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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,467 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.

2012 Kia Sorento engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #54

Oct 112015


  • 129,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. While driving at approximately 65 mph, a loud banging noise emitted from the engine. After stopping the vehicle and lifting up the hood, the contact discovered smoke, oil and a small flame coming from the engine. The flame self extinguished. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the vehicle had experienced a catastrophic engine failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufactured was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 129,000. The VIN was not available. Updated 02/02/16

- West Roxbury, MA, USA

problem #53

Sep 182015


  • 43,000 miles
Friday 9/18/15 10:40 am, backing out of parking spot slowly into a road. Engine suddenly failed, engine light came on, and the brakes completely failed. Was able to restart the car and park it again, but brakes still failed and had to use the emergency brake and the curb and tree at curb to stop vehicle. Towed to ed voyles Kia on peachtree industrial blvd in atlanta who found no record of the incident in computer and that all diagnostics were normal and they couldn't reproduce the problem, so there was nothing they could do. I sent them this link with others experiencing similar issues and told rep about others' then had it towed to cobb county Kia in kennessaw, ga. They maintained neglect on our part B/C oil level was at 0 (previous dealership saw no problem here), engine had major sludge and particles of metal in it, needed full engine replacement for $6500 didn't make sense with our regular oil changes and didn't explain the brake failure, though rep said it did. Had it towed to aaa car care plus in marietta. Could not reproduce the issue and said the car, including the engine, was in great shape, was full of all fluids. Mechanic also said that there were 0 records on computer and that one of dealerships likely wiped it completely clean. Have rented a car in meantime because my, my husband's, my two kids' and other drivers and pedestrians safety would be compromised. Other comments online mention problem more than once, some on the highway. Also remembered that my husband had had trouble starting the car a couple of months back, with no lights coming on at all. He got the battery checked out, and he was told it was fine. We relayed this to the mechanics too, but they seemed not to acknowledge the info. We cannnot and will not drive the car until it's resolved.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #52

Aug 032015


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. While driving approximately 15 mph, the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The engine was replaced, but the failure recurred after 10,000 miles of being driven. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was informed that the engine needed to be replaced for a second time. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #51

Sep 082015


  • 95,038 miles


While driving on I95 we began hearing a noise from the engine. It was faint at first, just a pinging that would happen when we pushed the accelerator down. We just had an oil change at 94,000 miles so knew our oil level was good. The faint noise grew steadily louder over the next 30 minutes and we pulled off the highway and into a service/gas station. The mechanics came out when they heard us pull up. They knew almost immediately that it was catastrophic engine failure and would need major repairs if not a rebuild. The Kia dealer is going to confirm today, but I beileve that it is an engine connection pin that broke. We were told we were lucky it did not break and puncture the engine block while we were driving.

- Gorham, ME, USA

problem #50

Jul 162015


  • 48,000 miles
Upon arrival at my destination the car would not turn off. I had to press the ignition off button several time before the car would shut off. There were times would have to sit in the car about 5-7 minutes trying to get the car to turn off.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #49

Aug 072014


  • 44,516 miles
My 2012 Kia Sorento was running fine, no warning whatsoever. I was on the highway when I heard a flutter noise that turned into a knocking sound. Had the car towed to dealer. Tow truck driver started the car and drove it approximately 60 ft to a parking spot. I was told by the dealer I had catastrophic engine failure and that the engine was seized tight (which was not true at all) due to neglect. I have provided Kia Corp. And the dealer with all of the service records as well as the oil purchase receipts, oil filter receipts and oil change records. Oil changes were performed to what Kia's manual suggests. I have done research and have found numerous Kia owners with the exact same issue I had. Their complaints are almost exactly word for word what happened to my Kia. Something needs to be done about this...most Kia owners had this catastrophic engine failure happen on the highway or when their teenagers were driving. Kia has a class action law suit against them for this very reason. Please do something before someone really gets hurt. I was very lucky there was not a lot of traffic and was able to get off of the highway. If there were traffic and I was not able to get off of the highway.. it could gave resulted in much worse. Please I am begging you to do something about this. I have came across so many people in stores, restaurants, and dealers while looking for another car to be able to get my child to and from school, football, etc. I still have a loan on my Kia and now have another loan because this issue. Kia has based my warranty repair on pictures the dealer took. They absolutely refuse to listen to me nor help me. I begged and pleaded with them to look further into it and they wanted nothing to do with it. Then I was told there was nothing else they could do and I needed to get my car off of their lot.

- Townsend, MA, USA

problem #48

Apr 242015


  • miles


This is the third time that the 2012 Kia Sorento has surged on its own when stopped with the engine running. If you don't have your foot on the brake the car will run away.

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #47

Apr 212015


  • 113,000 miles
While driving down highway at 55 miles per hour with a semi tractor trailer behind me. My Kia Sorento just shut off. I just pulled over on the side of the highway in time so I wouldn't get hit by the semi. It took me about 6 hours to get my car home. I was out in where there wasn't a garage or nothing around. After getting it home and jump start the battery it started. Then on 4/22/15 I was taking my wife to a appointment and it did the same thing and the engine is knocking before it shut off going done highway. I bought this Kia used with 52,000 miles on it in July 2014. Have extended warranty for 6 months or 36000. Well 6 months is passed and now I am struck with this problem. Called dealer where I got it. They wont help. I hope that you can help me with this problem because it is a dangerous thing that the car just shut off driving down highway. I am paying for a car that is faulty and they mislead you on the mileage to. Only get 20-23 at 55 miles per hour. Not now 30 or so like they say. I hope you can help me. I still have to get my car yet. It is getting pricey to keep a car that suppose to be good car. Thank you [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Grandvalley, PA, USA

problem #46

Apr 062015


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. While driving at 70 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure only occurred once. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The vehicle was diagnosed, but there was no failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 36,000.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #45

Feb 252015


  • 63,381 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. While driving approximately 70 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle restarted, but the failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the throttle engine sensor failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer for unknown repairs; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 63,381.

- Midland, GA, USA

problem #44

Jan 162015

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles


The first incident occurred at a traffic light. I went to accelerate and realized that the car had shut itself off. I put it in park, and restarted it without incident. When I brought it into the dealership, they said there was nothing they could do and that I should bring it in as soon as it happens next time. The second time, March 28, 2015, I was trying to pull into a parking spot when I was unable to turn the wheel. Again, I realized that the car had stalled, so I put it into park, and restarted it. While there was no harm done, my main concern is that something like this will happen while driving at a higher speed, and cause an accident. I have seen this same occurrence in other reviews and wonder why this is not more of a concern for the manufacturers. What will it take for a recall?

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #43

Nov 072014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
Vehicle began leaking oil, oil light came on. Refilled with oil to try and find the leak without success. Mechanic found a bad oil pressure switch. The oil pooled up in a valley in the engine. This valley had a manufactured hole in the top of it and that's were the oil was dumping out onto the ground. Made it appear that it was a rear main seal leak.

- Salisbury, VT, USA

problem #42

Oct 312014


  • 98,000 miles
I was driving to work at 55 mph and all the lights on the dash came on and my head lights shut off. My car restarted right after that and now it has done it three times since then. I am nervous when I drive because, I fear I will be stalled somewhere and it will be winter. I drive 47 miles one way to work. I am seriously thinking of trading the car off. I know I won't get anything for it but, at least I will be safe. We were told by Kia that if the car shuts off it is resetting the computer and they will be unable to diagnose if a dummy light doesn't stay on. I see there are more complaints about the same issue I am having with my Kia and I think Kia should do a recall on them. This is a serious issue and I think it needs to be resolved asap.

- Gaylord, MN, USA

problem #41

Nov 222012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 850 miles
While in regular traffic when gas is applied, car will start to move forward then act as though the motor had been turned off. If you add more pressure to gas pedal nothing happens, than all of a sudden the car will lurch forward at a high rate of speed as if you had pushed the gas pedal to the floor. This condition has happened as least 40 or more times in 14K miles. This condition happened at least 6 times while on vacation in nv. While making a right turn from a dead stop, the car lurched forward, almost causing me to have a head-on collusion with another driver. I reported this condition to Kia when it first happened during service, and they said they could find nothing wrong. The last time I reported it when car was in for service, Kia, kept my car. That was about three weeks ago and since then I have had two calls from the Kia factory, telling me they were looking into this issue and if I have any questions I was to give them a call. The phone number I was given was 1-800-333-4542 ext. [xxx] and my case # is [xxx]. as today Aug 4, 2014, Kia still has my Sorento and I'm driving their loaner car. " also" my wife will not drive our car until this problem is corrected in fear it might happen to her. She was a passenger in a bad rollover accident and has become fearful of any condition that's out of the ordinary with a car. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Harker Heights, TX, USA

problem #40

Mar 072013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
Car would drop its speed to about 1 mile an hour, brought car to dealer, told needed software re-set, occurred again in about July 2012, told again a software problem, but could not tell me why or that it would not happen again. Rear camera and entire radio-council goes out on occasion. Sun roof jams and won't close. In shop to repair sun roof over one week.

- Capitola, CA, USA

problem #39

Jun 102014


  • 25,000 miles
I was driving my car in a parking garage and without warning as I was making a left turn the car shut down completely, no lights, no engine, no power steering, stiff brakes. I was unable to even turn on my hazard lights. Someone was kind enough to help push my vehicle to the side and eventually I was able to restart the car. When I took it to the dealer, they found nothing and were unable to recreate the problem. This could be a real danger on the road and now my trust in the car is shaken! scary to see other people reporting the exact same problem.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #38

Mar 212013


  • 40,217 miles
It has been 3times on the road. The first time was when I drove in highway about 35 mph (had traffic) my engine was turned off so I did not know what I to do so I put my gear to park and restarted it and it was turned on. And couple weeks later I was drove in rocal road it happened again so I called Kia dealer they asked me to bring my car to dealer and I left in the morning and picked it up at afternoon and they said it should be ok. Then was been ok but it happened again June 2nd and I brought to Kia dealer again they said "we can not fix it because this problem is not recall" I was so mad if my wife or daughter drive this car and turn off the engine while in driving it can make big accident on the road or on highway.please can you find out what's the problem is in this car and make Kia to fix this problem. Thank you.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #37

Aug 222013


  • 45,564 miles
I was driving my 2012 Kia Sorento on a flat residential road in fair weather and came to stop at a stop sign. After going forward about 20ft after the stop sign my car just died. It completely turned off, all electrical, the engine, everything and I had to put it in park to restart the engine. This has happened on 4 separate occasions, 1 time on a hill, 1 time in rush hour traffic with a tractor trailer behind me, and again on my way home in a residential area. I took the vehicle to the Kia dealership and was told that they could not re-create the problem and no error codes came up. I do not know what to do. I am scared for my life driving this car.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #36

May 132013


  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 mph, the vehicle stalled as the engine warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing however, the failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 17,000.

- Brookfield, CT, USA

problem #35

Jan 152014


  • 15,000 miles
My Kia Sorento stalled in the middle of road while crossing a stop sign. The engine shutoff and all the lights on the panel lighted on. This has now happened three times. Last two times we went to the dealer and they said they could not find anything wrong. There are not error codes saved in Kia so they don't have a proof that this condition happened. This is very serious. We were lucky that this happened on the neighborhood streets with no traffic. I was able to start the car back by putting it in parking brake and pressing the start button again. I have seen several other posts with the similar problem. I hope this is thoroughly investigated as dealership is not ready to acknowledge or try to even re-create the problem.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

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