Report: Kia Optima Hybrid delayed due to Hyundai Sonata Hybrid push-back

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid – Click here for high-res image gallery

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was supposed to go on sale in December, but at the eleventh hour, the company decided on a last-minute engineering change to enhance safety. When the automaker learned that President Obama planned to sign a bill that would ban a switch that can disable a noisemaker designed to warn blind pedestrians, the Korean automaker decided it was best to remove the switch. The move delayed mass availability of the Sonata Hybrid from December to late April.

But what about its twin, the Kia Optima Hybrid? Ward's Automotive reports that the mid-size hybrid has been delayed until late in the second quarter, or about five months after its scheduled January launch.

Will the substantial delay of the Optima and Sonata Hybrids hurt sales and satisfaction? We're sure there are probably some impatient buyers out there who don't understand why they have to wait, but in the long run, we're likely looking at a mere bump in the road.

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
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[Source: Ward's Automotive – sub. req.]

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