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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,307 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.

2006 Kia Sorento electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #46

Sep 192016


  • miles


Our 2006 Kia Sorento all the sudden while driving on a very busy in city highway, started sounding like it kept trying to turn over and we pulled over. We noticed it started smelling hot but wouldn't turn off so my husband tried taking off the battery but couldn't because it was so hot it burned him and noticed smoke coming from the engine. We finally got it off so we tried to restart it but the battery was totally dead. The shop said the engine is gone.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #45

Feb 052016


  • 92,000 miles
I was driving on the highway in slushy snow and the brake light & battery light came on. The engine sounded rough. When I went to pull of the highway, I had no power steering.

- Winchendon, MA, USA

problem #44

Jan 012007


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the low beam headlights failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where it was diagnosed that an electrical shortage was causing the low beams to fail prematurely. The low beam bulbs were replaced numerous times, but the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Newton, NC, USA

problem #43

Nov 042013


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 45 mph, the temperature gauge displayed a dangerous increase in temperature. In addition, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact mentioned that he attempted to restart the vehicle several times. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician was unable to diagnose of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Lynn Haven, FL, USA

problem #42

Nov 052014


  • 84,000 miles
Kia Sorento 2006. Crank shaft bolt sheared off. Total control of vehicle lost. Can not drive vehicle. Contacted Kia motors who stated they know this happens. Exact words of person on phone were "you should have replaced the crank shaft bolt with an upgraded model". as I am a private owner and never got any information from Kia this was never done. The dealership was helpful in that they said they would look at the vehicle for a fee, in which case they stated that they could fix it for a large amount and that it was the crank shaft bolt which was the problem. Lol I asked them if they were going to put in the upgraded version I was told about, and they said they only have one kind which is the original part. After several conversations with mechanics at the dealership and outside mechanics the vehicle has been non-operational as it is too much money to fix a problem that is not being addressed and is not safe for the road. As a Kia owner of more than 2 of their vehicles I am highly upset as this company has took no action in such a huge problem. Stand by your product Kia. I stood by you buying more than 2 cars over the last decade. That is up in the air now as Kia refuses to step up to the plate. Kia should fix this problem and this vehicle should be recalled.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #41

Jul 162015


  • 92,000 miles
Driving on highway when heard a pop and power steering went out and battery and brake light came on. Had it towed to auto repair shop to find out the crank shaft pulley bolt had broken off into the engine. Auto repair shop unable to get bolt out since it broke off into engine. Only way to repair was a new engine which was around $5000.

- Lewis Center, OH, USA

problem #40

Dec 172014


  • 91,991 miles


While driving my 2006 Kia Sorento on Wednesday December 17, 2014, a week before christmas, the crankshaft pulley bolt loosened up. Under tremendous pressure from the engine the steel pulley bent skewing all belted driving systems: Power steering, electrical, electricity to engine, A/C, wipers, heating and defrosting systems, and etc¿¦ causing me to lose complete control of car while turning corner at busy intersection; loosing steering, complete engine shutdown, panic, and putting me in ¿¿harm¿'s way¿! my wife and I had specifically bought this SUV because we care and drive our 3 beautiful grandchildren to school/back and to all activities and so many other children (their friends) going to the same places and activities. I thank god this didn't happen with any children or my wife in the car and even under worse situations; ex: Expressway driving or so many other life threatening driving situations! I have paid many hundreds of dollars for the repairs and much time and worrying about that terrible incident I have suffered! also my immediate children put much pressure on me to get rid of this unsafe car concerned for their children (my grandchildren) and their friends!

- Babylon, NY, USA

problem #39

May 072015


  • 98,350 miles
After reading many of these complaints, they are the same as mine. My car has shut off while driving at least four times, the last time I had to have it towed to my regular mechanic. Since the check engine light did not stay on at first he was unable to determine what was wrong. Now that I see many other people have had the same problem I now know what I am up against. I guess Kia is waiting for someone to be killed with them driving and can not pull over due to no power, then get hit from behind. Then and only then will they do a recall after someone loose their life, just because they want to keep quite. I now know what to tell my mechanic that is wrong. I will copy several of these complaints and take it to him. I will also call my local tv stations to report this as well, I refuse to sit around allow someone to be killed in order to save Kia money. They can do a recall and fix this matter, but they don't want to. I will never buy another Kia again and will tell others when the tv stations interview me I will be sure to let people know not to buy your cars at all until you face up to the fact that this is a dangerous matter.

- Manchester, CT, USA

problem #38

Apr 062015


  • 130,000 miles
I purchased a 2006 Kia Sorento from an individual. Without any warning the tail lights, signal lights, cruise control, emergency blinkers, and windows quit working all at once. I have been doing research and see that this vehicle has a lot of complaints with electrical issues. Also, in 2009 there was a recall. I need to get this recall checked into and also my vehicle needs to be fixed.

- Indianola, MS, USA

problem #37

Mar 222015


  • 120,000 miles
Since the day I purchased this vehicle I have had to replace the headlights or tail lights almost every other month. I believe there is something wrong with the electrical system. Lately the lights and the fan will not shut off on the car. I had to pull out the battery just to get it to go off. The ac and heater switch back and forth constantly. One day you can only use the heater then the next week you can only use the ac. I have replace switches over and over and it only temporarily fixes these problems. Gas mileage is absolutely terrible.

- San Angelo, TX, USA

problem #36

Feb 042014


  • 61,000 miles


On January 17, 2015, I retrieved my 2006 Kia Sorento LX from the dealership. I had to have the water pump and heater hoses replaced. It was suggested that since my vehicle had close to 60K miles on it that according the manufacturer that the timing belt be replaced. It cost me a little over $1,200. Two weeks later I was at a stop light waiting to make a left turn. As I proceeded to make my left, from a complete stop, the vehicle bogged, stalled, the dashboard lights all came on for an instant and the steering wheel locked. Luckily there was no on coming traffic and I was able to pull into a parking lot. I got the vehicle to stop and attempted to re-start my car and it did. Nothing happened to the vehicle again until a week later and it did the same thing again. I took it that there was a possibility that it was cheap gas. My husband, on Saturday 02/14/2015, moved the vehicle to the front of the house and parked it. At 4 P.M. we went to leave and the vehicle wouldn't start. I googled some information and had to re-set the fuel cut off switch under the hood and that fixed the problem temporarily. Last night, 02/16/2015, the vehicle did the same thing again and again we had to re-set the fuel cut off switch and the engine light remained on. Today, 02/17/2015, we returned the vehicle to the dealership to have it diagnosed and they determined that the camshaft positioning sensors and the crank shaft positioning sensor need to be replaced and now they want to charge me another $1,100. I have gone online and done some research and found several other complaints similar to mine. I also noted that there was a class action lawsuit in NJ for the same thing. It seems to me that Kia motors is aware of the problem and just turning a blind eye. These problems continue after repairs are made according to the complaints I found.

- Azusa, CA, USA

problem #35

Dec 052014

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
I was in a slow head on crash, to avoid hitting other cars person swerved into my lane. Didn't even set the airbags off. As soon as the accident occurred my brake & battery light came on. When I got the car back the lights were still lit, took it back & they blamed it on a belt. I had put a reconditioned alternator in 11 days before the accident, drove fine with a questionable battery. Now the power steering work occasionally & the alternator is not charging the battery. I just want my car to work like it did before the accident. But I must say this is the fourth alternator I have put in this vehicle, three rebuilt, but the third one was brand new, I am averaging an alternator every two years. Bought this car used in the same year it came out & it only had 16,000 miles. It now has approximately 90,000. I wish my problem was only frequently burn out lights. Replaced two serpentine belts, one left that goes to the power steering. So glad that kid was texting or something to cause this accident, now I have a car that is worthless to me as I can't drive it. The bodyshop put a new battery in it, it lasted 3 days. Wish I would've just stay home that day.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #34

Jan 082015

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
While stopped at a traffic light, the car was running fine. When the light turned green, I took my foot off the brake and all the lights on my dash illuminated and the car immediately shut off. I shift into park and restart the car with no problems as if nothing happened. No other issues occurred until today (3 weeks later). This time I started my car and was driving through a parking lot with no signs of a problem. After I stopped, to let a car out in front of me, I took my foot off the brake to proceed. Immediately as I stepped on the gas, the dash illuminated, the steering wheel locked, and the car shut off. I tried restarting it a few times, but it wouldn't budge at all. I shut off all electrical devices, such as headlights, radio, and hazard lights and tried starting it again. This time it started as if nothing was wrong. I drove around stopping and going for another 45 mins to see if it would happen again, and nothing. Based on what I've been reading, it sounds like this is a common problem. Why isn't this getting the same attention Toyota and GMC cars received when their cars experienced dangerous malfunctions in several of their cars? perhaps the media needs to be alerted to this to actually bring more attention to the matter. Apparently Kia is waiting for a few deaths first before they part with money to fix the problem.

- Merchantville, NJ, USA

problem #33

Nov 122014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
I went to the bank in November of 2014. I shut my car off because its started to make a loud noise. I tried to start it when I was done and it would not start. I was able to get a jump to start it back up but it keep on dying. I was finally able to get it started enough to get it home. It died right before my house so we had to push it into the driveway. When I was driving it home the electrical kept cutting in and out and it was making a loud noise. Come to find out the crankshaft pulley bolt broke off into the engine.I only had the car for 8 months and paid $8700 for the car.

- Oscoda, MI, USA

problem #32

Mar 042011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 6,700 miles
Panel dash lights intermediately dim, low headlights and back running light bulbs burn out constantly, license plate light bulbs burnt out and melted in casing, passenger air bag indicator light comes on when passenger is seated stating it is off. Powered door locks do not work most of the time - push power lock button or by key and still won't lock, keyless remotes don't work even after replacement of new batteries.

- Newark, TX, USA

problem #31

Nov 302014


  • miles
Low beam head lights, just go out with out warning. Replaced 100S of time S just very costly. Kia wants 100. Every time to replace.

- Ennis, TX, USA

problem #30

Aug 122014


  • 83,000 miles
Engine light came on- brought to dealer- told leak in pressure line to power steering. They fixed but still faulty sensor light remains on for check engine- told 230$ to fix faulty sensor on gas/air mixture or my catalytic converter would wear out.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #29

Mar 262014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Vehicle's battery, brake, and check engine lights came on while parked at home, opened hood, noticed belt was slipping, and crankshaft pulley was spinning almost free. Contacted mechanic who performed most recent maintenance, he attempted to repair work under assumption was faulty. Problem reoccurred 3 months later, mechanic now convinced he is not the cause of this. Research shows common issue with this make/model. Crankshaft bolt appears to break free of pulley. Will require engine block disassembly to determine if crankshaft has been damaged.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #28

May 102014

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 100,123 miles
Coming home from work about 2miles away from home, I lost power, my power steering, and electrical and I had to pull over and get towed to my home. Not happy cause Kia knows about this issue!!!!

- Pawling, NY, USA

problem #27

May 012014


  • 168,000 miles
I was driving down the road doing 55mph when I heard a loud sound and all of a sudden the break and battery light came on in 2006 Kia Sorento. At that very moment, I realized that I did not have any power steering. Up until this point, my only complaint with my SUV was that I had to constantly replace the bulbs in both the front and back of the car. Also, my dome light stopped working and some of the panel lights as well. Although, that was annoying, I never complained because it did not put me in any serious danger. However the problem with the power steering could have killed me or someone else. I know my vehicle is out of warranty, but these cars should be built to last and not put my life in danger regardless of how long I keep it. Sheesh, if Kia would have told me that once my car gets at a certain age it would put my life in danger I would have had second thoughts about the purchase. I think it is sad that these big companies only care about making money than human mortality.

- Louisville, KY, USA

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