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2016 & 2017 Kia Optimas Are a Royal “Pane”: All Four Power Windows Will Stop Working Once Defective Window Regulators Break, Fail and Require Replacement

Pretty much every car or truck made in the United States comes equipped with windows. Yeah, sure, some millionaires and billionaires may drive what’s best described as a race car without windows (or a roof or backseats for that matter). But the vast majority of us will spend our entire lives driving cars with windows. And that’s because windows are important: windows keep rain and snow out of our cars, ensuring driver safety; keep us in the vehicle in the event of a crash; and offer an alternative exit in the event doors don’t work after an accident. Car windows are critical to vehicle safety, and most automotive manufacturers make sure power windows work as intended.

Unfortunately for owners of model year 2016 and 2017 Kia Optima vehicles, their windows will eventually stop working. In some cases, the windows in 2016 and 2017 Kia Optima cars will fall straight into the door, unable to be rolled up again to ensure loved ones are protected from the elements and that our possessions are safe from theft.

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That’s because the 2016 and 2017 Kia Optima suffer from a defect in the window regulator drum gear. According to Kia, the window regulator in the 2016 and 2017 Kia Optima fails because the regulator’s drum gear may separate or break, preventing the regulator from moving the window up or down.

Adding insult to injury, repairing the known window regulator defect in the 2016 and 2017 Kia Optima is EXPENSIVE. Customer report that each window regulator repair costs upwards of $550. And because the regulator is guaranteed to fail, each and every owner of a 2016 or 2017 Kia Optima will eventually have to replace all four of their window regulators, as vehicle owners report on various owners’ forums:

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Now I am pissed. I just got in the car today and now the driver side front window will not go up or down. I am now four for four. This is crap, Kia. Two months ago I was singing the praises of Kia as I had never had a problem. Heck, I got my step son to buy 2 Kia’s as I had never had an issue. Now I am down 4 window regulators and 2200 to get fixed. This must have been a defective part and Kia should pay me back. To have all four window regulators go out within 35 days is simply a manufacturing flaw. KIA have you issued a recall for these cars or are others having to pay 2200 to get them fixed? Simply not right.

John M., Houston, TX, US

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This exact thing has happened to my KIA Optima, starting at a few miles past 60K so I’ve been told it’s not covered by the warranty. Several mechanics have told me the window regulators in these cars do not last more than 4 years. I’ve filed a complaint with KIA but nothing has happened so far. This part needs to be recalled, but KIA has not done so. This is a safety issue, as my windows will not stay closed and constantly fall down when I’m driving. It will cost me around 3K to fix all four windows.

Laurie

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A minimum of $3,000 to keep the windows working on your 2016 Kia Optima simply is $3,000 too much. Kia simply needed to do what every other vehicle manufacturer does: make sure to equip the 2016 Optima and 2017 Optima with window regulators that will ACTUALLY work for the life of the vehicle. Kia instead issued a TSB alerting dealerships that the window regulators in the 2016 and 2017 Optima will stop working, impeding drivers from rolling windows up and down, but has not extended vehicle warranties in connection with this known defect. Kia needs to step up and do the right thing.

If you own a 2016 or 2017 Kia Optima and have been forced to pay for expensive repairs to replace one or more window regulators, then you should consider hiring an attorney to get your money back and hold Kia accountable. For its part, the national plaintiff’s firm Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel is investigating the Optima window regulator defect and would be happy to take your call to discuss how together we can secure relief for 2016 and 2017 Kia Optima owners.

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