Kia Sued for Not Installing a Brake-Throttle Override System

Posted on
#investigation #throttle #engine #unintended-acceleration
An overhead view of a parking lot with cars neatly lined up inside parking spaces.

A lawsuit thinks it has enough evidence to prove fault in an incredibly sad crash that killed 7-year-old twins and an 83-year-old driver last year. According to the lawsuit, Parks had enough time to not only repeatedly hit the brakes, but she also turned on the hazard lights and flashed her headlights to warn other drivers. The lawsuit also alleges Parks tried to shift the Optima into NEUTRAL but on top of that not working, she couldn't turn off the ignition.

Parks’ car was going 90mph at the time of the crash. Even the parents of the two young boys think unintended acceleration is to blame.

Like most cars these days, the 2008 Optima’s throttle is controlled by an electrically operated throttle motor. These electronic throttles are increasingly popular with automakers even though engineering studies have shown them to be susceptible to sudden wide open throttle acceleration due to electromagnetic interference, fluctuations in electric current, and faulty wiring.

But you can’t really sue Kia over electronic throttles when everyone is using them. What this case will come down to Kia’s decision not to include a brake-throttle override, which is essentially software that allows the brakes to take precedence over the throttle if both are active at the same time.

More information on

Related Kia Generations

At least one model year in these 1 generations have a relationship to this story.

We track this because a generation is just a group of model years where very little changes from year-to-year. Chances are owners throughout these generation will want to know about this news. Click on a generation for more information.

Having car trouble?

Tell Us What's Wrong With Your Kia

The best way to find out what's wrong with a vehicle is from the people who drive them. Not only do owner complaints help us rank vehicles by reliability, but they're often used to spark class-action lawsuits and warranty extensions. Plus, they're a great way to vent.

Add a complaint