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 5 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

May 212012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 2,204 miles


Brand new Kia Optima has steering drift (diffuculty driving in a straight line). Dealer indicated typical of electronic steering and did nothing but check alignment. Very unnerving and dangerous. Condition still exists.

- New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA

problem #9

May 262012


  • 100 miles
Constant correction of the steering wheel is needed to keep the car on the road. I have been on line and have found many complaints on this issue. Will be going back to dealer but based on everything I have read I don't expect this to be resolved. I am sure this an electronic steering issue and I believe a recall is warranted.

- Daphne, AL, USA

problem #8

Feb 012012

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
I bought Kia Optima 2012 in month of January 2012. Since I own vehicle I notice that car is steering to it's left side. I called dealer and reported this issue. Dealer suggests issue is because of electronic control system. I noticed this problem since I own and dealer advise that it should go away after few thousand miles. In my opinion this is dangerous and must be adversely effecting to tires and other steering mechanism components.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #7

Apr 192012


  • 50 miles


Immediately after purchase we noticed an obvious issue with steering - not able to keep control of the car, veering to the left or right, taxing and exhausting effort to just drive the car. Called dealership and was told that it was something we'd have to get used to due to the new electronic steering. After a couple of days, we were tempted to take the car back due to being "tired" from driving home each day! after talking with a neighbor who has the same car, he said he had the exact same problem and took it back to the dealership. He said they did some type of special wheel balancing and it fixed the problem. Decided to take the car back for a check. Asked about tire rotation or alignment check. Service cross-rotated the tires and it drives better, but is still a very different drive.

- Cibolo, TX, USA

problem #6

Apr 282012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 125 miles
I just purchased a brand new 2012 Optima from a dealer in coral springs, fla. Other than one important problem, I love this car. Here is the important safety issue: When you get over 40mph, the car will not go straight- it continues to move out of the lane you are driving in. No matter how small of a steering correction you make- when you hold the steering "completely still"- the car still moves to the left, then to the right when you inch it back- the car steering mechanism seems to not let the car travel straight ahead. The steering will not keep the car going straight, so this is a safety issue because the car keeps automatically taking you out of your lane!!! when I was on the fla turnpike heading home from the dealer today, this situation must have occurred a hundred times. I have owned more than 50 cars over the years, of all makes and sizes- and this issue has never occurred before. I hope you can help get this "safety issue" resolved asap. I will go back to the dealer tomorrow to discuss the problem. Thank you.

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #5

Apr 142012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 320 miles
The electric assist power steering has failed while driving multiple times leaving the driver with reduced control of the vehicle due to the extreme effort required to steer the vehicle. Indicator lights include traction control, eps and tco. Power steering can be restored by shutting down the car and restarting. Dealer's first attempt to correct after three instances of failure and reset involved calibration of the steering indicator. This lasted approximately 200 miles. Subsequent failure reported to dealer and the vehicle is currently there being diagnosed for the second time.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #4

Apr 192012


  • 150 miles


Car is very hard to keep control on the road. Kia dealership says it is the way the new electronic control works. On acceleration, car steers to left into oncoming traffic, and it takes much effort to keep it going straight on road. On the highway it feels as if the wind is blowing it around on the road. It also makes a pull to the left or right on its own.

- Pittsburgh , PA, USA

problem #3

Jan 062012


  • 200 miles
Upon the purchase of my 2012 Kia Optima sx I noticed a pull to the left in the steering wheel. The dealership is approx. 80 miles from my home, driving home I noticed the tug and the car's inclination to veer left. I felt a constant pressure on the wheel to veer. I took the car back within a week or two and had the service dept. Check the veer. Of course, I was told there is no veer. The car continues to stray, now at 3500 miles. The car will be going in for service next week for the same problem and for maintenance. I have spoken to another dealership's salesman who has confirmed for me there is a definite issue with the Optima's steering and to date, they don't know what to do with it. I love this car, I absolutely love it, but the pull is a problem. By the time I drive the car at cruise speed on the highway and get back with it, I literally feel tired in the arm and shoulder from the pressure to keep it straight in the lanes. Also, lately at approx. 3000 miles, I've noticed that in reverse, the backup camera doesn't always come on when shifting gears. It has a hesitation that has lasted as long as 30 - 40 seconds before I can see behind the car. Anyone who has driven the Optima knows, you can't see anything behind you in that car due to the low sitting seats and higher trunk - it has to be tall to see it behind you. I'm taking the car to a different dealership for service next time, from there, I'll decide as to what happens next as far as keeping this car.

- Hurricane, WV, USA

problem #2

Feb 202012


  • 50 miles
Steering pulls to the left. I have to always correct. Many times I end up over correcting when going through a curve. I made several attempts to correct the tire pressure. Tire pressure was 42 psi when I drove it off the lot. I brought it down to 38 psi and seemed to help a little. I finally took all four tires down to 35 psi, and almost drove it off the road while going through a right curve at 50 mph. By the way, the speed limit was 50 mph. The freeway is also an issue. Always having to correct the steering bouncing back and forth between the lane lines. This is very dangerous, and should be looked into by the NHTSA. Having to over correct is not fun situation to be in. I drove many high performance vehicles, and this is the most concerning. Beautiful car with tons of potential. Steering needs fixed!!!!!!!!

- Sagamore Hills, OH, USA

problem #1

Jan 172012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 150 miles
I purchased a 2012 Kia Optima on 1-13-12 and immediately discovered it pulled to the left. The dealer has admitted they do not know how to fix it and today (2-5-2012) the dealer bought it back. I lost $5,000 by selling it back but I am just glad to not have to drive the car any more. Kia should have to fix this problem or buy the cars back at the selling price. The customer should not be stuck with an unsafe vehicle or forced to drive it to avoid the loss. This pull left issue is well documented on the Kia forum site. I just wish I had checked that site before buying.

- Mosinee, WI, USA

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