hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,869 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2004 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #11

Mar 082017


  • 25,800 miles


Cannot add fuel because the pump stops from filling up the tank. It took me about 7 times to get in $7 worth of gas. Even though this car only has 25,830 miles on it. It has hardly been used. We put gas in about every 3 or 4 weeks - not that often.

- Waukesha, WI, USA

problem #10

Nov 302016


  • 124,560 miles
Driver's door locking system will not unlock, all others do. The door locks itself immediately as you try to unlock either with the key (outside) or pressing the central lock button (when inside). This would be a serious problem if the car was involved in an accident and/or fire was an issue. Right now it is inconvenient to climb over the center console. I see this is not the first complaint on this subject and the problem seems endemic to this car. The problem started intermittently from September 2016 and now is permanent as of November 30.

- Placerville, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 012016


  • 100,000 miles
Drivers door lock will not open from inside at all & only 10%of the time from outside with key. Pulled fuse on actuators & lock continues to malfunction. Can not efficiently get in or out of the car. Have to slide over center to reach passenger door to get out. I am 6'4" so this is a real safety hazard.

- Bensenville, IL, USA

problem #8

Feb 032016


  • 65,000 miles


My drivers side door automatic locks lock and even after manually unlocking them I am unable to open the door. Have to enter and exit the vehicle through passenger door. Many other Kia Optima owners online have the same issue. This poses a serious safety risk if I can't exit the vehicle in an emergency. Please force Kia to make this right!

- Idaho Falls, ID, USA

problem #7

Nov 292015


  • 64,200 miles
Out of nowhere my daughter's car door would not open, trapping her inside. It won't open with the key or remote. I called Kia and they said my warranty ran out and there is no recall despite this being a common issue-- a very dangerous safety issue I must say, since the driver and passengers could possibly be trapped and die in an emergency.

- Edwards, CA, USA

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problem #6

Oct 182015


  • 124,000 miles
Sub frame rot leading to poor handling, tire wear, bad engine performance. The rotted supframe is separating from body, causing poor performance. The car is performing poorly at all speeds. Not safe...

- Pembroke, MA, USA

problem #5

May 012013


  • 100,000 miles


Driver door fails to open. When will something be done about this? there are complaints everywhere online about this exact issue on this exact model and other years too. I can't get in or out of my car through the driver door. This is a huge safety concern!

- Pleasant Hill, IA, USA

problem #4

Aug 052011

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
Kia Optima problem model years affected: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 the driver front door lock on my 2004 Kia Optima started giving me problems. If I am in the car and locked the door, I could not unlock it. If I was outside and try to use the key to unlock the doors, it would not unlock. If I tried to use the key, it felt like something was jamming, and the actuator would automatically relock. I took the car to the local Kia dealership and the shop told me that it was a faulty door lock actuator.the mechanic did not open the door but said that this was a common problem. They estimated cost is $300+ including labor to repair. As an interim solution, the mechanic told us to "turn the key and pull the handle simultaneously". the trick worked about 30% of the time. It still does not solve the fact that once you're inside, you have to crawl out through the passenger side to exit or go dukes of hazard on it.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 292012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
The driver's side door will not unlock from either the inside or outside. The key won't work. I had to crawl over the passenger seat risking potential injury. This is a safety issue. I notified the dealer who said basically that it wasn't his dealership's problem and to call Kia consumer number. I did call and he also said basically that it is not Kia's problem, it is not a safety issue, and too bad for you. There are many documented instances of this door latch failing. It is a safety issue despite what the consumer rep said at Kia. $50 diagnosis cost plus, when the part finally comes in, another $230 dollars. It is unacceptable for Kia to ignore this safety issue.

- West Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #2

Aug 262011


  • miles
Drivers side door will not open with the power lock or by key, I have been getting in and out of my car by using the passenger front door. My husband found a way to unlock my driver side door, now I can not lock my car again.

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #1

Sep 102011

Optima 6-cyl

  • miles
We just purchased is car last Saturday and went to the store and locked the doors then when we went to unlock the doors with the key on the driver side the driver door would not unlock. I would turn the key and pull the handle and the doors would lock back. I had to get in and back out through the passanger side. When I got home my son finally got it to unlock and open and everytime we would lock it it would not unlock or open. We just have to keep working with it until it fianlly unlocks and the door opens. So now I am afraid to lock it. I read online of many reports of this same problem and it would really be nice to get a recall for it.

- Hueytown, AL, USA

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