pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
2,467 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #3

Aug 062004

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,200 miles


Bought Kia Optima on June 22, 2004 VIN# [xxx] and have since had seven service appointments, replaced two sets of drive belts, replaced a leaking power steering rack, replaced a leaking fuel regulator, machined the front rotors, lost time from work, lost productivity from work as well as jeopardized my wife's work from car pooling for five months, completed scheduled arbitration with the BBB without success for four problems: Acceleration delay, low grinding brake noise, low vibration steering noise, and loud squealing noise from the drive belts. Updated 07/24/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #2

Sep 012004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,200 miles
Irregular occurrences of steering problem, leaking power steering rack. Since the initial repair of the power steering rack, the consumer has continued to experience problems with the steering, however the dealer was unable to duplicate the consumers concern. The consumer stated when the vehicle was started in the mornings, there was a second delay in the transmission.

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #1

Feb 292004

Optima 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Defect: Kia Optima 2004 manual transmission when shifting from second to third gear, engine often surges after you remove foot from gas pedal creating an extremely dangerous driving condition. It will surge two times out of three. Dealer states that the mfgr states that the engine surge is computor controled and nothing can be done about it. I cannot emphasise enough what a dangerous driving condition/situation this creates. This is a condition that will result in death and injury. Kia sells so few manual transmission Optima's that I don't think they care and Kia will try to ignore the defect. This is not a single incident/this is continual.

- Foxboro, MA, USA

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