really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,362 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #20

Nov 022017


  • 57,000 miles


The contact owned a 2004 Kia Optima. While driving 25 mph, another vehicle crashed into the contact's vehicle from the front. The passenger side air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact sustained stomach and chest injuries that required medical attention. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not contacted. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 57,000.

- Wheeling, WV, USA

problem #19

Dec 082016


  • 91,000 miles
The air bag went off while my wife was reaching for her seat belt and scrapped and burned her arm. It sounded like a gun going off. I rushed her home and took care of her wounds

- Pinellas Park, FL, USA

problem #18

Oct 272016


  • 87,000 miles
Air bag light on dashboard stays on, started two days a go.

- Wesley Chapel, FL, USA

problem #17

Jan 012013


  • 126,000 miles


My air bag light comes on there's no wires disconnected under the seat and my seat belts do not retract well also my door locks are getting stuck in lock mode and my engine comes on and then goes off.after awhile.when in park

- Los Fresnos, TX, USA

problem #16

Sep 082015

Optima 6-cyl

  • miles
The contact owned a 2004 Kia Optima. While driving at an unknown speed, an abnormal clicking noise emitted from the vehicle. The power steering failed and the wheels shook violently. The brakes failed to stop the vehicle and it crashed into a wall. The air bags deployed and an unknown substance emitted into the contacts eyes. The contact sustained burns to the body and lacerations to both eyes that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed and deemed destroyed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown. Updated 09/23/16

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

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problem #15

Dec 062015


  • 105,000 miles
Airbag light remains on showing a problem with the system. Was told could be a sensor and would cost $150 to diagnose and up to $2000 to fix. Not worth the cost considering the age but needs to be fixed for safety reasons

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #14

Jul 012013


  • miles


The vehicle hasn't been in any accidents which I am very thankful for considering the air bags may or may not work. The air bag light is on and the dealership has reset it several times. The car won't pass inspection with the light on. I am a recent college graduate on a fixed income. I need the car for transportation to work and at this time don't have the funds to get it fixed if there is a problem with the air bags. I need the Kia dealership to consider calling a recall on these airbags due to a safety issue especially if there was an accident and the bags wouldn't deploy. I need to be able to get this car inspected with little cost to me.

- Stanardsville, VA, USA

problem #13

Feb 132013


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Optima. The contact stated that after turning the vehicle off and attempting to exit the vehicle the drivers side door would not unlock and could not be opened. The contact also indicated that the front drivers side door could not be unlocked from outside of the vehicle. The door failures had occurred on multiple occasions. The air bags sensor light remained illuminated indicating that the air bag system was faulty. The failure was not diagnosed nor was the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 58,000.

- Princeton, WV, USA

problem #12

Nov 282007

Optima 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
The air bag light illuminates on the cluster panel, the code shows that there is "high resistance" in the driver seat air bag. This issue was fixed while vehicle was under warranty but continues to show up. I was told I can replace the seat and it would correct the issue but I picked one up at a junk yard that had the same issue.

- Acton, MA, USA

problem #11

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 #10

Jul 192013

Optima 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles


The airbag light stayed on solid. I took it to my mechanic and he put the computer on it. He said it read the driver side air bag was not functioning. This light is intermittent as it goes out every once in a while, every few days. I do not have the $1000 plus to repair it.

- Beverly Hills, FL, USA

problem #9

Jul 092013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
Airbag light stays on and the front passenger door won't open or close.

- Honoluu, HI, USA

problem #8

Apr 012010

Optima 6-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
We have had the airbag light come on for the past 3 years always just before the state inspection is due every time we get it fixed they said its a switch or a connector. But this year was the worst, light came on in April, this time they said it's the airbag wire harness and would cost over $1500. We got Kia to pay for the part, and we would cover the labor. I'm just worried will this happen again. It should be investigated further.

- Easthampton, MA, USA

problem #7

Aug 302011


  • 100,000 miles
I purchased my 2004 Kia Optima with 100K miles on it and after about 30 days the airbag light came on without being involved in any moving incident and remained on. I took it to the Kia dealer (rosen, milwaukee, wi) and they believed it was the contacts because I got code B1378, airbag resistance to high. They sprayed something on the contacts because the couldn't find anything wrong with the air bag system. They reset the airbag light free of charge, but after driving about one week the light came back on. This is a major safety issue that Kia needs to resolve because the air bags will not deploy if the car is involved in an accident.

- South Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Nov 142009


  • 95,000 miles
I was driving and the vehicle air bag light came on.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #4

Nov 022009


  • 100,169 miles
Me 2004 Kia have the air bags light on and I have take the vehicle to a repair shop and they had not find what is wrong with it. I call the Kia dealer and I was told that there was nothing they could do. I am afraid the air bags will pop while I am driving. Can you please tell me if this is a safety issue. The air bags light stay on at all time. Thank you

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #3

Sep 152005


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Optima. The air bag light illuminated on the instrument panel. Whenever the contact attempted to make a left turn, she heard a grinding noise coming from the steering column. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the clock spring needed to be replaced. The same failure has occurred more than five different times and still persists. The current mileage was 48,016 and failure mileage was 25,000.

- Allenstown, NH, USA

problem #2

Apr 112008

Optima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Purchased a 2004 Kia Optima in 11/2005 and have reported air bag light coming on every couple of months. Car repair has been attempted 4 times since date of purchase and reported 5 times as of 04/11/2008. I am afraid that the airbag may or may not deploy when needed, or it will deploy while driving.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #1

Sep 132006

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
: the contact stated the air bag light illuminated three times. The first time the dealership replaced the driver side air bag. The second time the dealership replaced the passenger side air bag. The contact is awaiting inspection of the vehicle for the third air bag light illumination.

- Bowie, MD, USA

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