really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,975 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.

2012 Kia Optima miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2012 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #11

Nov 212016


  • miles


I took car in for the clicking noise in steering wheel. While car was up inair on stands. The rep stated their was a small leak coming from the turbo oil feed line. However it was not cover under warranty because its not the turbo. I told the it is if its feeding the oil. I did some research on the problem and found that it is a common issue with all of their cars and they are refusing to fix the issue. I told the rep that if the oil causes a burning smell it can cause a fire. I was told the manager would call me but now they are not taking my calls about replacing the line to the turbo.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #10

Jul 042016


  • 39,520 miles
Purchased a used 2012 Kia Optima on 5/18/15 with 20,000 miles on it from a Kia dealership which certified that the engine was covered under warranty. Car was serviced for oil changes at the recommended intervals. The last oil change occurred on 5/24/2016 for which I provided a jiffy lube receipt. The engine failed on 7/4/2016 at which time the car had 39,520 miles. Prior to the oil change on 5/24/2016 I had the oil changed on 2/26/2016 for which I provided a hand written receipt as the garage is not a national chain and doesn't have computerized receipts. Kia motors is refusing to honor the warranty because they said I don't have sufficient proof of regular maintenance. I provided them with the proof I had regularly maintained the vehicle but they refused to accept it. This car shut off at a major intersection. A notice flashed to put the car in neutral or park and restart the engine which I did. The car restarted and I drove another 10 miles and it cut off again in the middle of a busy highway and would not restart. I went on the internet and discovered that there is a warranty bulletin 2016-09 on this engine extending the warranty to ten years 120,000 miles. They extended the warranty because there is a problem with the engine and are denying customer's warranties by rejecting proof of regular maintenance thus not fulfilling their warranty. They position is the oil was dark but I looked at the oil and engine and it looks fine to me... it's dark because it had been driven not because of neglect.

- Sicklerville, NJ, USA

problem #9

Apr 052016


  • 62,000 miles
I own a 2012 Kia Optima on April 5, 2016 I was driving home from work and my sunroof exploded. At the time I was driving on cline avenue (912). I was not doing anything out of the normal. There were no car around me to hit me there was no falling debris from anywhere. I heard a loud explosion sound and when I looked up I saw my sunroof with a huge hole and two more loud pops came after that. Since that time I have contacted Kia usa the corporate headquarters and have not gotten anywhere with them. They have not owned up to the fact that this is happening in their vehicles (2011 -2015). I discovered this while researching on line. Once the explosion happened I contacted the dealership where I purchased it and where I have it serviced on a regular basis. They held my car from Monday, April 11, 2016 until Friday, April 15, 2016. Nothing was done to it. They claim that they were instructed to hold it so they could an investigation of the car. I have given 3 depositions over the phone to Kia with a promise that someone would get back to me soon. That has not happened yet. In the mean time I had to give the dealer ship a deposit so they could order the glass to fix the sunroof. They are telling me that it will cost $440 for the class and $80 dollars labor. This may not seem like much, but to me it is and I feel like this is Kia's responsibility. When I was doing my research on-line I found article of others car makers having the same problem but they paid for the repairs. I was told that my warranty does not cover glass and since the total cost is $520 and my insurance deductible is $500. So this is money I have to pay out of my pocket and presently I am driving around with a piece of plastic for a roof.

- Griffith, IN, USA

problem #8

Mar 232016


  • 61,000 miles


On March 23, 2016 at approximately 2:50 pm I was traveling in heavy traffic on a highway in my 2012 Kia Optima ex when the panoramic sunroof shattered, in a trajectory resulting the the glass pointing upwards consistent with an explosion outwards. The sunroof was not in use (as it and the accompanying sunshade were completely closed). I became aware of the issue as it occurred very suddenly, sounding almost as if a gunshot had occurred before thentering glass shards landing on the sunshade became apparent by rattling while my vehicle was driving. At the time of the incident, I was traveling at no more than 50 mph as traffic was heavy and we were traveling through a road construction zone characterized by reduced speed. The weather was sunny and approximately 75 degrees. No other windows were open at the time of the incident. Passengers in the vehicle included myself (driver) and my toddler daughter who was secured in her rear-facing carseat. There were no overpasses or large improperly secured vehicles nearby (such as a dump truck) from which a projectile could have originated to shatter the window. As stated above, the shatter pattern of the glass is consistent with a trajectory of the break from outwards from the vehicle. I have several pictures attached documenting the damage. It is my belief that this break occurred due to a manufacturing error or defect in the glass of the panoramic sunroof free from any penetrating or projectile objects or variables. I was not informed by Kia nor my servicing Kia dealership that this is a result of any defect or recall and that all repairs would need to be made out of pocket by myself.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #7

Mar 162016


  • miles
Back up camera needs replaced at a cost of $350 with a $99 dealer look at fee. At less than 90,000 miles there is no reason that a camera needs replaced at this point. Recall needs thrown as its apparent many 2012 Kia Optimas are dealing with this issue.

- Markleton, PA, USA

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problem #6

Feb 022016


  • 60,300 miles
I was driving on I10 driving 70 mph today and my sunroof exploded. The road was smooth. Nothing seemed to hit me, it just exploded, like a loud gunshot above my head.

- Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #5

Jul 072015


  • 47,000 miles


When cranking up car engine makes loud noise, then if driving at a normal speed the car slows down on it own, also the dash board lights goes from bright to dim to almost no dash board lights at all, driving

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

problem #4

Jul 122015


  • 61,900 miles
I was driving with my wife at approximately 70 mph on a flat, freshly paved highway with no overpasses or others cars nearby when all of a sudden an extremely loud crash (sounded like a gun shot) occurred right above our heads. All of a sudden the sunshade on the interior roof started flapping around wildly in the wind and hundreds of pieces of shattered glass started raining on my wife and my head and body. The sound and falling glass was so sudden and distracting that I nearly swerved off the road, but luckily was able to maintain control of the car. As my heart beat out of my chest, I quickly pulled over to the side of the highway to calm down and assess what had happened. Upon further inspection it looked like the sunroof had spontaneously exploded outward from the cabin. We have no logical explanation for why it occurred other than that it was a pre-existing manufacturing defect, which sounds consistent with other instances I have read online. Doing some additional research I found that there are apparently hundreds of cases of this occurring in Kia models and a class action lawsuit is being built. Despite all of these instances being reported I was never alerted by Kia that this was an issue or possibility. My car is in the shop now and Kia is investigating whether or not they will cover the repair costs (they better after all we went through). My wife and I both suffered several punctures/splinters on our head, arms, and legs from the tiny glass shards. My wife also received a gash/cut on her palm from a piece of glass. Kia needs to address this very serious issue before it happens to others who may not be as lucky as we were to walk away relatively uninjured.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #3

Apr 232014


  • 64,000 miles
I was hit in the back while stopped in traffic.

- Prairie Village, KS, USA

problem #2

Nov 302012


  • 11,000 miles
I was driving the 2012 Kia Optima and turned a corner and my knee pressed on drivers door and the interior dome light came on and this has continued to happen ever since. It is an issue when it happens at night. We have taken the car to a dealership where they said door was not adequately installed. It was fixed for a few weeks and now it is doing it again. The battery completely died a few months ago because of the sensor which would not allow me to lock the door.

- Bennettsville, SC, USA

problem #1

May 292012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 1 miles
The vehicle steering seems tight which is fine, but when accelerating between 30-45 mph the vehicle veers off to the left. I am reading that this is not normal for this vehicle. This is an issue and I believe needs to be fixed.

- West Mifflin, PA, USA

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