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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,745 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.

2005 Kia Sorento electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Jul 042005


  • 2,500 miles


I have a 2005 Kia Sorento. I have had a problem with my headlights since I have had my car which I bought new in 2005. I have taken it to the dealer in valdosta ga several times to find out about it and they always say it's not a recall so they can't do anything about it. I have to replace headlights and taillights every 3 or 4 months. It is very expensive. My dome light hasn't worked in years and my check engine light stays on all the time. I know there is some kind of defect in the electrical system and it's been this way from the beginning. The 10 year/100,000.00 mile warranty is about useless with this car. There has not been one thing since I have had the car that was covered under warranty. I will never buy a Kia again and I certainly want ever use Kia in valdosta ga again, they have the worst service I have ever seen. There favorite thing to say is "it's not covered under our warranty!" that is supposedly there big selling point and it is worthless! everyone who is having the same trouble needs to complain so we can get this recalled and fixed. I wish I knew where to complain to that could make that happen. They don't really care in valdosta whether you complain or not, there not going to do anything about it anyway. Well I have been stopped numerous times by the police for my lights being out. So far I have not got a ticket, but it is highly dangerous to have no lights while driving at night and you never know when they are going to be out. I know I am not the only one having this problem, I have well over 100 emails from repair pal about others having headlight problems. This needs to be recalled before someone is killed in an accident and then sue the Kia company. Sick of buying headlights!

- Jasper, FL, USA

problem #29

Dec 092013


  • 139,000 miles
Recently, our 2005 Kia Sorento began having electrical problems when the headlights are on at night. The interior dash lights including the radio, etc. Will randomly go off and on. Last night, the dome lights came on and began flashing involuntarily. I am concerned with an electrical issue that will lead to further damage. I have been researching recalls on this vehicle, but cannot see that there is one for this issue. I did however see other consumers with the same complaint. We purchased this vehicle brand new in 2005 and other than regular maintenance we have not had any major issues. I thought that I would purchase another Kia in the future, but now that I see Kia is doing nothing to fix this electrical problem I am reconsidering that decision.

- Dardanelle, AR, USA

problem #28

Oct 022007


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. The contact stated was driving uphill when the throttle failed to engage. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the wiring into the transmission was overheating and causing the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 80,000.

- Little Orleans , MD, USA

problem #27

May 302013


  • 123,000 miles


My 2005 Sorento started stalling & shutting down while driving down the hwy at 65 mph (happens at any speed). Code comes up for bad crank shaft sensor, this will be the 3rd time in 4 years I will have replaced it. This has caused some "close calls" while on the hwy, avoiding other vehicles & nearly being rear ended several times.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #26

May 042013


  • 110,000 miles
Today I took our 05 Sorento in for an oil change. It came as no surprise to me that during the 20 point inspection I was told the driver's side headlight didn't work. This is beyond ridiculous at this point. I have already changed burnt out headlights a minimum of 5-7 times now. I can't even keep up with the count. Like many other owners I have tried every make and type of headlight and none of them will last more than a few months. This recent set was the top of the line and I had to pay $80 for the two lights. Still don't last. It seems that Kia knows about this issue but is unwilling or too cheap to pay have their issue fixed. I'm not the only owner with this problem. Look it up! the car has operated fine other than this but it has become a hassle and is very costly replacing headlights every few months! this will be the last Kia that I buy unless Kia steps up and fixes this issue. They have a new wiring harness that can help/fix this problem but of course owners have to pay for this out of pocket. Step up Kia or enjoy losing a client from here on out!

- Orting, WA, USA

problem #25

Apr 042012


  • 55,000 miles
Headlight and dome bulbs burns out very often, I spend more money replacing bulbs than oil change, obviously there is an electrical problem on this model. Please let them fix this issue.

- Pembroke Pines , FL, USA

problem #24

Aug 022010


  • 30,000 miles


This car is a safety hazard. Headlights/tail lights/dashboard lights burn out within months of replacements. Just burned through 5 fuses for the dashboard in one day. Dealership will not fix as there has been no recall. Google the make and model and you will see many electrical issues and angry owners. Have a teen driver in the family and we are afraid to let her even drive this car. Please recall this model and make Kia own up to their responsibilities!!!!

- Minnetonka, MN, USA

problem #23

May 092010

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 95,505 miles
Over the last 4 years I have replaced the battery 3 times. Each time, the car had been sitting for a day or 2 and when I attempted to use it, the car/battery was dead. I have seen on line that the tccu (transfer case control unit) is probably the culprit and it is almost impossible to identify because the computer will show no history of it. Evidently, on rare occasions the computer will begin running diagnostics on the tccu when the car is being shut off. The drain on the system is enough to wipe out the battery. I have contacted Kia - they do not acknowledge the problem and all they want to do is run a diagnostics test which will tell them nothing and will cost me more money. The cost of a new tccu is about $1500, probably why Kia has no interest in replacing it.

- Chelmsford, MA, USA

problem #22

Jul 162012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I've repeatedly had to replace the headlights in this car every couple of months. When one light is replaced, the other side goes out next. This has happened several times for the past several years. I have 189,000 miles on the car now. I don't remember exactly when it started. My driver seat also stopped working. The back goes forward and back, but the base seat doesn't move.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #21

Mar 272012

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 105,800 miles
Headlight bulbs have gone out at least once a month since I have purchased vehicle used. Have to keep spare bulbs in vehicle in case it happened again at night which I would not be able to drive with my normal headlights ig I had not carried the spare ones in Sorento. Brake lights have gone out 3 times since I have purchased Sorento in March 2012. Lighting interior does not work unless you manually push the button from the top of ceiling. Door ajar" light came on and started beeping all doors were tightly shut. Was told that the seat belt harness metal part may have caused the drivers door to bend or knock off the diode button.

- Ennis, TX, USA

problem #20

Jun 132006

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles


Everything from interior lights, radio, clock, door locks and headlights burning out have been a problem. While driving and the interior lights just come on. Headlights burn out every 6 months. Everything else works when it wants. I took Kia to court to get a equal trade but only got $9,000. Had to give $3,500 to the lawyers. The other $5,500 was not even enough to cover a trade in because the Kia have a terrible value for trades. Ended up spending more than half trying to have it repaired, still nothing. Kia knows there is a problem but will not address it. Even the several service managers (off the record) that I spoke with through my horrific experience told me that it's a huge problem and they don't want to do anything because of the cost.

- East Greenville, PA, USA

problem #19

Mar 192012

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
All of a sudden the Kia ignition wont engage the starter, the headlights wont work and the speed odometer moving and the ac appears not to work.

- Appalachia, VA, USA

problem #18

Jan 112006

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
Headlights blowing on a regular basis. Replace headlights four to five times a year possible electrical issue.

- Manchester , MD, USA

problem #17

Dec 012011


  • 113,000 miles
My car has broken down 3 times in the last month. I have a 2005 Kia Sorento with 115,000 miles on it. Ever since I bought my car, it has continually had electrical issues such as replacement of the headlights every few months. I have just dealt with it and learned how to replace them myself. One month ago though, my car broke down and I had it towed to my local mechanic. He said it was the alternator and went ahead and replaced it. Everything was running smooth when I drove it away but then 2 weeks later, I broke down again (same symptoms occurred from when I broke down the first time - brake & battery light blinks and then the airbag light comes on and boom, no power). Brought it to the same mechanic and this time it was the battery that needed replaced so he went ahead and replaced it. Just yesterday, 2 weeks after the battery issue, my car broke down again with the same symptoms occurring. I'm still waiting on it to be diagnosed but there is no other explanation than for it to be an electrical issue. Suggestions?

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #16

Nov 252011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles
I constantly have to change tail lights and head lights on my vehicle. Every 4/5 months they are going out. Also the interior light above in the back seating area does not come on when the doors are open, only if manually pressed on and off. The light behind the panel controlling the heat/air temperatures is no longer functional. No one else seems to change their lights as frequently as I do, if at all since they've had their cars. It seems to be an issue with the electrical system.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #15

Oct 112006


  • 12,000 miles
We have a constant problem with headlight bulbs. I have tried every available brand at local automotive stores from the least expensive to the most expensive with the same results. They last about 4 months at best. There is a dealer available "fix" which includes a new wiring harness. Kia will not fix this at no cost. There has been 4 times in the last 3 years that the headlight has failed during late night driving. I replaced the blown bulb and within hours the opposite side failed. Had both failed at the same time it would be a serious problem. At the dealership (three) they said "yea a lot of people have this issue" my other vehicles bulbs last on average 5 times longer - or more.

- Stephens City, VA, USA

problem #14

Jun 172011

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
While driving my vehicle, it began making a "knocking" noise. The power steering then began to fail and then I was unable to accelerate. The car died (on a busy 4 lane hwy with my 7 mos old daughter in the car). Once stopped, I looked under my hood to find a large bolt laying on the floor of the interior of the bumper. The vehicle was towed to a local auto repair shop where, after 2 days and $1300 in repairs, I was told that the "large bolt" I found was half of the crank pulley bolt. It had snapped clean in half leaving the other half inside the pulley. Extensive labor to remove this piece and then reset all the pulleys and belts (timing belt) attributed to the excessive cost. I was told that there was no reason why that bolt should have simply broke in half and that it was a faulty part. Kia refuses to take responsibility and I have read several posts that make it clear that this is not the first time it has happened. Electrically, I have had to change my headlight bulbs several times over the last 3 years and the accuator for the automatic door locks is faulty. The car randomly locks itself at any given time (while driving, when sitting in the driveway during the night, parked and running). I stopped in a parking lot to get my daughter's toy that she had dropped. When I got out of the car to walk around to the other side, the car lock defect locked my daughter inside the car while it was running.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #13

Aug 062005

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 71,032 miles
We have a constant issue with the interior ligts and exterior lights are turning on and off without notice. This is happening while driving down the road and has happened on 10 separate occassions in the last two months, the las occasion being August 6, 2011 at approximately 2:00am. While driving down a major highway here in seattle driving at 50mph the interior and exterior lights both shut down at the same time causing zero visibility. After pulling over and waiting for 10 minutes the lights came back on and I was able to drive ahome without incident. Problem is unknown.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #12

Jun 142011

Sorento 4WD 8-cyl

  • 64,250 miles
On 6-14-2011 I was driving my 2005 Kia Sorento just turning onto my street when it suddenly lost its power steering and the power brake light was on. I managed to drive it a few feet to my driveway to inspect my car and noticed a big silver bolt-like piece of metal approximately 4" long dangling beneath the radiator and took it inside and called my husband. When he came home he looked at the car and checked online to try and see what may be wrong with it and discovered it may be the crank shaft pulley bolt and called the dealership's service department. The man at the service department felt this was not the case but my husband said that he had was holding the bolt in his hand. Nonetheless I scheduled an appointment. The soonest they could get me in was 6-29-2011, 15 days later. I am employed as a physician extender am had to work the weekend (June 18th and 19th), therefore, I had to rent a car for that weekend as we have no weekend public transportation service in our location which cost me $177. My car then had to be towed on the morning of 6-28-2011 to the dealership for service on 6-29-2011 at a cost of $65. Then they were having difficulty honoring my warranty because they could not find my name but I had since married but since it was not changed on the warranty they did not repair the car. I had to contact Kia corporate and the person there told me it could take up to 2 weeks to make the change and the car would not and could not be repaired until then and they could only give me a discount on a rental car in the meantime. I had to immediately fax (not email) documentation of sale. I had paid cash for the brand new vehicle at the time. The Kia dealership in which I bought the car only keeps sales records for the past 3 years. The corporate person that I was speaking with was not able to correct the information on his end due to a "glitch". they fixed the car and charged me $170 additional for repairs not covered by warranty.

- Oakdale, PA, USA

problem #11

Apr 072011

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 75,440 miles
We were traveling on the freeway at 65 mph when check engine light came on within 2 seconds vehicle lost all power including power brakes and steering.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

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