fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,368 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.

2013 Kia Optima brakes problems

brakes problem

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2013 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #6

Dec 292016


  • miles


My steering has been loose since 65K miles and continued to drift. However this bieng my 4th car I let it slide and was waiting for time to do a wheel alignment. However at 73K miles the eps sensor went off and now is hard to drive. The eps on all my vehicles never had issues up till its death way over 250K miles. The eps sensor came on after a stop sign. Then I heard a snap then the car went into manual steering mode. Now the eps sensor is off and the car is working fine.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #5

Nov 012015


  • 7,000 miles
Vehicle: Kia Optima 2013 issue description: If loosing slightly traction (Kia Optima it is very sensitive, all it takes is some dirt on the ground, a little rain, moisture on the pavement, or bumpy road) the system will kill all the engine power between 1 to 2 seconds when you start from a stand still (brings the car to a stop). This makes the car not move and get into dangerous situations when entering an intersections because cars approaching might hit the car. The situation can be repeated once the system releases the power, losing traction again, extending additionally 1 to 2 seconds to this situation. Loosing traction is even easier when the wheels are turned. I opened a ticket on Kia customer affairs (K3229681) once the dealer did not even tested the car with me, and I got the typical answer if they do not have a recall on this subject (it is the way it works) after many calls and visits, I was able to get from the manufacture's Kia customer affairs verbally confirm it is the way should work, immobilizing the car for 1 to 2 seconds. The only solution provided is to disable the tcs which based on the manual disables also the esp. This issue has been reported by other owners on multiple forums, and no other car I drove works in that way, not even my Hyundai sonata 2013 which is the same car but with different body. Mode information on the attached document.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #4

Feb 062015

Optima 4-cyl

  • 42,205 miles
I was sitting at a stop sign waiting to cross two lanes, when clear I pressed the gas pedal. The tires spun a little on some antiskid; as a result the traction control intervened. The car seamed to loose all power!!. with traffic on its way I drifted across one lane before getting full power back. This tcs in my 2013 Kia Optima is not safe-- someone is going to get killed! what should I do !?

- Altoona, PA, USA

problem #3

Jun 232014


  • 17,000 miles


The traction control system is designed so poorly that when I pull into traffic from a stop I have to disable the system completely or risk being a sitting duck in the middle of an intersection. It seems that if the traction control system detects any amount of tire slippage it cuts power to both wheels completely. Your instinct is to press the accelerator harder to make the car get out of the intersection which causes the wheels to slip when the car reapplies power and the whole problem starts again and you are still in the intersection. The power is cut so dramatically that it is almost as if the brakes are being applied and vehicle occupants lurch forward. After a second or two the vehicle gradually reapplies power. The only way to avoid this is to disable the system which has to be done each time you start the car. If you forget to disable it you are fumbling on the dash while driving to disable it. When I reproduced the event at the dealership they said that this was how the system is designed to work. All it takes is a couple rocks on the ground, a little rain, or even a heavy fog and the system will completely kill the power for between 1 - 2 seconds when you start off from a stand still.

- Houma, LA, USA

problem #2

Jun 142014


  • 15,000 miles
I have found the traction control to be too drastic at times. When pulling on to a highway there is usually a small bump (difference in height, about 2", between the road and the parking area). If I'm accelerating (which you usually have to do to get onto a busy road), when the car goes over the "small bump" the traction control kicks in and the car loses a lot of the power you need to avoid the oncoming traffic. The traction control causes the car to come to a "rolling stop". this seems a little too extreme to me and I feel like this will cause an accident and potential loss of life. I have owned 4 other cars with traction control (2 Saturn, 1 corvette, and a Kia forte). None of the vehicles mention had an issue like this. Usually the traction control will "gradually" slow down the wheel or wheels that are turning faster than required. The Optima almost comes to a complete stop, losing 95% of it's power on June 6, 2014 I returned the car to the dealer (fette Kia). I was able to reproduce the problem and they said this was how the car was designed. The issue has occurred numerous times the date above was used to complete the form.

- Little Falls, NJ, USA

problem #1

Nov 252013


  • 5,000 miles
During the first inclement weather I endured with this car (late Nov/early Dec 2013) there was some snow and ice. I came to a stop then pulled out to turn right. The nearest traffic was 2 blocks away. As I tried to turn, my car stopped then started, stopped, started. The traffic was headed directly for me and blaring their horns. Suddenly, my car lurched forward and went on its way. I experienced this again several times the same day and many more times since then during the course of this winter. It has happened on interstates, going up hills, making turns and driving slowly on slippery streets. I went to the dealer who told me it was supposed to do this; it was a safety feature.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

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