really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,978 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2009 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Sep 292016


  • 75,000 miles


Airbag light stays on. This is apparently an ongoing problem with 2009 Optimas

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #20

Sep 212016


  • 75,680 miles
Airbag light came back on, after passenger mat replaced on recall. They found codes B1346 and B1481 for driver's airbag resistance too high for stages 1 and 2. need to diagnose if airbag is faulty or clock spring.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #19

Aug 022016


  • 60,000 miles
Took 2009 Kia to dealership, Tuesday, August 2, 2016 because of air bag illumination. Was told it was two things. The OCS mat in the passenger seat was defective and the clock spring assembly located in the steering column. Kia issued a recall on the 2008 Optima for this very same issue (clock spring assembly). The recall should be extended to include the 2009 Kia Optima. We did, however, receive a letter from Kia regarding the OCS mat in the passenger seat. Unfortunately, Kia will not pay for the repair even though they know it is a defect on their part. Prices for repair? over $1,500. These two items are clearly a safety issue and Kia needs to step up to the plate repair these safety issues. These issues did not occur because of misuse - they are occurring and have occurred because of known defects.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #18

Aug 112016


  • 60,000 miles


The air bag warning light stays illuminated. Received letter from Kia in July 2016 that it would extend the warranty coverage for this issue. It stated to take the vehicle in and have it checked and that if any problems it would be taken care of. In reality, that is not true. Only if you purchased the extended warranty would these known air bag issues be handled by Kia. The cost to repair? $1,500.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #17

Jul 152016


  • 65,000 miles
Seatbelt light is on. Dealer says it's a clock spring that's not under my warranty or extended warranty and will cost $335 on top of the $84 I paid for diagnosis. It appears there have been several complaints on 2009's and there was a recall on 2008's for this problem.

- Wabash, IN, USA

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problem #16

Jul 082016


  • miles
Airbag light has come on, won't go off and now ehicle won't pass state inspection.

- Hickory, NC, USA

problem #15

Jun 022016


  • 5 miles


Air bag light stays on. Nothing happens on the vehicle

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #14

Jan 012015


  • 68,000 miles
My complaint regards the air bag system. The air bag light came on in 2015 and has remained on. My car will not pass inspection with the light on and while Kia recalled the 2008 models, they have not recalled the 2009 models despite multiple reports of issues with both the air bags and the air bag light. Last year, the dealer found a loose sensor that they reconnected, in order for the car to pass inspection. However, the light came back on the next day. At this point, I don't know if my air bags are functioning properly and I'm stuck because the vehicle won't pass inspection. The date is estimated as it happened between June 2014 and June 2015 when I was up for my next inspection.

- Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #13

May 062013


  • miles
The light has been on since the middle of 2013 and the dealership when asked during each oil change is we will check it out. Ever since I have purchased this vehicle there has been problems with this vehicle.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #12

Sep 262015


  • 95,000 miles
While hitting several trees in my Kia Optima, going about 45mph, the air bags did not deploy. My insurance company said from their experience and from looking at the damage of the car, they also think the air bags should have deployed. However, nobody was seriously injured, no thanks to the air bags.

- Dry Ridge, KY, USA

problem #11

Oct 212015


  • 71,649 miles


For a long time, the air bag warning light comes on and stays on. We have taken the Kia to two different dealerships. Each one said that there is nothing wrong with the air bag and turned off the warning light. Both dealerships said that, if you put a cell phone on a Kia car seat, that will set off the air bag warning light even though nothing is wrong with the car seat. The air bag warning light comes on whenever we start the car and stays on the entire time, until we take it to a dealership to have the light turned off during regular service department hours. This means that we don't have an air bag warning light, because, if it's on all the time, we will never know when we do have an air bag problem. Since our Ford and our Hyundai never had this problem when we put a cell phone on the car seat, this is clearly a design flaw in the Kia air bag warning system. Because your form only allows one date and mileage entry, I will tell you that we took our Kia to king Kia on 09/26/2014, when the mileage was 68,239, and to herson's Kia on 10/21/2015, when the mileage was 71,649. So Kia has not fixed the problem. Updated 12/18/15

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #10

May 012015


  • 58,000 miles
The airbag light has been cleared 3 times and it keeps coming on. They recalled there 2008 models and my car was made it 2008, and I see a lot of people online with the same problem, they need to recall 2009 models.

- York, PA, USA

problem #9

Oct 032014


  • 78,000 miles
There is an existing recall for this problem for this model up to manufacture date of Jan 2008 (SC094). However, my vehicle manufactured Oct 2008 exhibits the same failure. I believe this recall should be extended to the 2009 model year.

- Woodbury, MN, USA

problem #8

Nov 282014

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
The airbag light come on at around 84000 miles. When the error code was read, it was consistent with faulty OCS mat on the passenger's side (B1448). It seems to be an extremely common problem of many Kia vehicles with potentially serious safety concerns, yet the manufacturer did not issue a recall. The only solution seems to be the replacement of the mat ($1700-2000), with absolutely no guarantee that it will not malfunction after 10 miles (the electric sensor of the mat can interfere with electronic devices nearby).

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 122009


  • 4,018 miles
Shortly after we purchased this car the air bag (SRS) light came on and stayed on. Took it back to dealer. Scan test found code B1447 oc ECU defect, found poor connection at control unit. They cleared the code and stated the unit was working now as designed. Everything good until 10/6/14, 57000mi., 52 days out of basic warranty. Called Kia dealer, wanted to scan it for $95. Said they would apply scan fee to repair bill. (ill bet they would!) took it to a local tech. Who has a high tech scanner. I don't have the code but he told me it has a defective pressure sensor in the passenger seat and it would be an expensive repair. I think its high time Kia does the right thing and owns up to its accountability for this life-safety issue.

- Sandusky , OH, USA

problem #6

Jul 132014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Air bag light flickered on and off for a few days then came on permanently. I later heard about the recall: NHTSA campaign number: 12V014000, air bag clock spring assembly. That only covered Kia 2006 thru 2008. It appears that 2009 should be included.

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #5

Aug 232013


  • 70,100 miles
The battery died in my 2009 Kia Optima and upon replacing battery the airbag light came on. It was taken to a Kia dealership and was told that it was because we changed the battery. The airbag light was reset. About a week later it came on again and was taken back to the dealership and reset again. It came back on the next day and was again taken to the dealership at what time we were told that it was the B1382 & B1481 airbag problems and that it was going to cost over $1200 to fix. Why would changing the battery cause these problems? I had only purchased the car 18 months before this incident.

- Strasburg, VA, USA

problem #4

Jun 042013


  • 65,000 miles
Vehicle air bag trouble light illuminated on dashboard. When brought to the dealer, we were told that a seat sensor was defective and needed replacement at a cost of $1500. This is on top of a recent $2700 transmission replacement on the same vehicle one month prior. Since we are still paying for the transmission repair, we chose to drive the vehicle without the air bag system functioning properly which we realize is a safety issue, but we cannot afford another expensive Kia repair.

- Spotswood, NJ, USA

problem #3

Apr 022013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
The vehicle had three expensive problems in rapid succession. The first was the transmission which started a severely hard downshift on braking from about 25 mph. The whole car shuddered and felt as if we slammed on the brakes for a second. After troubleshooting, Kia told us we needed a new transmission for $2700 with no help from Kia. After this repair, not even two weeks later, the air bag light came on. Diagnosis from Kia, defective sensor in the passenger seat, not covered by warranty and a $1500 replacement estimate. We decided not to fix this item because we were going to trade the car in on another make and cut our losses. The third problem which occurred one week later was a failure to start after parking the car for an hour at a doctor's office, stranding my wife in 95 degree heat. The car was towed to a non-Kia repair shop as I no longer want anything to do with Kia who will deny any claim against their so-called quality products and will be disposing of the car as soon as it is running again since Kia does not stand behind its defective products. After three major failures in a short period of time we feel this is an unsafe vehicle.

- Spotswood, NJ, USA

problem #2

Oct 172012


  • 85,000 miles
Airbag warning light came on in Oct 2012. Dealer stated the battery was bad. Battery was replaced. Airbag warning light returned Nov. 2012 dealer now states air bag faulty but not covered by Kia recall.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

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