Front Door Will Not Open Due to Faulty Latch on Kia Optima

A faulty door latch assembly may cause one or both front doors to be difficult to open. Replacing the worn latch will commonly correct this problem.

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Average mileage: 102,656 (8,796–290,000)
13 model years affected: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, more2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
219 people reported this problem
157 people shared problem details
2005 Kia Optima96,000
Door latch won't open from inside or out, Kia needs to address this common problem now instead of waiting for a lawsuit.
75 people like thisFlag inappropiate
When inside the car , and door locks are actuated The only way to unlock the door (s) is to roll the window down and use the key from the outside to sufficiently actuate the locking mechanism to beable to open the door. The Locks all go click... and the little buttons all move in acordance to what once was the unlock proceedure... but in order to get the mechanism to enguage sufficiently , the key must be used while simultaniously pulling the latch handle. Started on the drivers door only... and now the passangers side is the same way...
37 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2005 Kia Optima140,000
Driver door won't unlock for nearly a year now. I have to climb in on the passenger side......
36 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2005 Kia Optima130,000
Looks like the latch assembly is "frozen". I have taken the inside door cover off and looking at the assembly and the actuator. The door is in the lock position and the lock itself will not allow me to leave the door unlocked. I push on the rods towards the back to unlock the door and the rods do push, but return to the lock position. I am trying to fix myself and will update everyone if they want to know.....
31 people like thisFlag inappropiate
Driver door wont unlock with or without key,, lock button showes it unlocked but i cant open the door; need help with tis problem
23 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2005 Kia Optima100,235
Front door locks unable to unlock manually or useing the switch. Resorted to rolling window down hitting the switch toggle back and forth while pulling external door handle. I would think this is a safety hazard if in an accident.
22 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2003 Kia Optima100,000
Door locks feeze up and it is extremely difficult to unlock the driver's door.
15 people like thisFlag inappropiate
The only door that works properly is the drivers door. The back doors unlock sometimes. The front passenger door can unlock, but when I pull the handle it relocks. Sometimes I'll unlock all of the doors and try to open a door and they all relock. This is so dangerous. I can't have any passengers as they might get locked in. I hurt my rotator cuff trying to load the passenger side from the drivers side. This should be covered by Kia immediately.
14 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2006 Kia Optima60,000
Drivers door wont open. When I pulled the interior door handle to exit the car the handle moved but the door would not open. The passenger and rear doors worked. The drivers door would not open with the key either. You can hear the power door locks activate but the door will not open. After 15 minutes of trying different ways of pressing the power unlock on the remote the latch finally released. The door is open but after closing it again it failed to open. Took it to the dealer who replaced the latch at a cost of $255, cost to buy the latch at the dealer was $78 if I could do the repair myself.
13 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2002 Kia Optima78,000
Door locks freeze up and you have to lock and unlock the door several times for it to disengage and open up.
7 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2004 Kia Optima8,796
This problem is serious and may lead to a need to exit car via the window. Seems to me this should be a recall issue.
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2004 Kia Optima89,000
The problem is my driver's door won't disengage the lock so now I have to play Dukes of Hazard and climb in through the passenger side (not lady-like at all!). I have tried all of the simultaneous key turning while pulling on the handle. That worked for a little while, but now it is completely stuck. Not only do I have to climb in the passenger side, I also have to hear the door chime because my door is ajar. I tried to push it closed so at least the chime would stop, but it won't do that either. This is the only car that I have, and it started to malfunction when I paid it off (typical). This is very dangerous and can be a death trap in the event of an emergency. I have researched recall notices, but amazingly enough Kia has not issued a recall on any of these cars or even offered to correct the problem. This is the first and LAST time I will buy one of their cars. If this model is having so many issues, then I can only imagine what lies in store for the newer cars they are producing. They look nice, but I would rather be safe and know my passengers are safe rather than riding in style. FIX THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS CAR, KIA!!
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2003 Kia Optima78,000
Had same problem with front driver's and passenger doors locking and being unable to open the door from the inside and outside. When I unlock the door and try to open it, it locks, so I unlock it again, it automatically locks back up, unlock it, locks up... and so on. Had door latch replaced. Now again at 147000 miles it is still a problem. Sick and tired of it and IT SHOULD BE A RECALL -- POOR DESIGN AND SAFETY HAZARD!!!!!!!!!!!
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2003 Kia Optima78,000
Doors auto-lock when you try to open the door on passengers or drivers side... A bigger problem during cold months when you have to shut the door so you kids don't freeze and leave the engine running while try to determine the problem. I tried getting back in my car (running) and I WAS LOCKED OUT OF ALL FOUR DOORS W/ 2 OF MY KIDS INSIDE!! I was freaking out, fortunately I had a spare key and kept turning the unlock to lock position rapidly until I could open the door. (WHAT A HORRIBLE "FEATURE" - NOT SAFE!!) If I didn't have those keys I would have been out in cold, cold, cold weather with my children stuck in-side at the mercy of any possible good samaritan with a cell phone. It was just pure luck and determination I was able to get it open. KIA THIS IS DANGEROUS AND MUST BE TO BE A RECALL WEAK AND FAULTY LOCK & LATCH AND NOW!!!!!! SOMEONE IN POWER HEAR MY PLEA! KIA? THE PRESS? THE GOVERNMENT? GOD? ANYBODY WITH ANY ABILITY TO FIX THIS PROBLEM BECAUSE I AM AFRAID FOR MY LIFE AND THE LIFE OF MY FAMILY. This problem has also applied to anyone getting out of the car as soon as you try to open the door the doors lock and you can't get out!! I was just barely able to climb out of my trunk in 101 degree weather! WHY NO RECALL!!!
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2005 Kia Optima115,000
I went in the gas station and locked car because my teen son was in it as it was over 100 outside. Got back to car and my son unlocked it but it would not open. The only door that would unlock was the right front passenger door. I now have to get in the passenger side and climb over console to drivers seat. The only way to open the drivers side door is to use the key while pulling the door handle but each time it takes longer and longer. My mechanic says it will cost between 300 and 500 dollars. I have had nothing but trouble with this horrible car.
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2005 Kia Optima66,000
A couple years ago the driver door would not open so I had it fixed. Now the same thing with the passenger front door. Kia needs to recognize issues and fix them this is not a coincidence..
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2005 Kia Optima84,000
Front driver door will not unlock even with key, its VERY DANGEROUS and needs to be recalled . My 18 year old daughter was given this car for graduation and the front frame is also rusted away to nothing and ive seen there IS a recall for that thank goodness but this lock issue has the serious potential to cause untold safety and life threatening scenarios that NO one should have to worry about when buying a car, or gifting a car to one of your children!
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2004 Kia Optima78,797
My wife's Kia Optima doors have started to not unlock. She has been locked out of her car and more seriously she has been locked in her car. This is a very dangerous situation which Kia must address. They are asking for lawsuits with this defect. Someone is going to get stuck in their car in an emergency situation and they are going to die.
2 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2004 Kia Optima36,000
The remote will only unlock the passenger door and back seat doors. The Key will not open the drivers door either. I climbed over the passenger seat and tried to open the door from the inside of the car, and it will not budge. This is my mothers car (74 years old), this is too dangerous and Kia needs to RECALL THIS PROBLEM!
2 people like thisFlag inappropiate
Still not fixed, i was hoping someone would have the answer here, but seems to be the same problem everyone else is having.
2 people like thisFlag inappropiate
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