I used to manage an automotive repair facility. I've seen a very similar situation before. It was a 2004 Armada. The problem was that the vehicle's front tires will lock sometimes when driving in AWD mode at a speed of around 35 to 40 mph. The lock occurs for a second or so, and then it will not repeat until you restart the engine. It was random on either the right or left front wheel. After long time diagnosis and some good trips to the Nissan dealer, no problem found!
So after a while of road testing with the scanner on, I found a faulty ABS/ESP sensor, but that wasn't the main problem! Actually what happened, was that the SUV had different size tires on the front axle that were accumulating rotation count errors on the front axle. The ESP light was removed from the dash and no code was reported. Problem solved since replacing 4 new tires.
Also, this happened to a friend driving a BMW 2009 330i. The tires on the rear axle had a different wear level.
Thanks for the useful info.
Moral of the story; keep an eye on those tires, especially on AWD vehicles!
I'm not a specialist, but it sounds like an ESP (electronic stability control) system failure. Check on Wikipedia. I think this system applies the brakes in an emergency situation. It seems like the system is applying the brakes on that particular wheel of your vehicle. If that is the case, I would quickly ask Kia to identify the problem.
That sort of wheel lock isn't really a major issue. Stuff like that happens. Any car has its flaws. Did you try changing the tire? Maybe you're pressing on the brakes too abruptly.
I test drove a 2012 Optima and found it to be a reasonably nice car. I was not impressed with the price, which was higher than the much better Ford Fusion.
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