pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
15,650 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
2013 Kia Optima Hybrid electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Kia Optima Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #3

Dec 022016

Optima Hybrid ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles


car disabled & battery discharges at highway speeds THIS IS THE SECOND TIME THIS HAS HAPPENED!!!! The dealership had supposedly FIXED my "problem" two weeks earlier.... I again was driving on the DC metro beltway - traffic was extremely heavy but moving at a good clip with variable speed (45-60 depending on lane & stretch of road). I was keeping with traffic at around 50 to 55 mph BUT this time it was NIGHT TIME as the sun had already set AND I note that I have a BLACK car. Once again my car just started to slow down AGAIN even though the dashboard screen suggested both the engine & the battery were still powering the wheels albeit not coordinated (switching back & forth) and the battery level was rapidly dropping so I determined I had better get off the beltway as it was dark and hard to see and traffic in the evening is RUDE & CRAZY here - so signaled to move across four lanes of traffic again to get to an off ramp but the car just stopped so I placed in park and put on my hazard lights flashing, Same warning came up when car was slowing saying battery had discharged and I needed to park (but I already was). What was different this time though is that the engine never kicked in while park to 'recharge' the battery. What was also very different was it was NIGHT and my car is black and the highway not lit. Cars were zooming past & honking & braking & going around me on both sides - it was beyond nerve wrecking - I feared for my life so called 911 (and KIA roadside assistance after that) to request help as it was also now much colder weather AND I did not want to be a 'sitting duck' on the beltway any longer than I had to be. Thank God a 911 emergency roadside assistance truck showed up in less than 20 minutes and pushed my disabled car off the beltway where I parked away from traffic to wait for the KIA roadside assistance tow which took almost 2 1/2 hours to show up. Needless to say I was VERY cold and had to turn my car off when all warning lights started flashing on the dashboard. The car was again towed to the dealership where it awaits a verdict - and I KNOW it is NOT the car battery : ) My car was basically disabled from under me AGAIN without warning on the beltway during rush hour traffic at night. I truly feared for my life - This is the SECOND time this happened this happened in two weeks - and this time was even worse than the first due to it being night time - I simply can NOT endure another episode/incident like this and would appreciate any help in contacting a lawyer for next steps. NO consumer should be sold a car that randomly & without warning 'disables' at highway speeds - and if it can NOT be corrected then the consumer needs to be compensated for buying a dangerous car unknowingly. This is 100% DANGEROUS to all persons in the vehicle AND to every other driver & passengers in vehicles approaching or near that vehicle - I know my incident is NOT UNIQUE; it will happen to others who own this car and someone will be seriously injured or even killed while driving a KIA Optima hybrid that randomly disables at highway speeds - and if not the owner of the KIA then the person in the car behind the Kia Optima hybrid... This IS THE MAKINGS for a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT....

- lucymd, Silver Spring, MD, US

problem #2

Jan 022014

Optima Hybrid EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,700 miles

My car had 4690 miles when I bought on it on 12/31/13 (it had been the manager's car) so I thought it would be safe. WAS I WRONG! I have owned a Honda Hybrid, and two Ford Escape Hybrids so I do know a little about hybrids.... Because of the reviews and new style (Ford totally killed the Escape style and the Fusions are too expensive now) I went with the Kia this time around. I never had any problems with those other hybrid cars.

Because of the holiday I hadn't driven it much so never expected what happened next. This one died on me during Washington DC rush hour with NO WARNING and IN A LANE OF TRAFFIC. It was mortifying and a bit scary. Due to the early hour the dealer wasn't open and I couldn't find anything about the roadside assistance number in the paperwork I was carrying. Both batteries were completely dead and I had to have my "new" car (of less than one week) towed back to the dealer. I also must add that both Honda and Ford provide easy to find roadside assistance information although I never had to use it in the 12 years I owned those vehicles. I was not aware KIA buried their information in their manuals so I had to call AAA which meant on top of everything else, I ended up having to pay for the tow.

Because everything was completely dead, they couldn't find the problem. There was no warning except a dashboard screen that flashed something quickly about battery, pull over and shut off car. BUT it never gave me a chance because it stopped right there and then. The dealer kept it for a week trying to get it to do it again. They couldn't do it. I went and got the car back and by the end of the second week, I noticed the battery dropped to one bar again so I started to pull over but it started charging. I was able see it do it again the next day so called and took it back to the dealer. This time they saw the results but didn't know why and said no one had seen this problem before. They were working directly with KIA. After three more days, they said they were working with the KIA rep to get approval to replace an expensive part.... and if they could get approval they would overnight it and hoped to have the car back to me by Friday. What the heck... this is covered under warranty.... They have had my car in their garage more than I have in mine and they are telling me they are in discussion on replacing a part??? They finally replaced the master cylinder ($1,000 - they didn't overnight it so I had to wait until they received the following Monday and then couldn't pick my car up until Tuesday so they could check things out....

I was just starting to feel comfortable driving it again because I thought everything was finally fixed but this past weekend on the way to my son's I noticed the bad smell and then noticed that the battery had dropped to "zero" bars again about an hour into the trip. Because I have been out of town a lot, I have not been driving much so I have around 6800 miles on it now... It did not re-occur during my return trip last night but I still plan to call the dealer again to report the problem AGAIN. I also plan to provide them with the Steven K complaint so maybe we can get them to talk to each other because the battery should not fall that far before the charging occurs.

I stopped using the accessories which led me to the car in the first place but did notice that in all instances this occurred, that I had been using my Bluetooth at one time or another during the trip which is crazy since that shouldn't draw battery power to cause this experience. It is not fun or safe to drive if you have to constantly watch the battery screen.

- 4xhybridowner, Potomac Falls, VA, US

problem #1

Nov 022013

Optima Hybrid 1.9L V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 6,200 miles

My car is brand new. At one point there was a rotten egg smell in my car. Also when starting my car the batteries discharge. Furthermore, my car has been in the shop for 17 days and I have not heard anything about it.

- spinner68, Portland, TX, US

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