really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,494 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 Hybrid body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #2

Jul 102013

Optima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 21,988 miles


I was driving in a residential neighborhood and a lady pulled in front of me. I slammed on my brakes and swerved to the right so I would avoid hitting her. The next thing I knew I smacked into a pole. For the past year I have been trying to figure out how and why I had so much damage to my car when I was only going 25 mph. I finally realized that this happened because I couldn't stop my car even when applying the brakes. The accident happened July 10, 2013 and one year later on the same day July 10, 2014 my brakes failed on my car while I was waiting for a gate to open. I heard a terrible crunching noise, a warning sign came on saying hybrid system warning safely stop and do not drive and the only way I could stop the car was to use the emergency brake. The same warning sign came on during the accident. I remember my car wouldn't stop and actually seemed like it gained a little speed. I hit the pole and the car still wouldn't stop so I had to use the emergency brake to stop it. I sat there in shock over what had just happened. I couldn't understand why I hit that pole and why there was so much damage to my car. Now I completely understand why this happened. It was due to my brakes not working that day. On July 10, 2014 when the brakes failed for the second time, I had my car towed to the Kia dealership down the street and they kept it for 7 weeks and said they couldn't find anything wrong with the car so I picked it up. I could tell something was still wrong with it but they wouldn't listen to me. Not even 1K miles later the brakes went out for the 3rd time. This time Kia picked up several error messages. They still have my car and its been 4 weeks. They said they need to replace the hydraulic power unit. This is what they told me 2 weeks ago and its still not done. This is not a safe car to drive and I do not feel comfortable driving it anymore!

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #1

Nov 032013

Optima Hybrid

  • 25,000 miles
On 11/3, my wife was in accident in our optima, wherein she was T-boned. She was driving approximately 30mph, when another driver drove through a stop sign and, presumably, accelerated into the middle of the driver side of our car. None of the airbags deployed, and we're convinced that one should have. After speaking to the body shop, they tell me that "the sensors are designed to deploy only when the car is hit just the right way." Likewise, Kia responded that, "it's our opinion (based on a photograph I provided) that the location of the impact and its force wouldn't have triggered the deployment of airbags." In response to that, I asked, "clearly, you know what doesn't constitute the deployment, but what criteria would be necessary for the airbags to deploy." Every time I ask, they say there is no hard-and-fast answer. I've also asked if it makes sense for Kia to see the vehicle or ask the body shop for the results of their sensor-testing before making an opinion. To that, the Kia rep said, "no, we wouldn't do that. Our airbag-specialist's opinion is conclusive."

- Bradenton, FL, USA

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