2018 Kia Optima engine NHTSA complaints: Engine

NHTSA — Engine Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,782 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.

2018 Kia Optima engine problems

engine problem

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2018 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #11

Aug 292020


  • 27,000 miles


TL- the contact owns a 2018 Kia Optima hybrid. The contact stated that while driving the vehicle started to make an unknown noise, the contact costed to the side of the road and check underneath and around the vehicle to see where the noise was coming from but did not find anything. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle stated that she was on a way to taken the vehicle for an oil change. The technician heard the nose and informed the contact that he was would need to check everything before he can complete an oil change. The technician removed the protective shield underneath the vehicle and noticed oil was allover and metal shaving was in the oil around the oil pressure sensor. The technician informed the contact it maybe was coming from the engine. The contact called napleton's mid rivers Kia, 4955 veterans memorial pkwy, St peters, mo 63376, and informed them of the failure and the contact was informed to schedule and appointment. The contact stated that she had the vehicle towed to auffenberg Hyundai, 1300 central park dr, O'fallon, il 62269, and the technician could not find a failure. The contact was informed that the manufacturer would send and engineer to inspect the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired yet. The contact mention that she was experiencing electric shack from the steering wheel and the accelerator pedal. And that the accelerator was losing pressure and that smoke was coming through the vent of the cabin. The failure mileage was approximately 27,573.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #10

Aug 232020


  • 17,000 miles
Caught fire while driving.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #9

Apr 302020


  • 9,650 miles
I leased 2018 Kia Optima ex. At 6399miles and 9650miles engine light on and car vibrates a lot. First service replaced spark plug and second time they replaced engine. This car was awarded as best initial quality award which has engine issues. Kia says they will not take any responsibility if anything happens when driving car because of the issue. If it happens again they will replace engine or repair it. Kia is not confident that replaced engine will not have this issue.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #8

Jun 172020


  • 41,000 miles


Engine turned off while driving without any warning, going straight, in city. Dealship can not duplicate or diagnose problem.

- Hollidaysburg, PA, USA

problem #7

Aug 022019


  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2018 Kia Optima. While driving 20 mph, the contact was notified by other motorists that flames were present under the vehicle. The vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road and smoke appeared under the hood. The contact and a pedestrian extinguished the fire. The fire and police departments were at the scene, but the contact was unsure if reports were filed. There were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to northstar Kia (46-05 northern blvd, long island city, NY 11101, (877) 244-0989) where the contact was informed that there was an engine fire. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 22,000.

- The Bronx, NY, USA

problem #6

Sep 282019


  • 22,500 miles
I purchased a brand new 2018 Kia Optima in November 2018. I have put approximately 22,500 miles on it and have been keeping up with updated oil change maintenance per the schedule recommended by the dealer. On Saturday 9/28 I dropped the car off for a routine oil change, and as I drove it off the lot it sputtered as if it was going to die, but it didn't. the car continued to run and it got me home. The next day, Sunday 9/29, it drove without problems for about an hour, but while driving the car completely powered down and stopped working. It was a terrifying experience as I was in the middle of a major city road and almost caused a serious accident. I put the car into park and was able to start it back up, and I was lucky enough not to be struck by another vehicle. The dealership was closed at this time so I called them first thing Monday 10/1 to report the issue and dropped it off. The dealership is claiming to be unable to recreate the issue so ready to give me the car back. This is a huge safety concern and I can't believe we as consumers have to put our lives at risk to wait for the problem to happen again before any recourse can be taken. From my research on the internet, it is very common for the dealership not to be able to recreate the problem so unable to provide a fix. Kia had 5+ years of engine stall problems that were not acknowledged until many years later, and the dealership certainly will not validate this. Furthermore, when the engine stalls, the power steering and brakes both go out, so you have nothing but prayers to rely on to keep you alive.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #5

Aug 022019


  • 22,450 miles


While I was driving my vehicle on the streets; its an 2018 Kia Optima.on August 2,2019 my car engine caught on fire.people walking on the sidewalk and other drivers stop to alert me that they saw fire from the bottom of the car.then while driving I start to notice extreme smoke coming from the hood so much I couldnt no longer look where I was going.I panicked and mind was racing Q how could this happen I got this car new last year May 1,2018. When I jumped out to look at the hood I saw my engine engulfed with flames.nearby driver threw me a bottole of water, luckily I had just bought 24 case of water, another driver pulled over and was helping me pour water to reduce the damage of the fire.no engine light was on or any other warning lights before or after the fire and I had my recently oil change.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 032019


  • 22,000 miles
The contact owned a 2018 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 25 mph, the driver was told to pull over because there was smoke emitting from their vehicle. The contact pulled over and was able to put out the fire. The fire was coming from the engine of the vehicle. The contact stated that no warning lights illuminated and there were no injuries. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to northstar Mitsubishi parts (41-05 34th astoria, NY 11101) and awaiting Kia inspector for a diagnoses. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 22,000.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #3

Mar 292019


  • 14,900 miles
On 03/29/2019 was traveling to work. On interstate 53 southbound car went to limp mode. No power. Managed to get to dealership. They tried to repair my vehicle for 1 month after they told me that engine need to be replaced they managed to change wiring harness. After 1 month it was done. I took car back. 1 or 2 weeks later car went into limp mode again with same problem. Filed a claim with Kia and BBB to resolve it. As of right now they had in inspections on my vehicle as they stated from Kia California hq and from Korea hq with no luck to repair it. As manager told me they dont have any ideas how to fix it. Want Kia to buyback my vehicle and let me get away from this lease with reimbursement on payments because car not in my posession for 128 days and counting. They switched me 3 loners.

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #2

Jun 012019


  • 12,098 miles
Takara recall vehicle power down while I was driving 45 mph on a city street the car was stationary in motion then powered back up without me turning the ignition.was a very scary experience

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #1

Apr 252019


  • 18,000 miles
When I got in my car the check engine can on. I started driving my car to work, because I was not sure why this light came on because this was/is a new car. I have less than 19K miles on my car. As I attempted to get on the highway the car refused to speed up. The max that I could drive was 60 mph. I had to pull over to the side of the road because my car would not pick up speed. So I called the service department, who informed me that when I brought my car in for an oil change in January that they has place a saftey feature on my car to keep the engine from blowing up. According to the dealership, there is possibly something wrong with the engine, however, they are starting out by changing the wiring first. I can not explain how different this drives since the wires have been changed. It is the worst drive. The car is very loud it does not pick up speed when it should and it does not slow down as fast as it use to. Needless to say, I am having issues with this car and seemingly every time I take it in for repairs, the car gets worst. I will never ever buy a new/used Kia again.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

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