really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,324 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #70

May 022016


  • miles


Play in steering column making a noise when turn steering wheel right and left defective flex coupler

- Stuart, FL, USA

problem #69

May 012016


  • miles
While the vehicle is in motion, the steering has become very loose and making a clunking noise when turning the wheel or going over slight bumps, such as a reflector in the road, this is during any speeds.

- Winter Haven, FL, USA

problem #68

May 052016


  • miles
While driving on the highway we started hearing a popping noise coming from the steering wheel and there also has bee some slack in the steering wheel.

- Oakdale, LA, USA

problem #67

Apr 122016


  • 73,853 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while the driver was driving at 65 mph, the steering wheel began to shake violently with a loud noise. The contact coasted over to the side of the road. The contact was able to resume driving. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that there was wear and tear in the steering and needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 73,853.

- Palm Beach Garden, FL, USA

problem #66

Dec 012015


  • miles
Clicking noise and pulling when I turn or hit a bump in the road. Sounds like my steering would come apart. Lots of play in the steering wheel. Very unsafe. I drive the interstate to work everyday and I am normally traveling between 70 and 75. I fear my car is an accident waiting to happen with the defective steering.

- Houma, LA, USA

problem #65

Mar 112016


  • 76,020 miles
I have had my (2012) Kia Optima since 2012. I have not had any horrible problems until now. The steering wheel clicks and you can hear and feel any bumps because when you even hit a small hole in the road the steering wheel will also click and make a loud noise. I have not had any work or repairs done to the car other than the normal oil changes, tire rotation, new tires and alignment, brake replacement. I have taken care of my vehicle and to be told that the steering wheel clicking is something that isn┐T covered or that no one is looking into for a recall is something I don┐T understand. I have always backed Kia and even bought 2 for my kids, but now I am starting to wonder about the quality of the car. I have read 63 other complaints with the same problems and still nothing from the company with a recall. I guess it takes someone getting killed or seriously injured to get something done about the steering. I could see if it was a interior light but wake up people there is a steering problem. How would you feel if it was you or someone that's close to you in a vehicle that has faulty steering and something happened to them.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #64

May 132016


  • 40,000 miles


While steering at slow and high speeds the steering wheel makes a loud knocking noise that can be heard and felt. The steering wheel often gets stuck and requires additional force to get it to move. The steering wheels sometimes jerks itself and oversteers in the direction I'm turning it in. It started about a month ago and was happening intermittently but now it's happening all the time.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #63

May 012016


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Optima. When turning the steering wheel in either direction, a clicking noise was present coming from the steering column. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that a coupling within the steering system was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 73,000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #62

Apr 182016


  • 57,000 miles
The steering wheel makes a clicking sound and sticks every time I turn the steering wheel. While driving it can be a challenge to steer with the steering wheel as it will grab and make that clicking noise and you have to use some force to steer.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #61

Mar 032016


  • 100,000 miles
The first thing would have to be the steering wheel like it has been noted before when you sit still it has a clicking sound. And all driving the highway at 75 miles an hour it sticks and you have to jerk it back witch is no safe I have had it aligned many times but does not fix the problem. My car has 112,113 miles on I take care of replace thing that need to done and oil changes every 3,000 well after I hit the 100,000 mark my car sounds like it has no oil.. are I have seen on the internet that it sounds like your rpms are really high but there not... it starts when I'm going 20 mph another thing that is weird when I'm turning left the noise goes away

- Harper, TX, USA

problem #60

Apr 032016


  • 33,000 miles


As reported in many previous complaints, when I drive at highway speeds, the steering wheel gets "stuck" and stiffens and jerks, requiring me to turn the steering wheel back to center so that I can drive straight ahead. It's very dangerous and very tiring. The Kia service manager said this is the way the electronic power steering is supposed to work and I have to "live with it". I have had this car for 4 years, have 33,000 miles, and this problem only just started. The Kia usa consumer assistance agent said there's nothing Kia can do, it operates as designed. He said many of their customers love the way the electronic steering handles. Really" what's to love about not being able to control the steering of your car on the highway at 65-75 mph??? this is a travesty on Kia's part. I notice that there are many complaints on this web site about this problem, and zero investigations. How many complaints does it take to initiate an investigation? does there have to be a major auto accident to get anyone to acknowledge that there's a design problem"

- Waretown, NJ, USA

problem #59

Oct 232015


  • 55,000 miles
When driving at highway speeds, the steering wheel feels like it sticks and it takes a bit of force to break it free. It is also nearly impossible to keep it going straight down the road. You must continuously keep adjusting the steering wheel to stay in your lane. I did some searching and there are a lot of complaints on this problem. I don't ink this is safe and should be fixed. I told the dealer about it, but they said they didn't find any mechanical issues and maybe it was the alignment. I had already had the alignment checked, which was ok. They said maybe it was the tires. I bought new tires which didn't help. I have had the car for about 1.5 years, but didn't really drive it a lot on the highway. This isn't nearly as noticeable when driving at in town speeds, just at normal highway speeds.

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #58

Apr 052016


  • 73,000 miles
I have a knocking sound in my steering wheel. The noise happens when I turn the wheel back and forth. Also, I have noticed an odd grinding/slipping sensation in the front left wheel when I accelerate on a right turn from different elevations. Pulling out of a parking lot on a "decline" while accelerating to the right to enter traffic is a good example. 73,000 miles currently but I've noticed the grind/slip a lower mileage.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #57

Mar 032015


  • 35,000 miles
When turning the steering wheel there is a knocking noise in the steering column and appears very loose where I have to turn the wheel almost an extra 1/8-1/4 turn. The steering wheel is loose and then seems to lock up at speeds of 55-60. I first noticed this about a year ago but after today the knocking noise became worse.

- St. Simons Island, GA, USA

problem #56

Nov 282015


  • 48,643 miles
While driving at highway speeds with steering wheel at 12 O'clock position, the steering wheel feels like it is stuck or locked when trying to make minor steering corrections. I have to somewhat jerk the wheel at which time the steering appears to wake up and respond. It feels as if the electronic power steering module shuts down giving the feeling of a locked/stuck steering wheel. By jerking the wheel to "wake up" the steering it creates an over compensated steering correction issue and a concern for safety at highway speeds.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #55

Feb 162016


  • 92,000 miles
The steering wheel sticks!!! hard to stay in your lane and over correcting happens every day. Just like everyone elses. Wheres the recall"??" I've got bids from $450-$650 to fix this crap. Kia will cost people their lives.

- Pflugerville, TX, USA

problem #54

Feb 012016


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the steering wheel column was defective. The steering wheel emitted a loud clicking noise and vibrated while turning. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Avon Park, FL, USA

problem #53

Feb 052016


  • 70,000 miles
The steering wheel is loose when I hit a bump feels like the car just wants to turn. Seems like if the wheel could just lock up or will just completely not turn at some point

- Stafford, TX, USA

problem #52

Aug 102015


  • 70,000 miles
Motor driven power steering coupler replacement needed

- Homestead, FL, USA

problem #51

Jan 182016


  • 60,000 miles
Takata recall

- Savannah, GA, USA

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