2013 Kia Optima steering NHTSA complaints: Steering

NHTSA — Steering Problems

2013 Kia Optima (Page 2 of 4)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,233 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #59

Oct 102015


  • 40,000 miles


The steering wheel is 'cog-wheeling' to far left or right. Can't keep the steering wheel neutral/center to keep the vehicle straight. Either the steering wheel is rotated just off the center, cogged too far to left or too far to right. I need to constantly make adjustment and zig-zag through the straight road. This is a common problem with 2013 Kia Optima, and should be addressed and fixed.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #58

Nov 222012


  • 30 miles
While traveling at highway speeds, the steering wheel seems to stick. When it releases, the vehicle will almost over correct so that it looks like "jerky" steering/driving. It has done this from the beginning, I assumed it was because it was a newer vehicle, but it's still doing it. And on longer road trips, I get worn out fighting the steering wheel. Not to mention it can be a safety hazard.

- Chelan, WA, USA

problem #57

Aug 312015


  • 49,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 65 to 70 mph, the steering wheel swerved to the right and left. The contact had to place force on the steering wheel to keep the steering wheel under control. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 49,000.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #56

Sep 142015


  • 33,900 miles


My steering used to be great, with no issues. A few days ago my steering wheel started to fight me while I was driving home from work. Straight, turning left, turning right, it seemed to fight me no matter the situation. All of a sudden, any tiny bumps in the road that the car comes into contact with throws the steering wheel a different direction. Also, the car veers right when the steering wheel is perfectly straight. My normal drive before this incident was phenomenal, with no complaints... the car took tiny bumps in the road but it was not felt in the steering wheel. I took the car to a dealership and they "fixed" the problem by aligning my tires and updating the electrical power steering settings. I was excited to get back into my car with the problem fixed but all I noticed afterwards was that the steering wheel is tighter with the same problems. The tightness of the wheel does not make the problems as noticeable, but the car still directs right when the steering wheel is straight, the steering wheel is jumping with even the slightest bumps in the road, and driving the vehicle is stressful and uncomfortable as I always have to be on high alert - this is not pleasant when I drive long distances everyday for work. Needs to be fixed!

- Sewell, NJ, USA

problem #55

Dec 262013


  • 10 miles
Steering, hard to keep in lanes, loud hard ride. While test driving my 2013 Kia Optima I told my sales person that I was having trouble keeping keeping it on the road. He said that's B/C its a new car. It'll ease up. I thought it was loud & took smal bumps like a big pot holes. And the gas pedal & acceleration was wierd. He said bring it back & the service department will drive it & fix it. Don't worry. Well after several trips to the service department they said they could not emulate the problem. I asked them to let me drive with service person. Could not do. Break it in & it'll go away. Well at 11,000 miles took it back & complained. Same answer. Now 19,703 miles not only do I have the same problems.they got worse. In addition my paint scratches & chips so easy that there had to be something wrong with my paint. Back to service & body work they told me that was normal. Bring it in for detailing & we will get it looking like new! don't have $175 to do that. I do not get close to quoted gas mileage. It has a mind of its own it accelerates & gears don't shift.it takes off or doesn't all by itself. Seems like transmission trouble. Its so loud I cannot use hands free phone & conversations are difficult. The steering is so off, I'm afraid I'll get pulled over & fined. Very hard to keep on road. And my car squeaks as you get in & out of my car. Very disappointed. I want an investigation. I'm afraid it will be in an accident & hurt myself & others.

- Shenandoah, PA, USA

problem #54

Aug 312015


  • 26,000 miles
Steering issues at high speeds on expressway. Vehicle goes into other lanes constantly. I thought it just needed to be broken in but it has never gotten better. It could cause a terrible accident if not taken care of by a recall. If not, I will not buy another Kia.

- Dacula, GA, USA

problem #53

Jul 312015


  • 33,333 miles


Car started having a clicking noise when turning steering wheel to both right and left. Car has been pulling to the right on the highway, will even pull to the right at low speed rate. Car was bought brand new, should not be having steering issues.

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

problem #52

Jul 202015


  • 33,000 miles
When turning my steering wheel there is a clicking sound, it first started when you make a right turn, now regardless of which way you turn the steering wheel there is a clicking noise.

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

problem #51

Sep 252013


  • 500 miles
Shortly after buying my brand new 2013 Kia Optima LX I noticed issues with the steering when traveling at highway speeds. When driving on any type of highway the car wonders once I reach highway speeds (usually 65mph or more). The first time I noticed this it was a windy day and I thought maybe it was just due to the high winds... but, I've noticed this same issue every time I drive on the highway, even when there is little to no wind. The car refuses to stay in a straight line, constantly veering left and right (even on a flat surface). The steering wheel barely moves, but the car itself will wonder back and forth, requiring constant correction by the driver. The dealership has repeatedly said its the slope in the road, even though I've told them I've experienced it on multiple highways. Now I am noticing the same problem at regular speeds of 35mph and more. The steering wonders and my suspension seems nonexistent. Simple tar lines in the pavement feel like I'm driving over potholes. Dealership says they do feel a bit of a rough ride, but see nothing wrong with the car. These issues combined make driving unsafe and at times, scary. I hope something is done soon about the multiple complaints owners have submitted about this issue. I love the car, other than the steering issue.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #50

May 092015


  • 24,800 miles
I was traveling on 85 North at an approximate speed of 70 mph when the steering wheel became really stiff and it was very hard to move to the left or right! finally it released and I was able to move it again. I didn't really think that there was a possible issue but my friend suggested that I search the internet for any recalls regarding steering. In searching the internet I found 100+ complaints regarding this same issue for 2012-2013 model Kia Optimas. This is a real safety issue that can result in injury if the steering remains locked while driving! please investigate this matter!

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #49

May 172015


  • 18,000 miles


I bought the car with 17996 miles. After a few miles driving on the I-95 I noticed that the 2013 Optima has a very weird steering problem while driving over 50mph. It's very hard to keep it in a straight path. You have to constantly make adjustments to the steering wheel in order to keep on the correct lane. I took it back to the dealer a couple days later and told them that I've seen multiple complains of this known issue on the internet. I've also told them that there is a patch that was released on April 2015 but they said it wouldn't apply for my car. It's very unsafe. Kia needs to give special attention to this issue and take immediate action as it's very unsafe.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #48

May 312013


  • miles
My wife's 2013 Optima has very stiff steering while on the interstate or long stretch road. It's very hard to stay in a straight line. The steering locks when going straigh and it feels like it catches when you turn left or right. I ignored it for the first few months thinking maybe a "break in" stage. Still at 40K miles it's the exact same way. It's very unsafe. I noticed I'm not the only one with this problem. I hope Kia fixes this problem. May be my last Kia car!!!

- Lagrange, GA, USA

problem #47

May 012014


  • 0 miles
Wife's 2013 Optima has a very stiff steering while on the interstate. It's very hard to stay in a straight line. Its almost as if the steering locks at 12 oclock and it breaks free at any left or right movement. Over correcting is inevitable. We ignored it for the first few months thinking maybe it's just in a "break in" stage. Now at 30K miles it's the exact same way. Dealer says it's normal and wants me to pay to have it checked out cause there are no recalls. It's very unsafe. I'm obviously not the only one with this problem. I hope Kia man's up and fixes this problem.

- Slidell, LA, USA

problem #46

Jul 052014

Optima 4-cyl

  • 8,146 miles
Bought the car with only 27 miles on it. We took car to dealer to get first oil change and asked them to check the steering because the car is very hard to control, especially on the freeway. Dealer said the electronic steering was already set to the least sensitive setting. Driving in a straight line is near impossible, especially on freeway. It is all over the road and requires constant correction to stay in your lane. It has done this from the beginning. I'm sure Kia will just ignore this problem because that is what they did when I contacted them before about a different issue. I already have called Kia about the fact that my car gets nowhere near the stated mpg. They told me there was nothing I could do because my car was not included in the list of cars with overstated mpg. So I wouldn't be surprised if they ignore this issue as well. This steering problem is a big issue and needs to be addressed. How many accidents and complaints have to be filed before Kia does something about it? this car also skids easily in the rain.

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #45

Mar 182015

Optima 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
At highway speeds, the steering becomes very stiff and rigid. To make minor adjustments to stay within your lane, a significant amount of force is required. This results in over correcting causing you to basically swerve down the lane. Additionally, this difficult steering results in driver fatigue and frustration. Any of these factors could easily result in a crash at highway speeds. Kia states the steering falls within their normal "specs", however this is clearly a safety concern.

- North Aurora, IL, USA

problem #44

Oct 112014


  • 32,000 miles
While driving at normal highway speeds the steering wheel seems to stick. You have to use force to turn the wheel and then the car is all over the road. I have never had this issue before. The alignment was checked and was good. The car has new tires but still did it while it had the factory oem tires on it. After research I understand the 2013 has an electronic steering module and several people have had this same complaint but Kia will not do anything about it.

- Sanford, NC, USA

problem #43

Feb 272015


  • 21,000 miles
During a trip that was only 100 miles one way I had to correct the steering so many times that on the return trip I was so tired I did not want to drive any more that evening. I had to constantly correct the steering (right or left) and dreaded the return trip. I have seen many similar complaints filed. I am expecting the U.S. govt. To help us find a solution to this dangerous problem. Dealer claims there is nothing wrong with the car. I asked the customer service person to google the problem, of course he refused. He explained he knew of no other complaints. I don't think he was being honest, however that is just my opinion. Somebody please help!

- Laredo, TX, USA

problem #42

Jan 082015

Optima 4-cyl

  • 27,565 miles
Problem is ongoing. Vehicle wanders at highway speeds. Constant steering correction necessary. You cannot drive the car in a straight line. Slight corrections have to be constantly made to the steering wheel to keep the car going in a straight path.. I literally have to continuously micro-steer the car just to keep it within the lane it's supposed to be in. This drifting will happen no matter how much the wind is blowing or the type of road surface. I have installed new top quality tires and had an alignment scrupulously performed. No improvement.

- South Pittsburg, TN, USA

problem #41

Jan 062015


  • 19,900 miles
Is anyone going to do anything about the overly sensitive electronic steering on the 2013 Kia Optimas that cause the car to zig zag within the lane of travel"?? this type of complaint is prominent all over the internet on many different sites. There is, quite simply, a major safety issue with the steering on these cars, and complaints to Kia or the nhtsb seem to fall on deaf ears. Will it take a fatality due to these issues for someone to take notice of the major hazard these particular cars present to drivers?!? the electronic steering is extremely overly sensitive...so bad that one can barely look down to turn the defrost on or look into the rear view mirror or side view mirrors without the potential for the car to drift in another lane in the same direction of travel, or even in an oncoming lane of travel!! you literally cannot move your hand at all one way or another without the steering reacting. A 1/4 movement to the left or right??" you'll feel the car shift in the direction turned, so that leaves the driver having to continually keep his hand turning the steering wheel slightly to the left or right just to keep it in the lane of travel, thus causing the car to zig zag down the lane of travel, giving the appearance of an impaired driver. At highway speeds or even speeds 45mph or higher it is impossible to keep the car going in a straight line without having to continually correct it one way or another. About a month ago I looked down to turn the defrost on and when I looked back up the car was halfway in the oncoming lane of travel for god's sake! someone is going to be killed because of this issue, whether it be a side swipe on the highway or a head on collision, something will eventually happen, and when someone finally dies maybe then Kia or the nhtsb will finally look into the issue.

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #40

Jan 212015

Optima 4-cyl

  • 30,126 miles
The steering gets stiff and tends to stick when going straight this causes slight over steering back and forth constantly. It seems to come on worse the longer you drive.

- New Florence, PA, USA

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