2020 Kia Optima Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Vehicle structure and brake issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

The 2020 Kia Optima is a mid-size car in a world where this segment is quickly disappearing. The automaker claims that the Optima is “driven to stand out,” but owners don’t like the attention they are getting from driving it. Between the defective service brakes and faulty structure, consumers need to be warned about all that can go wrong with this Kia car.

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Problems with the Service Brakes

Stopping a vehicle should be a top concern for every driver. Otherwise, it’s impossible to avoid an accident. Yet, this Optima doesn’t seem to care about the safety of occupants.

Here is one NHTSA complaint to look at. “The FCW Forward Collision Warning System seems to not get activated under any circumstances. I have changed the sensitivity of the system to all levels and it never seems to detect the car in front of it. Never warns you of an imminent collision. The car is always in motion when I tried the system.”

Braking systems have become far more complicated with the addition of driver-assist features. These systems are meant to work together to engage the brakes and avoid accidents. Yet, the software becomes glitchy, which causes trouble. Service Bulletin #TSBCHA084_R4 talks about other trouble with the Motor Driven Power Steering Motor, Electronic Control Unit and Steering Column Housing, which can also lead to a crash. Basically, the Optima is only “driven to stand out,” in those moments when it can actually be driven.

Problems with the Structure

In general, the Optima is meant to be a lower-cost car, affordable to everyone. Still, it shouldn’t be made like a boxcar, yet that’s what is found.

Another NHTSA complaint states, “There is a very limited and inadequate space between the bottom of the dashboard and the brake pedal which can impede a driver from making an emergency stop. The same lack of space between the dashboard and the emergency brake pedal. Nothing happened it is potentially dangerous.”

While this manufacturing defect is serious, there are other problems noted in the communications. One important note is found with Service Bulletin #TSB_BOD208. This communication states that the trunk latch base sub assembly doesn’t work correctly. Because of this, it can be hard to close the trunk lid and sometimes it might not latch at all. If owners need a reminder that the Optima isn’t made the way it should be, they simply need to drive down the road with the hatch bouncing up and down.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Kia pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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