really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,150 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.

2008 Kia Optima engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 212011


  • 36,000 miles


My 2008 Kia Optima stalled, without warning, while driving approximately 35-40 mph on a busy highway near an exit. The car lost all power, including steering. The car ended up riding a guardrail and landed on top of it. The end result was, for me, a broken neck! there was absolutely no warning prior to this happening. I was on my way to pick my 3 year old son up from school. Had he been in the car, this may have been catastrophic! my airbags did not deploy! this is unacceptable. The car is undergoing bodywork repairs and I am scared to death to step foot in this death trap ever again. Calls to the Kia dealer where I bought the car go unanswered, as they usually do. This is serious! if your Optima has stalled while driving without warning please post a complaint. This needs to be a recall!

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #3

Dec 282011

Optima 6-cyl

  • miles
December 28, 2011, I noticed that my airbag light located on the dashboard continuously stays illuminated. I have taken it to the dealer to get it checked out. I was told that the airbag sensors are located in the driver/ passenger seats. The mechanic at Kia dealer tried to fix the problem, but was unsuccessful. The service representative informed me that they would have to replace the sensors. I've viewed the complaints of people that own Kia Optima 2008. It states that these cars were recalled because of significant amount of defects. (I only have 43,000 miles) in addition, a week ago I've started hearing a ticking noise coming from the engine area when I accelerate going up in a roller coaster climbing position. Thank you for your expeditious response.

- District Heights, MD, USA

problem #2

Jun 142010


  • 28,000 miles
2008 Kia Optima stalls while in motion. Vehicle will shut itself off. It is as if someone reaches over and turns the key off. It has happened with the car standing still and with the car in motion. Stalling usually occurs within first few minutes of operation and with hot outdoor temperatures. First visit to Kia resulted in replaced fuel tank (codes for bad roll over valve). Problem went away for about a year then came back. Car has been in the shop 4 times over the last month and a half. Shop can't duplicate the problem, so therefore, can't fix the problem. The car is subject to shutting itself off at anytime with no warning, the last occurrence happened just before my wife was to merge onto a busy highway. Apart from fuel tank, dealer has done nothing substantial to repair the issue (computer update, tightened loose wires).

- Maryville, TN, USA

problem #1

Nov 222008


  • 600 miles
2008 Kia Optima exv6, since new, when lightly braking while decelerating from 40 mph, the car downshifts and has an acceleration surge at around 25 mph. When complaining to the dealer, they said the Kia's were made that way. This is an unsafe condition that can cause a rear end collision. The car should have normal engine braking that allows for continuous deceleration as long as the accelerator pedal is not touched. Thank you for your consideration of this complaint.

- Katy, TX, USA

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