ, USA

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