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2011 KIA OPTIMA Transmission Failure

ghostrider1017ghostrider1017 Posts: 6
edited March 18 in Kia
On 4/11/11, we were driving to work and had gone four miles from our house, when we thought we had hit a deer. The car made a very loud sound and lurched violently, at highway speed, frightening us both. The lurching was so violent that it may well have caused other damage. We were extremely fortunate not to have crashed. We then found that the car would not shift gears. The automatic transmission had gone out of our 2011 Kia Optima EX.

We bought the Kia new on 1/8/11. The car had 3600 miles on it at the time of the catastrophic failure. This was our first Kia purchase (and last, I might add), and we are very disappointed.

Needless to say, we were shocked by this dangerous occurrence. We very easily could have had tragic consequences for us and our fellow commuters. We are no longer confident in this vehicle. We find this totally unsatisfactory and asked KIA to replace our vehicle with an identical one. KIA refused, basically saying “we don’t own it anymore”. They did replace the transmission.


  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I am sorry for your troubles,but seems to me that KIA did what they were required to do.They fixed your car with a new transmission.Now...if it were to happen again,I think the Lemon law might come into play.
    I have a 2006.5 Optima EX with 43000 on it .No mechanical problems yet,knock on wood.I consider it a good and dependable car.Remember....stuff happens.Nowhere in your warranty does it say that if there is ONE major incident,that they will give you a new car.I can't think of any manufacturer who would.
    I sincerely hope that from now on your Optima performs as well as mine and you will feel better about the brand.
  • You are definately correct they "did what they were required to do"....and nothing more.

    I personnaly know two instances where other car companies did more for a lot smaller of a problem. One bought back the vehicle and the other replaced the vehicle. One was a cosmetic problem that was not repaired to the owner's satisfaction - replaced the car. The other was a water leaking issue into the interior and they bought it back. These are note "here say", I know the people involved personnally.

    You might be satisfied with this type of major failure on a brand new car, but I certainly am not.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Clearly your mind is made up,so I won't attempt to change it.I don't think you are being reasonable, and I don't work for KIA.Any new car can have a problem.If they replaced every car that came in for major warranty service,they would go out of business.
  • jcspohrjcspohr Posts: 97
    This person has posted the same identical text on two other Optima forums during the past week. In both forums I have pasted the response below and it has gone unanswered.

    ----------- Start Text ------------
    I'd like to understand more...

    Please post a copy of your repair invoice (of course black out your name and other personally identifiable information).

    Also, what is the build date (found on drivers door sticker) of your car?

    ------------ End Text -------------

    After seeing it posted in 3 different forums over a weeks time, I am left wondering if this really happened and if this is just a Kia hater?


  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I do remember a couple of years ago plethora of negative posts on the last generation Optima.I too wondered about that because when I go in for routine service I see very few Optimas being worked on.This tells me that this is a very reliable car.My 2006.5 certainly has been for over 43000 miles.
  • jkobty1jkobty1 Posts: 1
    I think he is just another Honda salesman, with lots of time on his hands. I think you will see a lot of these detractors since this car and the Sonata pose a significant threat to other brands. :)
  • ahossa1ahossa1 Posts: 51
    We just have to wait to see how many people will report similar problems. Remember, the 2011 Sonata with the left pull. Well, there were hundreds of posts on the left pull so you know it's a problem. I don't even know if they found a solution for that problem. I'm in the market for an Optima SX so I will monitor the forums to see if this is a general problem. I'm going to NY Auto Show and I will ask the Kia folks if the heard of the problem.
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Westerville, OhioPosts: 371
    Try .
  • jcspohrjcspohr Posts: 97
    No need to wait - Kia has had a TSB out for the left "drift" issue and not everyone has had the issue.

    I'm a legitimate 2011 Optima EX owner and you can find me (user handle "TE2") on two other forums where I am a Super Moderator and also on

    Plenty of real information there...

  • j2jj2j Posts: 147
    edited April 2011
    If those anecdotes are true, they are clearly not the norm.

    Honda owners had to go the route of a class action law suit in order to have Honda address the issue of prematurely failing transmissions in a no. of Honda and Acura models.

    Toyota settled a class action suit in regards to a transmission defect in the RAV-4, as well as having issues w/ the transmission on the RX.

    Not to mention, the class action regarding engine sludge.

    And oh, according to JD Power's CSI rankings which looks at customer satisfaction on repair/warranty work within the 1st 3 years of ownership, Kia is ABOVE average and rated higher than EVERY mainstream Japanese brand (all of whom, with the exception of Honda, are ranked BELOW average).
  • The build date was 10\10. I have been trying to copy and paste from the repair order to no avail so I will type it in:

    "Auto Transmission TECH(s): 4987
    Scanned for DTC's P0748 in history cleared and test drove. No recurrance of of concern. Followed flowchart component inspection for pressure control solenoid valce (LP-VFS) @ATM solenoid valve connector pin 12 & 17 reading 18.5 ohms @ 64 degrees . Spec is 5.1 ohms @ 25 degrees C. Opened tech line case and updated. Advised to check (LP-VFS) @ cold temp. Measured resistance @ (LP-VFS) 16.4 ohms @25 degrees C. Updated tech line advised to contact DPSM for A\T replacement. Authorized new AT/ install.
    Replaced A/T assembly and flushed A/T cooler lines. Reat A/T adaptive values. Performed dynamic and static relearn verified A/T fluid @ proper level and test drove. Verified normal operation at this time."
  • I can assure you this is a real problem. I had the exact same problem with the exact same fix (new transmission). My car did this 3 times before they changed transmission. It is scary when you have a car with less than 2,000 miles have such a failure especially when it is your first time buying this brand.
  • ghostrider1017,
    I have had the same exact issue and same response from KIA that you have had. I have a new transmission. My transmission failed 3 times before I had 2,000 miles on it. I was devastated and am still not sold on their quality. I pray I am wrong since I have leased the vehicle.
  • krpeterskrpeters Posts: 1

    I just had the EXACT same problem in my 2011 Kia Optima EX and they are saying that this issue has never occurred before. Do you still have your case number? I am starting to think this is an issue and Kia is some how trying to cover it up.
  • huke12huke12 Posts: 5
    edited April 2012
    Sorry I didn't respond sooner. The email containing your reply was in my spam folder and I didn't see it.
    I don't have any paperwork that I am aware of, but I will check with my wife who would keep such things. You might want to try for information also. It seems I saw an official document concerning this very issue. I have a new transmission and haven't had a problem since they replaced it. Someone is either very misinformed at your dealer, or they are not being honest. Hope this helps. If I can find a case number, I will post it for you.
  • phyjerphyjer Posts: 1
    While driving at 45mph today, there was a loud bang and the car jolted as if we hit a large animal. No warning lights came on and I continued to drive about a mile until I stopped at a stop sign. When I started off, the car had very little power and as I got on the Interstate, I noticed the RPMs were about 4200 at 70mph. It was obvious that the transmission was probably stuck in 3d or 4th gear. I drove straight to the KIA dealership - Bad news, my 2011 Optima EX with 7800 miles needs a new transmission. My dealership is great - they gave me a loner car until mine is fixed. We love the Optima, however, I hope it does not start falling apart.
  • sheppie1sheppie1 Posts: 2
    I bought my Kia Optima in May of 2011. I drive the OHIO turnpike everyday to and from work. Within the first month I experienced the same transmission issue as others. Driving 45-50 mph down a country route a huge noise shook the car (i.e. like an M80 or M120 went off) under the center of the car on the passenger side. I though I hit a herd of deer or ran over a family of racoons; but did no such thing. The car never lost power, however, car ran sluggish just like a stick shift stuck in 4th gear no matter how much peddle you gave to the metal ! Dash lights did not light up; NO sensor, code, or indicator lights eluminating; can't see ghosts! My dealership claims that no one has ever experienced this; No claims or tech reports in to Kia Motors. Really ! DOES ANYONE HAVE A Case Number?
    The worst part is that this has happened in May 2011; July-Aug 2011; Oct. 2011; April 2012; July 2012. Each time it has been between 2-5 miles after getting in the car either on my way to work or twice on my way home leaving work. This past event has now caused an oil leak ... think the trany affected the motor now and I'm betting money on a blown gasket!
    The dealership will get my car today July - 2012, and I am not looking forward to another "unsolved-mystery" event.
  • sheppie1sheppie1 Posts: 2
    Oh I can tell you that the situation is real and this person is not a Kia hater.
    But, I'm sure getting to that point if you have been through what I've been through for 1 year and the dealership said, "if we can't duplicate the problem; then there is nothing we can do".
    Not what you'd expect to hear after spending $24k for a Kia Optima - brand new!
  • huke12huke12 Posts: 5
    I am sorry that I don't have a case number for you that I can find. My dealership is located in Jackson, MI. Their name is Kia of Jackson, part of Young Automotive Group. When I took my Optima in for same thing, they said it had an error code both times. They then got with area representative of Kia and replaced transmission. Your dealership needs to call them. I can't see how they don't have an error code from your car. My dealership did.
  • lakerfan24lakerfan24 Posts: 24
    Hmm. Three people said they had the 2011 EX and Three others didn't say which model they have at all. I'm wondering if this is only related to the EX's :confuse: I have a 2012 SX with 3600 miles and haven't had any problems yet...
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