really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 6
Average Mileage:
21,216 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 #6

Dec 312015

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles


Letter from congressman desjarlais re the winchester police department requesting assistance with an issue involving the dot. The operator of the impacting vehicle stated her 2008 Kia Optima accelerated out of control. Please mark this document for deletion. It is being replaced with document number 10838296. The consumer rear ended a minivan and was pushed across the intersection, into a third vehicle. Upon further investigation of the Kia Optima, the speedometer was stuck at 93 mph and the rmp's were stuck at 4500. The ignition was stuck in the accessory position and the gear shift was in neutral.

- Winchester, TN, USA

problem #5

Dec 312015

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Police request for vehicle inspection of 2008 Kia Optima. The information is being provided by the detective of winchester police department in winchester tn...updated local law enforcement request for assistance with an alleged sudden unintended acceleration incident that resulted in multiple fatalities. The driver of the 2008 Kia Optima was traveling at a high speed in the area of 90 mph. The driver traveled down the turning lane and struck a 2003 Ford Windstar from the rear. The Ford Windstar was pushed across the intersection into a third vehicle which was stopped in the turning lane. The Kia Optima came to rest in the left hand lane. The driver stated the vehicle accelerated out of control and it could not be stopped. Upon further investigation, the speedometer was stuck at 93 mph and the RPM's were stuck at 4500. The ignition was stuck in the accessory position and the gear shift was in neutral.

- Winchester, TN, USA

problem #4

Jan 172014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 86,464 miles
Engine started making a clicking sound when the car was accelerating. Took my car in to Kia and found out that one of the rods in the short engine block was failing. My engine only has 86464 miles on it and its an 2008. Bought the car with 69000 miles on it, only had the car for 7 months before the engine began to fail. I took this problem up with the dealership and Kia headquarters. Was told they would not honor the 100,000 mile warranty because the car was not certified. I was not offered a warranty/ did not obtain an extended warranty, was not disclosed to that the 10 year 100,000 mile warranty did not extend to the next owner, nor was I told that they could not certify it. Was not offered a car fax, buyers guide or told about any type of warranty information. Kia dealerships do not certify cars after 60,000 miles even though there is still 40,000 miles on the original warranty. There way of getting around having to honor the original warranty and offer this to the next owner(s). Very angry with Kia, they are deceitful, liars, and do not stand behind their product. They should not be able to sell any cars with out the original warranty being offered! with a history of there engines failing and having major mechanical problems I find it very disgraceful how they operate and enforce policy. If my engine actually fails while I am driving, I could easily get into a major accident and be critically injured. I drive a major freeway every single day, and to me this is very dangerous. If my engine failed and stalled going 70 miles an hour, I could easily be killed or get into a major accident. Please recall 2008 Optimas or complain to Kia regarding there policy. They should have to offer and stand behind the original warranty or be required to disclose there policy to customers up front. Commercials and parking lot advertise per owned certified cars and 100000 warranty.

- Woodburn, OR, 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

Apr 102010


  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Optima. The contact stated that when they try to stop the vehicle the engine revs up and it feels like the vehicle does not wanted to stop. The contact stated that if they take their foot off of the brake, it feels like the vehicle is going to accelerate. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told nothing was found wrong with the vehicle. The failure mileage was 34,000 and the current mileage was 60,000.

- Cinncinatti, OH, USA

problem #1

Aug 182009


  • 6,835 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Optima. The contact turned the ignition off and activated the opening of the rear trunk when suddenly the radio unit began to function for approximately five seconds. The engine was restarted and the gear shifter was placed into the "drive" position, while pressure was applied to the brake pedal, there was uncontrollable acceleration. The driver turned the ignition off and pulled over to the side of the road. After restarting the vehicle he was able to resume normal operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection where the technician was unable to locate the failure. The current and failure mileages were 6,835.

- Lenoir , NC, USA

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