really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,195 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.

2014 Kia Optima engine problems

engine problem

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2014 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Jan 072017


  • 37,000 miles


While driving vehicle at approximately 45 mph, engine stalls in middle of busy highway. Was able to get vehicle to side of road in the rain. Vehicle would not start and was towed to dealer. Dealer calls to say engine is blown at 37K miles. Dealer was last to perform oil change. No issues were noted at that time. Awaiting to hear if engine is covered by extended engine warranty that was issued by Kia as they are well aware of this problem and has known for several years.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #28

Dec 052016


  • 61,000 miles
At a stop light when I went to accelerate car had a hesitation and smoke came out the exhaust pipe. No engine, or oil light came on. The car drove and ran as it always has. Got home call Kia of dayton for an appointment. Took car in, couple days later I was called and told I had sludge built up and needed a new engine and they will submit it to Kia for approval. Kia denied repairs. I looked up online and read several complaints with the same exact problem with same year and around same mileage. I even seen where a class action suit was filed over it. Kia is aware of the issue but wont recall nor fix it.

- Huber Heights, OH, USA

problem #27

Oct 232016

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
While driving down the road all the lights on the dash came on, the RPM's dropped and the car shut off and would not restart. Got it towed to the Kia dealership they called said it was my starter. My fiance stopped by there said it's no way it was the starter. The service tech put a breaker bar on the motor and it was locked up tight.

- Trappe, MD, USA

problem #26

Sep 152016


  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Kia Optima. While driving 60 mph, the engine oil indicator illuminated. The contact stated that the engine was burning oil extremely fast. The dealer diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced due to low maintenance of having the oil changed. The contact was informed that she needed to provide all documents of previous oil change maintenance. Due to not having the oil changes performed at a Kia certified dealer, the contact was out of compliance with the warranty. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 45,000.

- Marelehead, OH, USA

problem #25

Oct 052016


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 60 mph, the engine shut down and the check engine indicator illuminated. A local dealer diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced due to sludge build up. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the engine failure was due to the owner's negligence. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 59,000.

- Monongaherla, PA, USA

problem #24

Sep 212016


  • miles
Vehicle periodically will not crank after sitting. Has been to the dealership 4 times recently and dealer cannot figure out the issue.

- Belleview, FL, USA

problem #23

Sep 192016


  • 38,000 miles


On 09/19/2016 I purchased a 2014 Kia Optima LX from Kia of cerritos. Unfortunately, the vehicle has not been satisfactory because on 09/19/2016 I got home, parked it in front of the garage (still on), and it shut off by itself. I turned the car back on and it blew out white smoke, I turned it off immediately, and called Kia this next day to have it inspected at the dealership on 9/20/16. They said they needed to replaced the engine. Prior to this, the car was working normally, no dash lights, or anything that would signal the car breaking down, Kia of cerritos is unwilling to fix it under warranty and they're saying the cost for repairs is $6,585 and Kia motors of America declined the repairs, I've been with this car only 2 1/2 years.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #22

Sep 092016


  • 30,500 miles
First off, had our Kia at the dealer at 27,000 miles due to our car not coming out of park several times. We would have to turn off the car and turn it back on. Dealer said they checked it and no problems were found. A couple weeks ago as we were driving, our engine light came on and their was a horrible knocking sound coming from our engine. Our Kia only has approx. 30,500 miles on it. Took it to the dealer immediately and said we had a spun rod and would need a new engine. I could not locate all of our oil records so they refuse to cover it under warranty. How does an engine go that soon! we were charged $222 for diagnostics and had it towed home. I asked for an itemized receipt of what was checked or taken apart and have yet to receive it. Furthermore, when the tow truck driver got to our home it had an overwhelming gas smell coming from the engine and also inside the cabin. We were warned not to have open flame near the car. Our house sits close to where the car was parked so I was petrified. I contacted the dealer to find out what the problem was and 6 hours later, they finally responded back to me. Came to find out that the technician left the high pressure fuel line off and the valve cover bolts. He also took the pump fuse out. The tech also forgot to put the underbody engine cover in the trunk. It would have been nice for the tow driver and us to know about this! I paid to have it put back together and now I have to run back up there to get our underbody cover"?" I would like to know why no warning lights came on sooner and why we have engine failure at such low miles!

- Natrona Heights, PA, USA

problem #21

Aug 152016


  • miles
Car started smoking so to hart Kia. They said the entire engine needs to be replaced due to oil breaking down. Since I could not provide all maintenance records, Kia is not responsible for holding up warranty. The car only has 40,000 miles on it and has bad engine.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #20

Sep 242016


  • 48,000 miles
While driving with my family of 4 on the freeway in a desolate area of santa clarita on 9/24/16 at 3:15pm my vehicle shut off without any warning. We were going 65 mph, all lights on the dash flashed and the car shut off. We were in the 2nd lane and had to use the momentum of speed to make it to the shoulder, we were almost hit. Once we made it to the shoulder of this busy freeway, we were unable to start the car, put windows up or down, open the trunk etc. The car was completely dead. We sat waiting for aaa and hoping not to get hit. It was 85 degrees out and my 74 year old mother and disabled sister sat in the car for 30 mins until the tow truck arrived. If we weren't so lucky or if we were in the righter lanes of traffic 4 lives could have been lost that day. I am very anxious and nervous to drive the vehicle again however; I have no choice it is our families primary vehicle. The service rep at the dealership told be prematurely that it is the motor however; the diagnosis is not finalized. I fear for the safely of my family and friends in the car now, and really do not want to drive it again. It gives me major anxiety especially since I drive from ca to AZ 4 times a year and now fear this happening in the middle of the desert. I don't understand how a car 19 month old with 48K miles can have this type of issue. Actually I don't know how any car any age and miles can have the issue of just shutting off without warning, it is a major safety concern.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #19

Sep 242016


  • 40,379 miles


I was driving on the interstate this past weekend when I heard this knocking sound at about 70 pulled to the side of the road pressed the accelerator and the noise became louder. I then called road side assistant and attempted to make to the closet gas station when the car jerked heard a loud noise and the car shut completely off and would not start, I was able to coast to the shoulder. Long story short car has been serviced by Kia since I purchased it in November 2015 with 16,725 miles used, it currently has less than 41,000 miles (not knowing that the power train warranty is only 5 years 60000 miles if you aren't the original owner until the claim was filed). When the Kia service manager called me he said the engine had seized up and the engine needed to be replaced. However he has to wait on authorization. I was 166 miles away from home they could not provide a rental I had to pay out of pocket but will be reimbursed. It will take a week to replace which means paying for a rental and I have to go pick up my car once it is repaired so I will be taking off work. A defective motor although its covered by the warranty is costing me. I was ensured that the new motors have been changed so that I will not have the same problem 40,000 miles later. I wonder if the warranty is going to be extended with the new motor. A recall need to be issued. The connecting rod in the engine becomes too hot either it siezes or breaks. My Optima is a turbo I am not sure about the others.

- Jaksonville, FL, USA

problem #18

Aug 042016


  • 66,000 miles
Car stalling when accelerating from a stopped position making turns. This is very dangerous to public safety and could cause major collisions. My car did it a few times before engine began knocking and had towed. The Kia dealership service department said it was a connector rod bearing defect and ultimately caused total engine failure. Kia is putting the burden on the consumers to prove the defect wasn't caused by poor maintenance even though they have extended warranty to dealerships. This problem will not go away until Kia repairs the defect in the engine and human life will be at stake.

- Conway, AR, USA

problem #17

Apr 182016


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Kia Optima. While driving 70 mph, the vehicle made a loud noise from the engine bay. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that there was sludge build up in the engine. The engine needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 51,000.

- Wesley Chapel, FL, USA

problem #16

Jun 202016


  • 53,000 miles
I was driving home from work and stopped at a red light. My car stalled and I had to restart vehicle. There were no lights on before or after the car turned off. White smoke appeared. So much smoke I could not tell if it was from back or front of car. I drove the car a couple more blocks and heard an extremely loud knocking noise, car started jerking and trying to die/stall and again a ton of smoke. I parked the car and had it towed to dealership. Someone from service dept called and said it was a bad battery and would be 350+ to replace the battery. He lied and told me he put a new battery in it and drove it around the block and it was fine. I spoke to service manager to properly diagnose my vehicle. I has ot pay diagnostic fee and was told 5 days later that it was engine failure and I needed to provide maintenance receipts. I told them I had just moved and the only receipts I could get were the ones in the car until I could get through the boxes in storage and garage. They said to provide what I could find. I was able to easily locate 4 receipts (they wanted 10, vehicle has 53,000 miles) I explained again that I knew the car had a defective engine and expected it be covered under warranty. I was notified 10 days later that the vehicle would not be covered by warranty and I escalated my claim to Kia customer care. In the meantime, I have been told that they will file vehicle abandonment on my car if I do not remove or repair. I have yet to be given an exact amount of cost to repair. I provided the extended warranty that Kia mailed out on June 10, 2016. It was pushed back at me and I was told "they know about it, but it's not covered" I was not injured, but I was not on major highway and only on side residential street when it occurred and was able to safely get to side of road. Kia knows of the defect and danger it poses & refuses to recall this vehicle.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #15

Jul 142016


  • 39,000 miles
Car completely shut down doing 40 miles per hour--- -was told engine seized --engine being replaced no power steering no brakes barely avoided an accident on a highway heavy traffic due to construction

- Chicopee, MA, USA

problem #14

Jun 132016


  • 22,000 miles
While driving on the highway at 70mph the vehicle experienced a complete loss of power. The engine turned off, loss of power steering, loss of power braking, and immediate deceleration of the vehicle. This incident posed a hazardous condition for both this vehicle and other vehicles on the road. The vehicle was pulled to the side of the road and was restarted. There was no accident or injuries related to this incident. The key was in the on position, no check engine light was triggered. Based on other complaints, it appears that this is a manufacturer engine issue for which the manufacturer is not issuing a recall or honoring the manufacturer warranty. The vehicle has ~22,000 miles and all manufacturer suggested maintenance has been performed on time per the manufacturer's specifications.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

problem #13

May 092016


  • 36,200 miles
May 9th 2016, driving to work on I-44 heading to work, my vehicle without warning shuts off and dies, I start to see white smoke come from the engine compartment, I safely pull the car over to shoulder because it was still rolling. Exit the vehicle and open the hood, and the engine catches fire on the driver side of the engine. I have spoken to many certified mechanics all with the same answer that it was an electrical fire. I have since completed the total loss process with my insurance. I have contacted Kia Consumer Affairs who were absolutely zero help. The vehicle was still under warranty as it only had just over 36000 miles.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #12

May 052016


  • 33,550 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Kia Optima. While driving 40 mph, the engine oil warning light illuminated and black smoke emitted from the exhaust. The vehicle was taken to a dealer on multiple occasions where it was diagnosed that the engine oil needed to be replenished. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 33,550.

- Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

problem #11

Apr 052016


  • miles
One morning I turned the car on and saw bunch of white light blue smoke coming out of the tail pipe after running the engine for few minutes smoke went away drove it around nothing drove good so Monday I called West covina Kia told about the smoke and said it was a bad batch of gas so they said put ejector cleaner in the tank and that should help it out so I did ran good for a while and the smoke started up again but now the engine made a rattling sound so called Kia of West covina and said bring it in so left it there they did a diagnostic test and said I had sludge in my engine and that the engine was starving for oil so the bad news is no receipt no warranty it wouldn't be covered so this has to come out of my pocket and I need a new engine which it's going to cost me $6500 I did my oil changes but can't show proof of it so I'm stuck with the bill I don't think it's right they know they have defective engines.I'm not the only one with this issue, many people are having the same problem and I only have 19.000 miles on it have it for 2 years there shouldn't be problems on this new cars but this guy's found a loop hole and now they are screwing with consumers they should man up about their faulty engines they should recall the engines

- La Puente, CA, USA

problem #10

Feb 152016


  • 28,000 miles
Less than 30,000 and my engine is shot! I took my car for service in January 2016, told them I was seeing black smoke and I was told it was nothing. I actually was told to put fuel injector cleaner in with every fill-up. I continued to have the problem and took it back in February 15, 2016. Now they say I have sludge in my engine and warranty won't cover, because we used the wrong oil doing our own oil changes. I provided copies of the pages from the owner's manual showing that we used the correct oil, but no luck. After a week I was told the engine would be replaced via a "goodwill gesture", but a rental will not be covered. I was also told my car would be out within 7 days....ffwd 35 days...still no car and when I get someone on the phone from the service dept, I'm given the run-around and promised that I will be called back within a few hours with an update. Well, it's been 96 hours this time and I'm still waiting. Not only do you not have calls returned, emails are not responded to either. This has been the worst experience with a service department ever. Thankfully I only kept the rental that they made me pay for 15 days. (I still believe I deserve reimbursement for it.)

- Orange Park, FL, USA

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