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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pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
5,553 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.

2009 Kia Sorento seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2009 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #5

Feb 172010


  • 1,200 miles


I have 2 complaints. 1) I have complained about the front passenger air bag not coming on when an adult is seated in it. I have taken it to 2 different Kia shops 5 times since 1200 miles and was told it is operating normal. Normal is when an adult sits in it, not when you place a purse on the seat or whenever it decides to work. I am following the manual and still no satisfaction with repair. 2) at 1200 miles I also complained that the car would buck, stick in 3rd gear, and not shift till it red lines. This does not happen all the time and I was told by Kia that unless the "check engine" light comes on they can not find the problem. Even after the #1 repair tech in the world for Kia experienced the not shifting till it red lines for himself. I was told the only thing they could do is reprogram the computer. They have reprogrammed it 4 times the problem is still there. I have 22 repair invoices for this car since I purchased it. I am fighting on a daily basis with Kia to repair this car. It is a shame to say but I feel someone is going to get hurt or worst killed before Kia fixes these issues!

- Hunlock Creek, PA, USA

problem #4

Dec 072009


  • 700 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that when the passenger seat was occupied by an adult, the air bag warning light indicated that the front passenger side air bag was off. The dealer stated that the passenger was seated in the vehicle incorrectly and could not duplicate the failure. The contact was concerned that the manufacturer did not want to admit fault to the failure and was concerned with the overall safety of the vehicle. If involved in a crash, the contact was concerned that the air bags would not deploy. The failure mileage was 700 and the current mileage was unknown. Updated 05/11/10.

- Sun City, AZ, USA

problem #3

Apr 122009


  • 8,000 miles
We have been having a problem with the occupant classification system on our 2008 Kia Sorento. The system is deactivated when there is an adult passenger in the front seat.. the car has been in for repair four times. The passenger seat has been replaced and the computer has been reprogrammed. At this time the dealer has informed us that Kia tech line has determined that the system is working as designed and there are no further repairs that can be performed. We have followed all procedures outlined in the owners manual and still the system does not accurately register a passenger in the seat. With the "passenger air bag light off" lit, the air bag will not deploy and protect the passenger in the event of an accident.

- Chico, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 312009


  • miles
I bought a used 2009 Sorento Kia and when my wife was seated on the passenger seat the passenger air bag off sign was on. The light comes off/on randomly when a passenger is on the seat. I took the car to the mechanic and they could not find anything wrong, but the problem persists.

- Martinez, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 302009


  • 17,863 miles
Since January 2009 we have been fighting with Kia motors because my passenger airbag light will not activate when someone is seated in the seat. All Kia has done is update the vehicles computer system, which hasn't worked. They have issued a safety recall on this problem, but they refuse to fix it saying that the vehicle is operating as it was designed to do. My problem is that my vehicle is now unsafe for me to drive with a passenger. I have brought my vehicle to them 12 times about this problem. The better business bureau has told me there is nothing they can do for me, even though it is under warranty. Kia has offered me $1500 to go away. I refused. I want this safety issue fixed.

- Merritt Island, FL, USA

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