In 2007 I purchased a new Kia Optima 4 cyl. automatic from a local dealer. Soon after, I discovered that the passenger airbag light would sometimes remain illuminated when there was a passenger in the seat, meaning that the airbag was off. The dealer said they could not diagnose what was wrong unless the condition was present while they were inspecting the car.
When the problem reoccurred with someone in the passenger seat I returned to the dealer with my wife still in the seat while the airbag light was still on. They decided to replace the seat cushion containing the bladder. At first, this seemed to resolve the problem but shortly thereafter the same thing occurred. We also were given the bulletin regarding proper seating posture.
Recently, the Kia field service representative inspected the car but concluded that the system was functioning to the manufacturer's specifications. The representative also assured me that the passenger airbag would operate in the event of a front end crash, even if the passenger airbag lamp remained illuminated with someone in the seat, but may not deploy to its fullest capacity!! In my opinion, so long as there is an adult occupant (meaning 95 lbs or greater) in the passenger seat the position of your torso, legs or arms should be irrelevant.
The best advice I received was that should the problem reoccur (which it has) pull to the side of the road and turn the ignition off. Have the passenger get out and then back into the passenger seat and then restart the car. This should allow the on-board computer to reset and (hopefully) recognize the presence of a front seat passenger. This has in fact worked but is a risky proposition when traveling on a busy highway. Let's hope Kia's engineers will come up with a solution before someone is injured.
KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- I was impressed with the KIA warranty and the 2013 safety reports in the Consumer Digest. During my conversation with the salesman at the Keene, NH KIA, I explained that my 2010 Toyota Corolla, though it had under 37,000 miles, its 36,000 mi. warranty had expired and I was interested in looking at a KIA the same size. The salesman said the Forte would be the car for me and he mailed me a Forte several-page brochure.
I did not make an appointment, and the salesman phoned me. One of my electric garage doors malfunctioned and landed on my back, and it was a month before I could visit the dealership. I live in VT, an hour's drive from Keene, NH, and after my making an appointment to meet with the salesman, he was able to show me only one Forte, a stripped-down model from the previous year.
The Rio was very easy for me to handle, but the ride for long trips would not be smooth, and the cheapest 2012 used Forte was junk. After having made an appointment and driven an hour, there were NO 2013 Forte on the lot! There was a big push for me to buy the most plush Optima, and the Optima I now very much regret having purchased.
I told the salesman right from the very beginning that I wanted a car the same size as the Toyota Corolla and that I had once owned two Toyota Camrys, but I switched to the last three Corollas because the Camry is too big. The KIA Optima is a horror for a small woman to have proper back or front vision. The front passenger seat is too low and too far back from the driver's seat; and it doesn't steer nor handle as easily as my 2010 Toyota Corolla.
I hate this car; and unfortunately I had a front-end accident with my Corolla just before I closed the Optima deal. The Corolla was safe and it's a much better vehicle for a woman my size. I was told that the KIA company would phone for a three-question survey and there would also be a written survey. Three days after I purchased the KIA there was a phone survey, probably not more than one minute. I am still waiting for the KIA written survey. I do hope that this supplements the survey I never received.
I have a 2004 Kia Optima that I purchased brand new from the dealer. Well, my 7 year old daughter was buckling herself into the back seat of my Kia when the seat belt locked and then pulled out and would not retract itself. At the time I was very angry and figured it was due to some fault of hers. Then about a month later the same thing happened to the other side of the car to the seat belt, locked with no retraction. I am very upset.
I contacted the dealer who told me the cost would be beyond my means; a 98.00 an hr. labor charge and parts which would amount to over $300.00. I honestly feel this is a safety issue AND that if I had been involved in an accident and this seat belt had done this and resulted in injury to my child, I would have a major lawsuit on my hands. I read a review where another woman had the same problem and I am wondering what are my options. I have been deciding on calling the manufacturer and seeing where I get with that.
ANDERSON, SOUTH CAROLINA -- My daughter has a 2004 Kia Optima. She also has a 2-yr old child and a 2-week old child. The seat belts in the back seat of this vehicle are "locked" and pulled all the way out and will not retract. The first call to the dealership resulted in an estimate of $1000.00 for this repair. Next, I took the vehicle to the dealership to see if it possibly has a recall and was told there would be a 79.00 "diagnostic" fee. Lastly, I called my salesperson and she was supposed to check on a recall with the general manager and he was to call me back. I am still waiting.
Meanwhile my daughter cannot transport her children safely or at all. These parts are not available in an auto parts store and cannot be found in the junk yard. This is a safety issue and should be repaired at no cost to me. All three seat belts are broken. I cannot believe the absolute disregard for safety that this Kia dealership has. Is anyone else having this problem?
CORINTH -- At 48,000 the transmission started to slip. I called a Kia dealer and the car was towed to the dealership. I was called in a couple of days that the transmission needed to be replaced because the clutch particles were in the pan. But it was not under warranty because I failed to have the transmission flushed at 30,000 and that the transmission would have to be sent back and a new one installed. The best they would do is to replace the transmission but I would have to pay for the fluid and labor which came to over $700.00.
Needless to say, I was very upset and the dealer told me if I took that attitude they would do nothing for me. I asked them why come the trans was not repaired. His answer to me was "only Kia can rebuild." We cannot even get parts and I called other transmission repair services and I was told the same thing I told them. I wanted what they found in writing and I was never given that. I have never been able to get anything under warranty. Always has been a reason why it was not under warranty. I told them that I would never buy a Kia again and I was told "you got to do what ever you got to."
FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- I am getting ready to sell my Kia Optima and buy a new car. I have two backseat broken seat belts and a front passenger seat belt that is in the process of breaking. Called to check on recalls. Nothing! Called dealership about repairing the belts. They said it would be in the $1000 to repair. The car is only worth around $4500.
I asked why they didn't stand behind their products and he had no answer. After looking online, I found this was ongoing problem for the 2004 Optima and other Kia years, makes, and models. How do I sell a car that doesn't have working seat belts? I have owned three Kias, but when I choose a new car It WILL NOT BE A KIA!! My father has a 35 year old Ford pickup that has perfect, working seat belts!! KIA stand behind your products!!!!!
My husband bought me a brand new 09 Kia Optima. I have had the car a little over a year now and I have had my shifter cable replaced cause it broke off. That was fixed due to a heavy recall. But now I have had to have my passenger air bag sensor replaced now cause the sensor keeps going out. They told me not to put any electrical device in the passenger sit cause it gives odd signal and fries the sensor under the passenger set. I love my car but I am worried my airbag might not work right if I were to get in a crash and have a passenger in the set.
I have a 2006 .5 KIA Optima. My passenger airbag is supposed to turn on when someone sits in the seat. The problem is they have to move around, raise up and sit a few times before the light goes out and the airbag is active. Took it to KIA dealership where it was purchased brand new and was told it has a balance type switch under the seat to turn it on and off, that the passenger did not get in or sit in seat the right way to activate it. What a lot of bull. A brand new car that your passenger has to move around raise up and down a few times to activate life-saving equipment is pure bull.
I have owned 3 KIA, but I promise KIA one thing - I WILL NEVER OWN ANOTHER. If you can't so much as be concerned about the people who purchase your automobiles you should be put out of business. I have read numerous complaints about every model made with problems with air bags. We as Americans should have already had enough of this and demand our government stop such practices and make these automakers fix such problems and not blame it on how someone sits. In a collision are they going to be sitting flat and level? I think not, one consumer who has had enough.