Question about 2003 Kia Optima

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Kia Optima We just bought a 2003 Optima from a private seller. When we got it home and locked the doors, we could not open the drivers side door. I have found lots of sites where people have posted the same problem but no solutions to it. I also cannot find a repair manual for the 03 Optima. Does anyone out there have any ides about this? I would really appreciate it!!!

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  • bird958 Jul 19, 2008

    Thanks...we'll look into that!

  • Rainbo Joe Nov 04, 2008

    I have the same problem as well. We purchased a 2003/2004 Kia Optima from a private owner. After a brief period of time, we had more and more difficulty unlocking and opening the driver door. Currently, we have to enter and exit through the passenger door in most cases. I agree, that this is very hazardous and should be recalled. Is there a recall for this problem? Is the a place to complain about this apparently common problem. For now I will investigate the previous listed cause/solution to this problem which pointed to a bad door lock solenoid.

  • msbeckham70 Jan 29, 2009

    MY FRONT PASSENGER DOOR IS LOCKED AND WILL NOT UNLOCK. MY DRIVERS DOOR DID THE SAME THING BUT MY HUSBAND WAS ABLE TO UNLOCK IT WITH THE KEY AFTER A WHILE, BUT NO SUCH LUCK FOR THE PASSENGER SIDE. IT HAD BEEN LIKE THAT FOR A WHILE. HELP!!!!!

  • Anonymous Feb 06, 2009

    i also have the same problem with the doors locking and not unlocking. I have to climb out the drivers window and fiddle with the lock for a while to try and catch it while its unlocked to open the door. It is def a saftey issue

  • Anonymous Apr 13, 2009

    I can't believe that so many of us have the same issue. This is obviously a known issue. Why doesn't Kia step up and fix it?

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I am currently having the same problem. It strikes me odd that there are so many with the same problem. This seems to be a safety issue as well. If I need to get out of my car quickly and can't because I accidently locked the doors while inside. You would think there would be a recall on something this serious.

Posted on Aug 04, 2008

  • evpalisha Dec 30, 2010

    There are alot of us with the same problem and we are trying to get a re-call, but we need more people to call 1-888-327-4236 to tell them about your problem

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I had the same problem with my drivers side door.  The locking mechanism is made of plastic and it broke inside the door.  The mechanic said that he was surprised that the Kia dealer had the locking mechanisms in stock (i.e. it is a common problem). It cost me about $400 to fix.  Most of the cost was the labor time just to get the frickin door open!

Posted on Apr 18, 2009

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Had similar problem with passenger side door. the problem is the door latch mechanism wears more quickly than it should. The plastic/nylon rotary latch wears and then binds on the locking pawl. The only fix is to replace the worn latch. Not easy since you have to disassemble the door. Replacing the solenoid will not fix the problem.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009

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There is no manual for the Kia Optima but if you buy the Hyundai Sonata manual it is the same vehicle. Both are made by Hyundai. The lock problem is a bad door lock solenoid

Posted on Jul 19, 2008

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