definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,993 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.

2011 Kia Optima steering problems

steering problem

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2011 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Oct 312013

Optima 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


My car has been pulling to the left every since I purchased it. I took it to the dealership to get an oil change and to register a complaint about the pulling. The car was test driven on the highway. Afterwards I was told that this is a "feature" of the steering wheel. It is called a "smart wheel" and there was nothing to worry about. I have always had this problem and I have never been able to get used to this "feature".

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #22

Oct 022014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 5,200 miles
Just weeks after purchasing my Kia, it had to be brought back to replace cracked dash, heated steering wheel peeling, tires wearing on the outside, wiper blades sucked & you could not see out of them when it rain, cracked outside of sunroof seal, pulling to left side and surges. They put new tires, steering wheel & fixed the dash. The service manager stated the specs were within normal limits for the alignment & transmission. The outside of the sunroof is normal wear & tear & it will crack again, stated the sun cracks it! it has been in the service department 5 times! even though my car is still under warranty! I have had 4 set of tires & they wear on the outside, it stills pulls to the left & I was told the alignment is normal. 6 sets of new wiper blades & they say that's not a problem. My car surges & it has not even been addressed! in late September my check engine light came on the day after I had my oil changed, I took my car to my dealership service, they kept it, fixed the 'oil control valve" within 5 miles from my dealership, check engine light came back on. After a week & a half, my 'intake cvvt timing & my 'exhaust cvvt timing! my warranty will be up in the next few months & I am worried about what is going to happen next & then there's no warranty! there should be a recall on Optima's steering to the left & on the tires either, alignment! I have went as far as contacting the Georgia consumer protection, Kia consumer hotline, us department of transportation, traffic safety, the attorney general's office. I have also contacted my local & national news station & will be meeting with them next week. If this does not raise a few questions, I will hire an attorney!! this is not about money, verses what is right!

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #21

Feb 012012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
When I purchased the vehicle I noticed it pulled to the left and I brought it back to the dealer and they "said" they performed a fix according to an internal Kia tsb-032 document. When I brought the vehicle back for a 15,000 mile service and another tire rotation they rotated the tires and the car aggressively pulled to the left again. I brought it back and argued over paying for an alignment and they said they would do the alignment to correct the problem. At this point, it did not correct the issue and the tires were put back prior to the 15K rotation. Since owning the vehicle, I am unable to rotate the tires without an aggressive pull to the left. Just today, 8/24/2013, the dealer told me Kia had numerous complaints with nexen tires and have since switched to kumho. There should be a recall because Kia used a product line that is obviously flawed and now the dealer is saying I have to spend >$1000 on a set of new tires for a problem that has existed since I drove the vehicle (brand new) off the lot.

- Gurnee, IL, USA

problem #20

Nov 012011

Optima 4-cyl

  • 15,700 miles


First noticed abnormal tire ware on the outside edge of the front right tire, took to dealership. Was told that the vehicle was out of the adjustment period. So I had to pay for an alignment. Received the spec sheets after. The alignment was out.15 degrees rf, .01 degrees lf, .19 degrees lr, .13 degrees rr. Vehicle was set back to factory settings, and dealership blamed the mis alignment on Michigan roads. Car was set to have the alignment checked 1500 miles later or 30 days. 2nd time in the shop for alignment check and was out. 09 degrees lf, .11 degrees rf, .02 degrees lr, .04 degrees rr. Dealership set the alignment back to factory specs. Car again was set 30 days later or 1500 miles for another alignment check and was out once again..21 degrees lf, .13 degrees rf, .26 degrees lr, .02 degrees rr. At this time the mileage was 22300. After the 3rd time to the dealer and taking their advice to give them the chance to fix the problem. In the end, the dealer said that there was nothing wrong with the car, yet every time it was there the alignment had to be adjusted and put back to factory settings. As you can see by the number of degree changes, more than.05 degrees is astronomical when it comes to toe settings on any car. This car has a 100,000 mile warranty, yet Kia, nor the dealership is standing behind the product, they manufacture or sell!

- Whitmore Lake , MI, USA

problem #19

Jan 092012


  • 100 miles
This is a brand new hybrid. Since initial purchase the car has been observed to steer to left on its own at lowest speeds. Tire pressure has been checked weekly and has been maintained as per specs. Car still veers to left. On researching have found that this is an issue with all 2011 Kia Optimas including other models. Continuously observed this for next 500 or so miles and then took to dealer who acknowledged the issue but said Kia corporate has not notified them of any issue so they do not know what to do as this hybrid car is too new. The same issues has been reported on other Kia non hybrid as well.the dealer was dulles Kia in leesburg, va. I would not worry about cosmetic issues but on a brand new car such safety issues are troublesome especially when dealers have no clue. Dealer indicated these are new cars with new power steering modules and hence they have seen lot of these cases. Kia needs to recall and replace asap. NHTSA needs to issues safety research. The car on higher speeds also pulls to left and is dangerous with windy conditions.

- Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #18

Feb 232011

Optima 4-cyl

  • 0 miles
I bought the car in February 2011 and within several days, noticed the car would pull left after making a left turn or even changing lanes to the left. Thinking it was just an alignment issue, I took the car back to the dealer. The car has been back to the dealer for this issue 6 times, each time they did an alignment. Recently I noticed both front tires were wearing excessively, with less than 14000 miles, and have had to replace both tires. Since the new tires have been installed, the problem has gotten worse, like it was when I purchased the car. Now at the dealer for the 6th time, I was told that Kia has new alignment specifications, the 3rd set of alignment specifications Kia has had in less than a year. I was told also told that this issue was in part due to the nature of electronic steering. This is unacceptable and an excuse, not a reason.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #17

Dec 142011

Optima 4-cyl

  • 150 miles


I bought a brand new 2011 Kia Optima hybrid and the car pulls heavily to the left even on straight roads. I took the car to the dealer and they did an alignment and they say it is within specs but it acts the same. If you let go of the steering wheel for a couple seconds you're on the shoulder. This is a very serious safety issue. Second issue is that both driver and passenger seats were bolted down in one bolt out of four. The dealer installed the missing bolts but this makes me really worried about the quality control at Kia. What else might they missed? I don't even want to think what might have happened had I been involved in a collision before noticing this. Unacceptable!

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #16

Nov 172011


  • 5,400 miles
Kia Optima LX 2011 was purchased brand new at 4 miles in odometer. Problem 1 less than a month: Steering veering to the left an right. Had to steer this car to track straight. The dealer performed minor alignment in October. Car continues to veer left and right. Took car back to the dealer. The tech stated the front end off by 2 degrees and stated he performed the adjustment. The steering problem not fixed. Problem #2: car was parked with fuel reading 42 miles to empty. Returned to start car. Will not crank after numerous attempts. Towed the car to dealer. Car cranked upon de-tow at the location. But still left the car for why it will not crank in the first place. Returned 4 days later. I was advised that the car was empty of gasoline, even when fuel reader clearly indicated 42 miles to empty. Kia paid for rental for 4 days ($100). I was further advised that the fuel regulator was replaced and on back order. The steering problems and the stalling issues are significant public safety concerns since the lanes, arterial roads and highways that I have to drive daily are congested.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #15

Aug 192011

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 347 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the vehicle consistently pulled to the left. The contact had the dealer perform an alignment twice and both the struts and the bolts were replaced. The dealer insisted that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle, but the contact believed there was some type of defect. The failure mileage was 347 and the current mileage was 3,672. Updated 12/12/11 updated 01/23/12

- Woonsocket, RI, USA

problem #14

Sep 142011

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle pulls to the left and sometimes to the right. You have to hang onto the steering wheel with both hands to keep it straight. The pulling to the left is more prominent. I took it in on Sept 20th for the first time. They switched the wheels but the problem continued. I took it in again on Oct. 7th and at this time they told me there was nothing wrong with it. The problem continued still. On Oct 9th I was driving off a thruway ramp when the car almost swerved into on coming traffic. I took it back on Oct. 13th because I'm afraid to drive it. They still have said vehicle.

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #13

Oct 012011


  • miles


2011 Kia Optima. Consumer states problems with vehicle steering the consumer stated the steering would often veer to the left and then to the right.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #12

May 012011


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle would pull toward the left. In order to keep the vehicle from driving into oncoming traffic, excessive pressure would be applid to the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on three different occasions, but they were unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100 and the current mileage was 6,425.

- Willowbrook , IL, USA

problem #11

May 182011

Optima 4-cyl

  • 111 miles
Purchased a 2011 Kia Optima LX on 5/18/11. Car constantly pulled left so bad that you would end up into oncoming traffic on a two lane road in you didn't continually correct to the right. Had the dealer align vehicle to factory specs with no change. Took car back to dealer who realigned to new specs received from Kia tech support. Vehicle now only has a tendency to pull left but will drift left if you take your hands off of the steering wheel. Dealer test drove the car again and claims the vehicle drives better than a new one on the lot. Dealer said they couldn't do anything else for me and referred me to Kia consumer relations.

- High Point, NC, USA

problem #10

Jun 152011


  • 20 miles
My 2011 Kia Optima pulls left and the dealer states this is normal operation. The vehicle meets factory alignment specs but still pulls hard to the left.

- Port Jervis, NY, USA

problem #9

May 122011


  • 150 miles
Car pulls to the left.

- Warwick, RI, USA

problem #8

Dec 282010


  • 0 miles
I purchased a 2011 Kia Optima ex on 12/28/10 from Kia country of savannah. Kia country obtained the auto from an orlando Kia dealer and drive it 269 miles to savannah where I took delivery. The steering pulls/drifts left while driving. It has drifted since I purchased it. Kia country attempted to fix it, but it still drifts left. Kia corporate has been notified, and are non responsive.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #7

May 022011


  • 325 miles
I am also having the left pull issue with my 2011 Kia Optima. I alerted the dealer as soon as it left the lot and took the car in for service on 5/2/11. Spoke with the service tech today (5/4) and he said that all of the alignment specs were within factory standards but the car is still pulling left. Currently awaiting guidance from Kia's corporate engineers. This presents a clear danger as the car will switch lanes unless constant pressure is put on the steering wheel.

- Catonsville, MD, USA

problem #6

Jan 082011


  • 81 miles
When I bought the 2011 Kia Optima ex I went around the block and came back to the Kia dealer because the vehicle was pulling to the left. The dealer technician looked at it and I left. I came back a week later for the same issue so dealer did a wheel alignment that did not resolve the issue. I contacted Kia directly and they sent a district manager to look at it. Later on Kia sent a district technician to look at it and re-do the wheel alignment. The vehicle is still pulling to the left and it is very dangerous. I understood by other Kia dealers that it is an issue with a lot of 2011 Kia Optima's.

- Catharpin, VA, USA

problem #5

Feb 262011


  • 61 miles
2011 Kia Optima pulls to left all the time. I have had it back to the dealer four times and they state nothing is wrong and it is within alignment specs. The car will change lanes if you let go of the steering wheel. You have to hold tension on the steering wheel so that it will stay straight. This is the worst car I have ever driven on the highway. I drive 50 miles one way to work and by the time I get to work my arm hurts. This car is a danger on the highway and the dealer told me they are not authorized to do anything more for me. I sure hope this gets looked into before someone gets hurt or dies because of this. If someone would let go of the steering wheel for a second the car could cross over into on coming traffic.

- West Mifflin, PA, USA

problem #4

Feb 112011


  • 68 miles
Upon driving home from taking delivery of my new 2011 Kia Optima on 2/11/11, my husband I noticed that the vehicle pulls to the left substantially. If you loosen the grip of the wheel the car immediately pulls to the left. I have had the vehicle in for service on 2/18, 3/5 and 3/14. Each time I have received the car back from the dealer, they indicate that it is within Kia specs and is ┐tracking┐ straight. I picked the vehicle up last night and the vehicle is still pulling to the left.

- Clarkston, MI, USA

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