Kia Got the Optima RIght
December 27, 2018
I wrote a review here previously on my 2013 Kia Optima EX at 150K Miles in which I found the car to have great styling and reliability and the only primary fault I had with it was that I averaged 30 MPG on a car that is rated to get 35 MPG on the sticker. I must provide an update at 225K miles on an event that happened this past year. As I mentioned previously, I had zero mechanical issues at 150K miles but at 199,300 miles, the engine essentially self-destructed failing victim to a defect involving the connecting rod bearing in which there is an active recall campaign. Though initially very disappointed, what happened next has likely made me a KIA customer for life. After having the car towed to Battleground KIA in Greensboro, I received a phone call from their service department apologizing for the inconvenience and that a new engine was on the way, and would be replaced free of charge within the week. No arguing, no fuss, no calling KIA corporate or anything. The manner in which KIA and the dealer responded to this was incredibly courteous and professional. I honestly did not expect this on a car which was 100K miles PAST the warranty. From what I understand, this defect that has prompted the voluntary recall impacts a relatively small number of vehicles. Only 2-3% will experience this issue, but KIA is absolutely standing behind their product at great expense to them. I also understand that this applies even if the car is bought used. Several years ago, at 160K miles, the transmission went out on our Japanese brand minivan known for their "Quality" and the response by the dealer in that case was "Wow, you made it to 160K miles, you must have got a good one". To this day that response still unsettles me. No effort was ever made in that case to remedy or to help as the car was well past its warranty. To use their own marketing rhetoric against them..."Don't settle for anything less than a KIA, I didn't" ...and I am happy about that.