2011 Kia Optima steering NHTSA complaints: Steering

NHTSA — Steering Problems

2011 Kia Optima (Page 1 of 4)


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 1 of 4)

problem #63

Oct 192016


  • 133,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While driving 65 mph, all the instrument panel warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle lost power and the steering failed. The motor seized up. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic where it was diagnosed that the motor seized up. The manufacturer was notified and stated that the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The manufacturer stated that the parts would be free of charge, but the contact would have to pay for the labor. The failure mileage was 133,000.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #62

Sep 042016


  • 70,000 miles
The Optima is not even 5 years old - the steering wheel began making an odd noise when stationary when turned slightly left or right. Then, traveling on normal city streets, a loud noise could be heard coming from the steering column, even over slight cracks or bumps, and at low speeds. But now, the car's steering column is very loud and shakes violently at highway speeds - starting at 50mph. It is so loud I cannot hear the radio at all. I can no longer go on any trips with the car.

- Highland, CA, USA

problem #61

Oct 192016


  • 71,000 miles
There's a ticking in my motor when first starting up N last about 5-10 mins afterwards and also a clanking and popping sounds in steering even worse when hitting a hole or going across intersections or railroad crossings steering slips some going down the road at various speeds

- Adrian, GA, USA

problem #60

Aug 102016

Optima 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


Our 2011 Kia Optima steering wheel started malfunctioning at about 78000 miles. Moves freely when it shouldn't, slightest bump and steering wheel jumps up an down and makes a loud clicking noise and effects safe steering. Can't find a recall, though I find this problem in numerous web searches. They gonna wait til people are killed or injured ( if not already) until they take repair action" ! I understand it's a $4 part with average around $600 labor to repair.who has that kind of money to fix their manufacturing problem" help please this noticed under normal conditions driving to work on normal main street.

- Atlantic Beach, FL, USA

problem #59

Oct 122016


  • 120,350 miles
Vehicle was accelerating at 60 mph on the highway when the engine shut off, no power. The vehicle had enough momentum to drift across the slow lane to the shoulder. Car did restart. A child was in the vehicle and thankfully they were not rear-ended. This incident happened a second time while accelerating and prompted with clicking noises under the dash. The vehicle was brought to our local mechanic who stated that the engine failure at 120,400 miles.

- Buda, TX, USA

problem #58

Jul 022016


  • miles
I purchased this car for my fiance in April 2016.in July 2016 we noticed a clicking noise in the steering wheel. This noise is unbearable. Theread is a lot of loose play in the stearing wheel and the car swerves from side to side as if you need an alignment. I took it to different mechanics but they really didn't know what it was.Kia said it wasn't a problem.yea it gots to be a problem if it's making a loud noise like that.this is a problem and I hope it doesn't cause anyone to get killed.they vehicle makes the noise when turning and it's so bad now it does it when you hit bumps in the road.

- York, SC, USA

problem #57

Feb 292016

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While driving various speeds, the steering wheel moved independently. The contact heard an abnormal noise coming from the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 112,000. Updated 10/18/16

- Gray, LA, USA

problem #56

Jul 082016


  • miles
Steering column has gone out and I haven't had the vehicle a good five months yet!

- De Kalb, MS, USA

problem #55

Jul 252016


  • miles
My tires have had issues with extremely quick ware on the outside tread since about a year after purchase of the vehicle brand new in 2011. I have been told multiple times that it was just time to change the tires or have them rotates/balanced. The dealership wanted me to pay for an alignment and I took it somewhere else for a 2nd opinion - got an alignment done (which helped for about a month) took it back to the dealership, had it reset to factory settings - and the problem continues.. I have gone through so many tires... in addition, I now recently have an issue with a very loud clanking noise in the steering column, very intense steering wheel vibration in addition to a click noise when I turn hard right or left, it almost feels like the steering wheel is loose somewhere.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #54

Jan 012016


  • 62,000 miles
My steering started making a clunking noise at 62,000 miles it was intermittent at that time while driving the car. I now have 83,000 miles and it is a constant clunking sound whenever the wheel is turned to any position when driving the care and also stationary and while the care is in park. It also clunks when I am driving on uneven surfaces.

- Winter Park, FL, USA

problem #53

Mar 252016


  • 98,000 miles


March 2016 while traveling on highway at 65 mph and passing a slow moving vehicle car lost power, became difficult to steer and unresponsive. We were lucky that we were right by rest area and coasted safely. Inspected the vehicle while and noticed a smell reminding an electrical short/fire. Car was towed to Kia dealer and diagnosed to be engine failure. The engine was inspected and per dealer it was pristine, Kia decided to cover under warranty @ approx 98K miles. Dealer stated that per Kia it was due possibly to non oem oil filter (nice). When we got the car back it did not want to start occasionally, where it hesitated especially as temperatures increased. Noticed dealer, dealer took it in verified battery and starter were to spec. In June on a hot day car almost did not start, set an appointment with dealer for later in the week. Next day car did not start, was towed to dealer and diagnosed to week starter. Starter was replaced and car started on for one day, the second day temperatures increased and car was dead with similar electrical meltdown, also noticed fog lights were not working after bulb replacement. Dealer diagnosed with Kia to bad engine again due to tolerances causing friction and more heat. Spoke to Kia and started a case but they just want to replace the engine again and not discuss potential issues with electrical harness compromise and ongoing issue with engine failing for no reason. This car is scarry and hope it does not start on fire when the third engine fails.

- Binghamton, NY, USA

problem #52

Jun 012016


  • 50,000 miles
Clicking in the steering wheel with vibration. The only time it doesn't click is when going completely straight. It occurs the whole time I'm driving.

- Marysville, WA, USA

problem #51

May 132016


  • 119,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While driving 55 mph, the steering column became difficult to turn when changing lanes. In addition, a loud knocking noise disrupted the contact's steering capability. It was diagnosed that the steering column coupler in the steering linkage malfunctioned. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 119,000.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #50

Feb 232016


  • 72,000 miles
The steering making knocking sound while still and driving and while braking the steering starts shaking and makes the knocking sound. Most people said its a plastic coupling that gets replaced for $400 and I can't keep paying that much money each time it gets messed up this is the second time I've gotten fix three months the noise came back

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #49

May 032016


  • 70,000 miles
A flexible coupling had to be replaced in the steering wheel. The cost of the part was $1.35. The labor to replace the coupling was $250. I paid a total of $287.17 to replace a part that cost $1.35. The steering was loose causing the issue to be imperative to replace.

- Broussard, LA, USA

problem #48

Apr 282016


  • 84,000 miles
Unable to drive straight. Pulls to left and right. I'm driving all over the lane. Wears me out just trying to drive it. And all this clicking noise going on...why doesn't Kia fix these problems" why is it such a mystery?? why isn't this a recall? an automobile that won't drive straight? are you kidding me"

- Georgetown, SC, USA

problem #47

Mar 122016


  • 90,700 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While making a left or right turn at approximately 35 mph or when the vehicle was idling, an abnormal sound emitted from the steering wheel without warning. In addition, the failure occurred after rolling over a bump in the road. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the steering coupler assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,700. The VIN was unavailable.

- Colquitt, GA, USA

problem #46

Apr 082016


  • miles
While sitting with the car running the steering wheel has play and makes a knocking sound while moving the when back and forth.

- Ftort Myers, FL, USA

problem #45

Apr 022016


  • 69 miles
Hearing a knocking noise in the steering wheel while sitting still or moving when the steering wheel is moved from side to side, alot of freeplay in the steering wheel. When you hit a bump there is a loud clanking noise from the steering column and the noise is progressing. This has been on going but it is now getting worse. I've always taken my car to Kia for my oil changes and have inquired about the noise and they have assured me there was nothing worng, when I took it to get my oil change on Saturday 4/2 they said the warranty expired at 100,000 miles and I told them I mentioned it to them when my car had less then 100,000 and he then said it doesn't cover the steering wheel.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #44

Mar 252016


  • 76,250 miles
While taking the car in to the service department for a transmission problem, they did a 360 check and noticed the steering column had play in it and made a clicking noise about a quarter turn each direction. It is a plastic gear piece that is smaller than a quarter, picture will be attached. They said if I didn't get it fixed it would get eventually worse by wearing out the tires or alignment so I had it replaced. They had to take apart the steering wheel to replace it. It was 20 for the piece but with labor my bill was 181.

- Va Beach, VA, USA

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