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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,495 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.

2008 Kia Sorento brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #36

Sep 052016


  • 119,000 miles


Check engine and ESC light came on while driving down the interstate. Truck immediately loses power.

- Poplar Bluff, MO, USA

problem #35

Aug 262014


  • 80,000 miles
For the 3rd time in as many years, the check engine light and ESC light come on at the same time causing the car to go into limp mode. Sometimes it will reset if you turn the car off and restart. Have replace catalytic converter. See this is a common theme with this car. I have no idea why it has not become a recall. When losing all power on hwy in traffic this is sure to become a fatality issue before long. I would think the company would rather recall before it becomes a lawsuit..

- Carleton Place, NY, USA

problem #34

Aug 012011


  • 55,000 miles
Approximately 2 years ago, the ESC light would come on and the vehicle had no acceleration and pulling out into oncoming traffic would be very scary to say the least. It would be very sluggish and no acceleration and oncoming traffic would come up on you before you could get it going. I carried it to the Kia dealership where it was purchased and they said it was a faulty accelerator and replaced it at a cost of 350 dollars. It has started doing it again. This is very dangerous and I am afraid to drive it and don't have 350 dollars to try and fix it again. This is a serious problem that I have found tons of complaints with this. Something needs to be done and it should not be at the cost of the consumer for a faulty product.

- Athens, AL, USA

problem #33

Feb 032014


  • 47,000 miles


The ESC light has been coming on since the beginning of 2014. When this happens there is very little acceleration and it is difficult to get to the speed limit. The dealership said it is a chip that needs to be replaced and it would cost about $3,000. We were also told it was not a guarantee it would still fix the issue. We were also told that this issue could cause the car to go from drive from drive to park while driving. This alone is a danger in itself causing harm to us and to others in traffic. When the light is on the car does not accelerate and trying to merge into traffic is difficult especially up hill. I talked to Kia customer care and they said they would talk to the dealership. The person I talked to was not very helpful. If this a chip issue then it should be a recall or at least something that Kia should fix. It is something that is out of control of the owner. There are times when the light is off and the vehicle runs ok. I think this should be a situation that should be handled with great urgency before there is a serious accident.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #32

Sep 252013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 39,790 miles
Two days ago the check engine light illuminated (and stayed on) with intermittent electronic stability control off light illuminated; vehicle acceleration became sluggish and sometimes unresponsive. Vehicle codes using obdii pocketscan showed active and stored codes of P2138 (accelerator), P2127 (accelerator) and P2106 (limp mode). I made an appointment to take it to the dealership on 09/25/13. On the day of appointment the check engine light was not illuminated, but the dealership found stored codes in the computer of P2138, P2127 and P2106. The dealership refused to fix the vehicle even though it was still under warranty because there was not an active code (check engine light) on at the time of the appointment and the part was functioning properly for the time being. When asked if it was their policy or Kia motors policy not to replace components that were failing, they stated it was Kia motors policy. This is the second time the accelerator assembly has failed in this vehicle. The last failure was 08/23/12 at 27,545 miles. A vast majority of the complaints with NHTSA for this make, model and year vehicle involve these codes and this component. A serious accident, or loss of life should never be the determining factor when making a decision that a manufacturer should take action to correct a faulty component; by then it is much too late.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #31

Sep 252013

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 26,358 miles
ESC light comes on then the engine loses power, it also did this 2 years ago on 10/31/2011.

- Oakdale, MN, USA

problem #30

Aug 062013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles


I almost killed everyone in my car, along with others on the highway. I pulled out onto the highway and had no power to my vehicle. I could not accelerate at all and had to pull over to the shoulder to get out of the way of traffic. I noticed my ESC off light had come on somehow. I turned my vehicle off and turned it back on and the light disappeared and I had power again. Several times since then the light will randomly come on and I will lose power. I called a couple mechanic shops but when I try to take it in the light doesn't come on. I don't know what causes this to happen but I see I'm not the only one with the issue.

- Rapid City , SD, USA

problem #29

Sep 142011


  • 28,000 miles
I was traveling down the road when all of a sudden the vehicle decelerated quickly and the ESC light came on. I coasted over to the side of the road and turned the engine off. Sat there a few minutes then turned vehicle back on and the power came back on. I have since experienced this issue several times and have now the same issue however the light is not going off.

- Ware Shoals, SC, USA

problem #28

Sep 032013

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 47,500 miles
Driving to work on the highway at 65 mph, I lost significant power and was unable to accelerate past 40 mph on a local highway. I was able to slowly drive to a auto center where I was told my transfer case assembly and accelerator pedal assembly was malfunctioning, causing me to lose power and causing my car to shift erratically while driving. I have owned this car for less than 11 months.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #27

May 292013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Current and ongoing problems began just a few days after receiving a notice of recall from Kia regarding the faulty/defective brake light switch. The switch was faulty and there was a problem with no brake lights coming on upon braking as well as "ESC off" and "check engine" malfunction indicator lights appearing and staying on the instrument cluster. The vehicle was promptly taken to a Kia dealership where the recall service was performed. Replacement of a failed brake light switch under the recall campaign did not eliminate the problems/codes that began when the brake light switch failed. Shortly after the repair (less than a month afterward and very few miles driven) the "ESC off" and "check engine" malfunction indicator lights appeared, stayed, then came on and off intermittently with engine not going over past approximately 2,000 rpms resulting in unpredictable vehicle behavior especially when it comes to merging onto a highway/interstate or getting through an intersection. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the service advisors gave assurances that the new brake light switch is not defective. The problem is that the service advisors/technicians could not specifically diagnose what needs replacement to ultimately solve this ongoing problem or if it is related to the failure of the of the brake light switch.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #26

Dec 012009

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 9,000 miles


Bought the vehicle brand new and noticed you have to depress the brake pedal all the way down in order for the vehicle to slow down and stop. Spoke to the dealership and they said all Kia Sorento models are like this, you have to press hard down on the brake pedal for vehicle to slow down and finally stop and it takes a while for it to respond. Having owned several vehicles and driving for 15 years, I knew something was wrong with the vehicle braking system but I just dealt with it accepting the answer that Kia Sorento brakes were not going to be as good as other brand brakes (Honda, Toyota, Mazda). I took the vehicle in for regular maintenance and always asked the engineers if they could do something about the brakes and how long it takes to brake (braking distance). I felt unsafe driving this vehicle and ultimately sold after replace brakes and shoe pads. The passenger airbag light was also faulty when an adult would be sitting there and it was not working. There was also a check engine light that would randomly come on as well as the TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system). I took it to the mechanics and Kia dealership and they would just turn off the lights but couldn't explain a reason for these turning on as the vehicle tires and engine were ok. I cannot understand why the braking system was allowed to pass on this vehicle when it was not able to stop at highway speeds in a acceptable time. I hope Kia issues a recall on 2008 Kia Sorento LX models to replace or fix the braking issues because it is very dangerous to be driving on the road and not being able to brake properly.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #25

Jul 262013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 53,460 miles
Backed out of driveway, check engine & ESC off light came on, wouldn't accelerate over 20mph. Brought back home and parked. Few hours later took granddaughter to dentist and only check engine light illuminated. Didn't go off until took to auto zone on asheville hwy, knoxville, tn. After placing on diagnostic machine and giving a print out of probable causes, check engine light went off. Took to dealership on 7/29 and wouldn't except diagnosis since they didn't perform. Was showing electrical and valve problems. Stated unable to repair due to lights not being on when car was at the Kia dealership. Stated replaced the problem with recall. However, now stating motor seals need replaced which is covered under warranty. Unsure if other issue has been resolved due to no issues since Friday.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #24

Jul 202013


  • 34,000 miles
Driving on a surface street with a 40 mph speed limit. Car suddenly lost power and could not get speed above 20 mph. We were lucky that there wasn't much traffic about as this could definitely have caused an accident. When this happened both the ESC off light and the check engine light came on. We had to leave our car in Nevada and get a rental car to get home to Arizona, we have no idea when we will get our car fixed and back home. We were owners of a Kia rondo and the same thing happened to that vehicle too (no longer own that one). This vehicle needs to be recalled immediately and Kia needs to admit that there is something seriously wrong and that they will take responsibility for fixing it. Too many owners having exactly the same problem, we should not be ignored.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #23

Jul 162013


  • 178,155 miles
I was driving on an interstate with a speed limit of 65 mph when with no warning the "check engine" and "ESC off" lights came on simultaneously. At the same time, the engine lost power, causing my vehicle to suddenly decelerate and almost causing a collision both with the car behind me and with the cars merging over from an entrance ramp. Luckily, I was able to safely maintain control of my car and put on my hazard lights to warn other drivers of my much slower speed. Even depressing the gas pedal to the floor, I was unable to accelerate above 55 mph, and my speed going up hills was significantly slower. Once I was able to safely reach a shoulder with comfortable clearance, I pulled over and stopped the car for a few minutes. I restarted the car, both lights remained on, and I similarly was unable to accelerate the car appropriately, especially from a stop. I limped along with my hazard lights for the last few miles to work where I immediately began researching this issue only to find that this is far from an isolated incident. In fact, this problem seems to be pervasive in Kia of similar model year. There are scores of Kia owners who have experienced a similar series of events. The sudden and unexpected loss of power with absolutely no warning is highly dangerous in any situation, but especially so on the interstate when speed limits are so high. I was so lucky that the drivers around me and I were able to avoid an injury-causing crash. This issue needs to be investigated swiftly and thoroughly. Again, a simple search of this very website as well as other online car forums reveals a problem so widespread that it should warrant a recall by Kia.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #22

Jun 272013


  • 65,000 miles
I was driving my 2008 Kia Sorento ex when all of a sudden my ESC light and engine light came on and I could not accelerate, my vehicle in fact slowed down terribly. I have noticed that if I shut my car off then turn it back on sometimes this will take care of the problem for a short time. This is very dangerous when driving with my kids in the backseat. If my car slows while on the highway I could end up causing quite an accident not to mention hurting myself or my family that is in the vehicle. Mileage on my vehicle at the time was approximately 65000 miles.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #21

Jul 052013


  • 50,500 miles
Started car to warm up for trip to work. ESC light stayed/came on. Engine wouldn't allow speed over 55 with the gas pedal floored. Took to Kia dealer made appointment.

- Caldwell, ID, USA

problem #20

May 172013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 41,100 miles
Every time I turn on my car the ESC off light is illuminated. When I step on the gas I have no power. If I turn the car off and then back on, it will usually disappear. I have done research on line, and many people with my same car have the same issue. The issue in their cars have progressed to randomly turning on while going 65 miles and hour, and losing speed which has almost caused several accidents. I currently do not know of any accidents, but this now has me afraid to drive my car. If it is a known problem, why has there not been a recall to fix it?

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #19

Jan 192013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 51,366 miles
Jan.19,2013 my 2008 Kia Sorento started to loss power and the engine light turned on the car started to shake, the dealer found the vehicle shown code PO300, vehicle misfire and it burned plug assy-spark and coil assy-ignition. Repairs were done at city Kia of greater orlando. Services was great. March 7,2013 the same incident as above happened again the repair shop found camshaft sensor connection error, perform pin tension rechecked. I was treated badly, they stated at first they did not know what was going on and refused to offer any situation. Repair were done where I had purchased the vehicle in 2/2011 with Kia warranty. Location orlando Kia E.colonial drive.orl fl.32817. On May 4,2013 my vehicle appears to have the same issues as above incidents will take it back to dealer on E. colonial drive on Monday 6,2013. Hope they will help me....

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #18

Mar 142013


  • 87,000 miles
I have researched and found that other 2008 Kia sorrento owners have reported to Kia, about the ESC light coming on causing lost of power in the vehicle. Kia is content to charge customer a diagnostic fee, fix part that do not need to be fixed when clearly there is a defect in the vehicle. When you mention to them the complaints filed about the problem, they indicate the have never heard anything about it instead of taking the time to look on, they continue to brush it off. Not sure how being on the hwy driving at 70 mph and your vehicle suddenly dropping to 20mph is a customer problem. Also not sure how when you place my car on the machine and it gives you a code to fix this life threatening problem and it happens again causing me to have to coast into the emergency lane to keep from being hit from behind with 2 children in the back seat is a customer problem sounds like a defect to me.

- Smith Station , AL, USA

problem #17

Jan 302013


  • 74,000 miles
While driving the electronic stability control "off" (ESC off) light and the check engine light came on at the same time. Upon taking it to the a mechanic, he informed me that the accelerator pedal position sensor was bad. I continued reading online, and have notice this has happened on many occasions. When this occurs the vehicle looses all power to make any necessary corrective actions which could result in a accident. It also slows the car drastically while in motion, again with the possibility of causing an accident. ## VIN failed ##

- Port Saint Lucie , FL, USA

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