hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,960 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.

2009 Kia Optima brakes problems

brakes problem

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2009 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #16

Jan 012015


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Kia Optima. While driving the vehicle at higher speeds and attempting to reduce the speed by depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle would reduce speed as normal til around 20 mph. The vehicle would suddenly jerk forward. The failure occurred intermittently. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer, but it was not diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Mc Comb, OH, USA

problem #15

Apr 132016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2009 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while driving and depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle violently jerked. The contact mentioned that excessive force was required on the brake pedal in order for the vehicle to come to a stop. In addition, the contact stated while approaching a stop sign, the vehicle continued to accelerate while the brake pedal was depressed and failed to stop. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #14

Dec 152015


  • 133,560 miles
While I was not notified about a recall, until recently, the dealer advised my information was probably not passed on to the proper authorities from the previous owner. I went to the Kia dealer in crystal river and they supposedly put a new brake light switch on my vehicle and when I left the dealership my ABS/ESC lights were illuminated on the dash and my car started doing all kinds of funny things like vibrating and shuttering under the gas pedal. You know you could feel the shuttering on the gas pedal. At that point I had no brakes and barely stopped. I thought it was only a temporary thing but now its doing it all the time and I can't feel safe driving the car at all. I still owe almost $9000 dollars and can't afford a costly repair from a recall.. I have spoke with some people and they advised that the recall has been causing the ecs to malfunction in many cases and caused the stability of the car and ABS to act up.

- Old Town, FL, USA

problem #13

Dec 152014


  • 14,000 miles


Approaching a stop sign or light, when I apply the brakes smoothly, the brakes will grab and the car will jerk to a stop, usually when the car is going less than 20 mph. This is much worse is cold weather. After about 10 minutes of driving, it no longer occurs. We just bought the car in August 2014, so this is the first winter we've had the car, so I don't know if the prior owners tried to have it fixed or not.

- Powell, OH, USA

problem #12

Oct 012014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Late last year (2014) in our Kia Optima 2009 got some transmission issue which is difficult to explain for. To me it looks like a manufacturing defect which Kia must resolve. This is what I experienced: In 2014 October, I started feeling a heavy jolt/jerk whenever I used the car and the engine is cold. The jolt is so strong that every passenger noticed it. This happens only when I try to slow down the car and it gets near to 20 mphr. So the factors are: 1. cold 2. downshift 3. speed 20 mphr on slippery roads it may be very dangerous which can lead to major injuries. Kia must accept this dangerous manufacturing defect before it start taking lives. It is very annoying issue too, it is always on my mind while driving which is causing distraction while driving. Kia must take an action instead of sitting quite. They must issue recall this to fix this dangerous issue. NHTSA also should support all the people with same problem so that people can believe their safety standards. I took my car 2-3 times there and explained the issue, but they could not fix it so far. If Kia's own dealers cannot fix this problem then who will? thanks for reading my complaint against Kia!

- Troy, OH, USA

problem #11

Feb 242010

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
I am a owner of the Kia 2009 Optima, and I brought it from lumberton Kia of lumberton, nc the problem that I am having with my 2009 Kia Optima, is when I get ready to make a stop my car jerks really hard and I have told the lumberton, Kia to please check it when I would get my oil changed every 3,000 miles but the technician would tell me that he check it and feel nothing but it does it in my car every day even my passengers feels it when they are in the car.I feel that I have a malfunction in my brakes but I never who I needed to talked with about my car until my friend told me about this web site.I have not had no accidents thus far with my car and I hope I don't in the near future.

- Rowland, NC, USA

problem #10

Oct 152014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


The ESC alarm came on and the car began shuddering. I tried to brake but it seemed to make the shuddering worse. It became difficult to steer so I coasted the vehicle.to the shoulder of the road and waited a few minutes. I turned the ignition again and the car came on first try but the ESC alarm was still illuminated and usually is although it turns off from time to time.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #9

May 092014


  • 54,835 miles
While leaving for work in the am, as I decelerate at the stop sign, when speed nears 20-25 mph the vehicle jerks hard like it's trying to downshift. Seems to disappear as the vehicle warms to running temp.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #8

Jul 092014


  • 83,000 miles
When I brake and slow down my Kia Optima and it gets to 20 mph or lower, it will jerk suddenly as if the transmission is changing abruptly and dangerously. This has been an ongoing issue and not just a recent occurrence.

- East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #7

Jan 212014

Optima 6-cyl

  • 22,300 miles
After getting the brake light recall switch exchanged the next day my car started making dragging noise and so me clicking sounds in the back rear especially on the right side. I took it jeffrey Kia, roseville, Michigan on gratiot avenue and I was told it was the right brake pad and the left rotor and it would be $300. I told him I had a warranty, extended warranty and a tire warranty and that I do not ride my brakes and has never experience this type of problem with any car I have drove. Mike calls me back and says he can order some generic pads and fix the rotor for $169. When I went to pick it up he placed on pad on one side and one rotor on the other side and the breaking seems unsure of a complete stop. The distance seems too long. My credit is messed up due to family but I am going to have to sell this car and get a new one because this is definitely a defect. I have had this car since October 2010 and barely drive it. Either Kia is a rip off or jeffrey Kia is because the time before this I was told by [xxx] I needed a battery when I did not. At this service call it was not even mentioned. I believe they have rolled back the promoters on this vehicle and sold it as new and it is defective but they are making me pay for the defects. They may be creating them because this is crazy. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Chesterfield, MI, USA

problem #6

Nov 222013

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles


Per NHTSA recall number 13V114 I took my 2009 Kia Optima to koons Kia in woodbridge on 11/21/2013 to replace my vehicle's stop lamp switch. The next day I noticed that after applying the brakes for the first time the brake lights are continuously illuminated and remain illuminated after I have shut down the engine and the ignition switch is in the off position. Another problem is that the electronic stability control (ESC) light intermittently comes on. Both of the above problems arose after the 11/21/2013 stop lamp switch replacement.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #5

Nov 152013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 37,201 miles
I was driving the vehicle on the highway and it made a continual noise until brakes were applied. The vehicle would occasionally make the noise even when stopped until I pushed on the brakes. The ESC light, brake light and ABS light were on and would occasionally turn off when brakes applied. I immediately took the vehicle to hullman's Ford for diagnostics. I was notified that the vehicle hydraulic electronic control unit was faulty.

- Falls City, NE, USA

problem #4

Aug 302013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 70,459 miles
I was backing up to part my vehicle and pulled forward to straighten out the car. While pulling forward I applied my brake and the engine accelerated - I then slammed my brake and the car stopped. I put the car in reverse and parked. Turned the car back on and carefully moved forward incident did not repeat. Took my vehicle to the Kia dealership at burdick drivers village in cicero, NY and diagnostics recommended replacing the brake light switch. There is currently a recall for Hyundai elantra for this same problem and I would like to know the faulty part numbers. I have my old brake switch and if it matches the recalled ones I would like to be reimbursed. My son also has a 2009 Optima and is experiencing the same problems.

- Central Square, NY, USA

problem #3

Mar 042013

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
1st ESC off light came on & stayed on, pressing ESC button did nothing. Cruise control began not working. Brake lights do not work. Blinkers work, but no brake lights. Fuses & bulbs have been checked and none are blown.

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #2

Jul 162013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
Second failure of brake switch. ESC off light comes on intermittently while driving. Unsure if brake lights are working, if the ESC is working, or if the cruise control will shut off during these episodes. There is a recall on other models and years of Kia automobiles but not on this model. It seems it may have same problem.

- Benton, KY, USA

problem #1

Feb 012013


  • 160,000 miles
In the past month I have noticed when coming to a stop and applying the brakes on my 2009 Kia Optima that the car jerks like it doesn't want to stop. I have had my brake pads checked and they are fine. I have however noticed that when I'm coming to a stop and put the car in neutral I stop fine with no jerking. I have taken it to a transmission shop and they have said that their is no problems there and have also called the local Kia dealership to have the problem looked at but they stated that if its something not covered under warranty I have to pay $100 just for them looking at the vehicle regardless if they find the problem or not. I have searched the internet and have seen similar problems with this particular car but no information on what is causing the issue.

- Louisville, KY, USA

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