really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,770 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #4

Aug 092012

Optima 6-cyl

  • 51,000 miles


The car was running fine until after a few hours of driving it just stopped running. This is the second time this has occurred. The engine RPM dropped to zero and the car coasted. After sitting for less than an hour the car started up again. I took it to the Kia dealer and they said, even though the car had less than 60,000 miles, they would have to diagnose the problem and charge us $200 to do so, and the electronic parts were not covered.

- Hawthorne, CA, USA

problem #3

May 252011


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Optima. The contact stated while driving 30 mph with the brakes engaged the vehicle accelerated and crashed into some trees. The vehicle was destroyed. No one was injured. The contact did not call the manufacturer. The contact stated that the vehicle had always been unsafe to drive. The failure mileage was 40,000.

- Crofton, MD, USA

problem #2

Oct 102010

Optima 4-cyl

  • 80 miles
I was commuting. I gave my car regular oil changes and tune ups. Then the engine coils went out. The car would not go over forty. Replaced that. Heard funny noises coming from the engine. The car was at 70K at this point. The manufacturers warranty said to replace the timing belt at 110K. So I decided to hold off as that probably wasn't the problem and a manufacturer wouldn't lie to me as they are regulated by the government. Then I am driving and the car dies in the middle of a busy intersection. I get the car towed. The timing belt is changed and there are half the teeth left on the timing belt. How is the car still running you may ask? it is a magical car and is like the little train that could. Then I am driving on a busy scary mountainous highway and the car dies again at a blind corner. No check engine light but there are plenty of cars that want to hit me. The car turns back on. The fear for my life and those around me has subsided for a moment. The car is able to turn back on... somehow. The check engine light stays on. The crank sensor is the problem. The crank sensor was then fixed. This car is a hazard to have on the road. The air bag light has also been on for a year and won't go off. I have had to replace engine coils, door locks, trunk alignments and probably some other things that made me fear for my life. The speedometer also broke and said I was going 0 mph when it was really 80 mph. As of right now the car is running okay. I expect by next October that something will go wrong as that is the month that everything does with this car.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 172010


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the failure was a gas fume leak and the accelerator sensor needed to be replaced because it caused the vehicle to accelerate and decelerate without warning. The failure mileage was approximately 100,000. The current mileage was 129,548.

- Lexington, KY, USA

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