Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,443 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Kia Sorento engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #12

Jun 042011

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


Shortly after I had some belts replaced on my 2004 Kia Sorento, the crankshaft bolt broke (around 90,000 miles on the vehicle). I was told there was a recall on this part, but not for my VIN number. I had to pay over $700 to get the problem fixed and my mechanic had to buy the part from Kia to finally get it from continually breaking. Now, almost two years later, it has happened again (around 130,000 miles). I called Kia to see if they extended the recall to cover my vehicle, but they did not and refused to do anything about it. Once again, it is coming out of my pocket to fix this problem. Obviously this is a problem with vehicles other than the ones that were originally covered under the recall.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #11

Mar 212011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles
I bought a 2004 Kia Sorento in 2006 finished paying for it in 2010, over the years I have had to change the lights so many times I cant count, I have had topaint it twice, then the driving shaft broke, the compressor was changed twice, the cd player works on and off the air bags light came on and stayed for months on end the engine light does the same and most recently there is smoke coming from the engine, I am having to stop park and let it cool off before continuing on my journey, at the moment I got scared and I now I have my vehicle parked at home because I am scared to drive it, it is a shame and I am very upset. Is there anyone out there who is trying to do something about these problems us consumers are having" I own my vehicle and has a clean title and would like to trade in or sell but with all these problems how can I pass it on to someone else" I am asking someone from Kia to do the responsible thing and give us some answers before someone loses their life, that is if it hasn't happened already. Don't let this be Toyota.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #10

May 082010


  • 80,000 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) we have a 2004 Kia Sorento automobile that had an issue with the crankshaft bolt in Sept. 2009. The repair cost over $1000. We later found out that there was some kind of "repair campaign" (SC072) for the same issue. When we contacted Kia customer service for repair reimbursement we were told our vehicle was manufactured 11 days after the vehicles involved in the recall. Kia offered no grace period and told us there was nothing they could do. On Saturday, 5/8/10, the same bolt broke again which renders the vehicle undriveable. If this bolt were to break while the vehicle was operating at highway speed the consequences would be catastrophic. The vehicle has been towed back to bill Dodge Kia in westbrook, me. Again for repair, and has been documented as Kia case # [xxx]. the case was opened by contacting Kia customer service (albert) at 800-333-4542, ext. 45060. The Kia regional manager for this part of the U.S. is gary airoldi and Kia would not provide any additional contact information for Mr. Airoldi. I can¿T help but wonder if the state of Maine shouldn't lead the way in forcing Kia motors into a national recall and repair effort for all of their vehicles impacted by this defect and reimburse those who have incurred out of pocket expenses and/or injuries as a result. Our desire is to have the vehicle repaired at no cost (considering the previous repair campaign) and to recoup the $1030.30 spent on the previous repair. Thank you very much for reviewing our inquiry and we appreciate any assistance you can offer. Please don't hesitate to also contact me at work at [xxx]. [xxx]

- South Portland, ME, USA

problem #9

Mar 102008


  • 61,500 miles


My response is to the person who filed the below complaint: Mine was 2004 same exact thing happened to me 6500. For new engine! absolutely nothing was covered by Kia excuse after excuse I also had all records on the car. I also had in writing ten days before proof that their was not a crack in reservoir because I had service done---Kia's response was that I must have known I had issues with the car if I took it in for service...mind you this was my normal 3 month-3000 mile normal routine check up...........Kia is horrible...... I am on board with you for class action suit to get my money back that they should have paid for!!! my 2003 Kia Sorento stopped with no warning or indication of a problem at 67,735 miles due to what was later determined to be engine overheating. At first the Kia dealer said it was due to the coolant reservoir cracking and going empty. Since this is not a part of the engines actual means of cooling, they changed their story to the thermostat failed. Kia said that this portion of the warranty passed at 65,000 miles. Their warranty says 100,000 miles. Cost over $3,600 to repair, similar situation at 80,000 miles for $1,400. Still no warranty coverage. I have furnished complete maintenance records showing maintenance at every interval required by Kia. Looking for some one to join in a class action suit.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #8

Oct 232009


  • 77,000 miles
No problems before hand to indicate there was a problem until complete power loss with engine failure, within a 50 second span of driving on interstate. This was the only failure, as stated, with this car. Nothing could be done. The coolant reservoir tank was faulty on this model. Informed of this from the dealership and local corporate rep., after the fact. I was never informed of this faulty part at any time. Even when car serviced. This was a 3 year known faulty part that manufacturer knew about. Car was new when bought. Had a engine warranty of 10/100,000. I only had 5 years and 77,000 on car. Car corporation refuses to honor or deal with replacing engine. Was told the first week twice it would be covered. Local Corp. Rep. Then said no to warranty coverage. I have since pay for a new engine out of my own pocket.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #7

Sep 122009


  • 87,000 miles
On sat. Sept. 12, 2009, I was on the express way and noticed that my 2004 Kia Sorento was slowing down. I immediately looked at my dashboard to see if any lights were on, none on. I then noticed that my heat gauge was at H. I immediately pulled of at the next exit and there was a gas station at the corner. Steam started to come from under the hood and fluid from under the car. I had it towed home because it would not start. I then had it towed to a Kia dealership service dept and they looked at the vehicle. The service manager called to inform me that my engine was gone. I said gone. How did that happen. He said because I drove it too long after it started to shut off. II explained the car was slowing down and I immediately pulled off the express way to a gas station (which is right off the ramp). I did not drive it far. He told me I had 2 choice, a new engine for $10, 000+ or a used engine $6300+. it was no longer under warranty as of 10/2008. I am devastated. I thought the company offered a 100,000 mile warranty. I had about 87,000 miles on the vehicle. I called Kia headquarters and they are looking into this matter. I am awaiting a reply from them.

- Orland Hills, IL, USA

problem #6

May 152009


  • 103,000 miles


Cooling system failure cause blown engine without any warning.

- Ft.Worth, TX, USA

problem #5

Jul 072007

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. While driving approximately 30 mph on normal road conditions, the engine stalled unexpectedly and restarted after several attempts. The check engine warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel and remained lit until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they stated that the manifold gasket failed. The vehicle was repaired under warranty. On six separate occasions, the vehicle was taken back to the authorized dealer for identical failures, but there were no resolutions. The contact was responsible for the repair expense because the warranty expired. The authorized dealer replaced the crankshaft, crankshaft sensor, timing belt, and drive belt. The failure mileage was 50,000 and current mileage was 66,000. Updated 12/23/08 the air bag illuminated and would not go out, even when someone was seated in. The headlight was blown, the rear hatch would not stay up. The dealer had to order hood struts. Updated 12/23/08.

- Indianaplois, IN, USA

problem #4

May 132008


  • 61,000 miles
I purchased a 2004 Kia Sorento in July 2004, had a few problems such as brakes wearing out too soon and things like that but the dealership was great to make the repairs at no cost. On May 13, 2008 while sitting out a stop sign in my neighborhood the engine began making a very loud banging noise and then stalled. The check engine light came on and my immediate fear was the engine had blown. I knew the oil and preventive maintenance service work had just performed and now the serento had 61K miles on it. I had a wrecker truck tow the serento to the bayway Kia dealership (houston) which is where I had service work done before. The nice service manager named "joe' had the engine inspected and found the engine failed because of a item falling off the fuel injector into a cylinder, thus blowing the engine. "joe" advised the engine repair (replacement) would be covered under warranty because of a known defect. Now it has been 3 months, still no repair, bayway Kia is now owned by a different company, thus "joe" is no longer there, and the Kia dealership keep stalling on the repair. They only have one certified mechanic who has been snowed under with work. This entire week the certified mechanic is on vacation and twenty-five (25) cars in the repair shop waiting on him... hummm.... they basically refused to allow me taking it to another dealership because they have the engine taken apart and ordered the replacement parts. What good is a 100K warranty if they keep the vehicle for months and months, while I still pay the finance company?

- Pasadena, TX, USA

problem #3

Sep 252006

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,814 miles
I had back firing and the possibility of stalling. Of course I did report this to lawleys, but their response was, well we can't find the problem, so when the check engine light comes on, then bring it back. I had traveled to el paso, tx. And when I was ready to come home, I started this vehicle and it had a very loud clicking noise. I had no oil in the car and there was no warning. As far as the verification of oil changes, I had some, but I didn't have a recent one because it was not time to change the oil until I got back home, but they did not care. Well, the second time that I had a problem I was in willcox, AZ. It's about 50 miles outside of Sierra vista. When I got out there the check engine light came on, and if you read your manual, then you know not to drive the Kia with the check engine light on. They said to drive it home. This was on a Saturday. I had to wait until Monday to bring it into the shop. Come to find out, there was a very big problem with the engine. The lack of power, the backfiring of the engine, it all came from a cylinder misfire. There were dents in the piston top, cylinder wall was damaged, and valve damage, to include metal shavings in the cylinder. It is stated in my report that there were concerns about this problem being in the intake manifold with other vehicles. This caused the damaged areas that I recently mentioned. This of course caused problems with the performance of the engine. If you are having the same problems with your Kia and your dealership tells you they can?T find the problem, then mention the concerns about the intake manifold. Every dealership knows that these vehicles are badly made and they will find any reason to not have to pay to fix your vehicle. Make sure you have your receipts or they will not be willing to help you at all. After my dealership diagnosed it, they said that because I was missing an oil change, I would have to pay $350 (for the fluids needed) and that they would replace the engine.

- Sierra Vista , AZ, USA

problem #2

Aug 032007

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles
Engine seized due to a factory recall. Received the notice after the fact and Kia is not willing to accept and take responsibility in correctly fixing my engine and paying for my $1000 rental car.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jun 242007

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle shut off and the power steering and brakes failed. The vehicle would not restart and was towed to the dealer. The dealer stated that the crank shaft bolt was the cause of failure. The current and failure mileages were 60,000.

- Glen Dale , AZ, USA

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