really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,562 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2012 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #11

Jul 222016


  • 60,000 miles


At 60K miles, steering has become difficult to maintain, steering column is loud and makes a popping noise, and now there is some type of clunk in the front suspension that can be heard when steering angle is being altered while simultaneously bridging a bump. Steering wheel sticks at speeds above 55mph, and thus over-steering is necessary in order to maintain tracking. Dealer informs me that some $4 plastic gear needs replacing somewhere, but that it will be $400 in labor to replace, but they can't even guarantee replacing this part will fix the issue. What a joke- this is my first and last Kia/Hyundai product.

- Saint Charles, IL, USA

problem #10

Jan 142016


  • 79,000 miles
Im having intermittent electrical and suspension problems along with sudden increases of power increase and decreases. I was driving to my local mall before my evening class and noticed my car radio and instrument cluster where not operating no lights but car was running fine. I hit the brakes while coming to a stop light in a busy intersection hit a small bump the car decided to accelerate and it felt as if the suspension was loose on the left front side I heard it rattle now this bump wasn't big by any means as I hit the break I could feel the brakes fight with the engine the brake pedal also shook at my feet. I quickly put the Kia in neutral and shut the car off still at the light. Put it in park and restarted my car all light and instrument cluster came on along with radio.my Optima felt ok. But later I went to class got into my car and she wouldn't turn over I had to press on the gas to get it to start. I took it to the dealer they said they couldn't find anything besides my high temp fuel pump was giving low pressure codes. I only have 80K on this vehicle but Kia said they will not cover it. This a serious safety issue why if my kids where in the car and I did get into a serious accident with them. This needs to be addressed. Something needs to be done before there is a death no after the fact.

- Barnstable, MA, USA

problem #9

May 112013


  • 20,000 miles
At 20000 miles my fog lights would not work, the weird put the directional signal to turn right they would come on for a short time, replaced bulbs nothing they don't work. Also had to replace brakes and the tires, tire brand are junk, poorly made they were beyond the limit for safty, then at 40000 miles both front wheel bearings had to be replaced, now at 78000 miles the struts are making a horrible clanking and the ac is blowing hot air even after 2 cans of the stuff the mechanic said to add. I travel on the highway to work 36 miles one way daily hense the milage but the high way is smooth as well. Very disappointed Kia owner, when called to ask about the fog lights was told your problem so im sure the struts will be and the ac will also be my problem. Sadly thought they would back up there product

- Dalton, NH, USA

problem #8

Jan 082014


  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Kia Optima. The contact stated that when making a turn the vehicle shook violently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 20,000 and the current mileage was 34,000.the VIN was not available.

- Tarzana, CA, USA

problem #7

Sep 302011

Optima 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
There is a knocking sound that seems to be on both sides of the front end. I have had the care aligned and it does not seem to be part of the alignment, also indications from others is that it is related to sway barn ends. Others on the Kia forum indicate similar problems.. www.Kia-forums.com/3G-2006-5-magentis-Optima/43806-G3-annoying-front-suspension-noise-7.html.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

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problem #6

Jul 022012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
While drive above 45mph the car wonders left and right, making it very hard to keep the car on the road. It also feels like there is a catch in the steering making it very easy to over correct the car. I have had it into Kia to have the car looked at twice now. They have checked the alignment, tire pressure... they drove a salesman's car and a car off there lot and they tell me this is the way they all drive. I find this very hard to believe, (its a workout to keep the car on the road). I have been doing searches on the internet to try and find a solution for the problem, while doing this I have found a lot of other people that are having the same problem and are getting the same feedback from the dealers. From what I have found is its a known problem with the 2011, 2012, 2013 Kia Optima's.

- Earling, IA, USA

problem #5

Jan 082012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 21,000 miles


The vehicle drifts left and right constantly and substantially, we have taken it to the dealer more times than I can count. Same conclusion every time. Adjusted, and vehicle is within specifications. They have not and refuse to acknowledge there is a serious issue. As of January 8th 2013, over one year since purchasing the problem, it still exists. We recently was in a minor accident because of this problem. On a tight road with little or no room for waiver, we struck another vehicles mirror with ours at 70mph. Luckily there was only superficial damage besides both of us deciding we are not driving this car again due to the safety of our children and ourselves. We are currently pursuing a lemon claim on the vehicle. Bale Kia and crain Kia both have told us the same thing, could not duplicate and vehicle is within specifications, tsb #032. According to them they are assuming we are making this up. Along with the 30+ other complaints found on here.

- North Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #4

May 102012


  • 120 miles
I bought this Kia Optima sx in May 2012 because it's a beautiful car, basically with no hesitation. My first day driving it, I thought the steering felt a little different, tight, and pulled to the left and right and very hard to keep it going straight. I thought to myself, well it's a brand new car and has to be broken in a little maybe. About 500 miles in, problem didn't go away, took it to the dealer, they inspected the alignment, said alignment was ok, but the psi in tires was a little off and that it should fix the issue. Nothing has changed. Week later I took it in again. Was told everything is up to spec, and was told I am the first person to report this kind of issue with the car. I go home that night and google Optima steering problem...the search engine goes nuts!!! this is a issue with the Optima since 2011!!! I'm a truck driver and I can barely steer this car!!! how can this be safe on the roads"?" there is thousands of complaints of this exact problem!! when my wife drives it she tells me she can't even take a drink of her soda because she has to pay so much attention to holding the wheel straight!! I feel the same way!! come on Kia!!! come on D.O.T. it's only just a matter of time before this car causes a serious accident!! obviously the electronic power steering isn't safe!! so recall it!!

- New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #3

Jun 092012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 50 miles
Vehicle hard to control and steer straight, especially at highway speeds. Severe pull to the left, though occasionally it drifts to the right. At city speeds, the steering problem is not as noticeable. I took the car to the dealer, and they checked the alignment. Minor adjustments, and tire inflation change, resulted in no significant change in the problem...it remains severe. If you let go of the steering wheel, then the car swiftly move across to the left lanes.

- Danville, CA, USA

problem #2

Apr 152012


  • 8 miles
Brand new vehicle pulled to right and also drifted left to right at 8 miles on highway with a speed of 55. I though all that it needed was a simple alignment I took it back to the dealer at just under 3000 miles and the tech drove it and told me it was fine I just need to get used to it. This car did not drive like the 2 that I had driven before I purchased it. The tech did an alignment and said the rear wheel was off from the factory. The car still did the same thing it felt loose and drifted on highway and straitways. I took it to another dealer that day and the tech drove it for 30 seconds and noticed the steering is was not right.he spent a great deal of time performing an alignment and once I drove it was fine. There was a slight pull to the right but most cars do have that. The tech gave me a print out of the alignment and the front camber was not to factory settings he told me that he could not adjust it. After driving 700 miles later the loose feeling and the drifting returned. I have contacted the original dealer again and I am hoping for a resolution soon.

- Hull, MA, USA

problem #1

Jan 162012

Optima 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
Right rear suspension makes creaking noise, progressively worse over time. Suspension was greased up, but problem recurred after one week. Concerns that assemble may come loose while driving. Noise worse on uneven surfaces or when eight is redistributed to right side (e.g. drive through windows sometimes elevate from the left causing car to lean on right side; uneven parking lots will cause creaking sound).

- Mendenhall, MS, USA

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