really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,408 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #5

Jul 202016

Optima Hybrid

  • 60,000 miles


Inherently bad electronic power steering coupler. Broken wile still relatively low milage. Makes a very bad clunking noise when steering and going over bumps and causes steering wheel to wobble.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #4

Sep 142015

Optima Hybrid

  • miles
The steering coupler on the optima shatters because it is made of plastic

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

Sep 302014

Optima Hybrid

  • 50,000 miles
Bought the car new in 2012 from fuccillo Kia in cape coral, Florida for my wife. She noticed the very slight "clunking" noise in 2014 with about 50K miles on it and didn't think it was much of a problem. It gradually became very, very loud and she could now feel the constant "clunking" when turning the steering wheel or hitting small imperfections in the road. She brought it to my attention at about 65K miles and after researching the noise on the internet I found this problem has been occurring in thousands of Kia and Hyundai vehicles from 2010 to 2014 model years. It is a quarter sized rubber star shaped bushing between two metal couplers that disintegrates over time and very quickly in warm climates like South Florida. This repair is not a recall and is not covered after 60K warranty. I purchased the "new & upgraded" part from a local Kia dealer for less than $2 but, the labor to install is close to $350!!! this should be a recall for the vehicles involved due to the unsafe steering characteristics and the volume of vehicles affected as it does not involve an owner serviceable routine maintenance component!!!

- Naples, FL, USA

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

Oct 012007

Optima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 50 miles
Since I bought this car, at highway speeds, the vehicle drifts left and right constantly and you have to use two hands on steering wheel just to keep the vehicle straight and from pulling left or right. Less noticeable in city driving but still drifts. Brought it twice to the dealer and tech drove it and told me alignment is within specs and it was fine I just need to get used to it. This is very unnerving and dangerous. Hope the lemon law will help me.

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

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