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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 1 of 4)

problem #74

Sep 022016


  • 144,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. While driving 80 mph, the vehicle decelerated and stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that a rod went through the engine block. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 144,000.

- Desoto, GA, USA

problem #73

Sep 112016


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. While driving various speeds, an abnormal sound was heard coming from the bottom of the vehicle. The vehicle stalled without warning. The contact pulled over to the shoulder, but the vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that there was a hole in the engine block, the rods came apart, and there was no oil in the vehicle. The dealer stated that the engine block would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 14,000.

- De Soto, GA, USA

problem #72

Aug 072014


  • 44,516 miles
My car shut off while driving on the highway (doing about 70mph) back in the summer of 2013. Luckily, there was no traffic so I was able to coast over to the side of the highway to restart my car (push button start). They said it was the crankshaft sensor. On August 7, 2014 (44,516K), 8 oil changes using synthetic oil and Kia oil filters (2 generic), my engine was making a fluttering noise and then a knocking noise.end result, they said I neglected my car and needed a new engine. Kia motors outright refused to fix my car under the warranty. Even when proof of oil changes was done. I had no warning whatsoever. No smoke of any kind coming from the tailpipe, not sluggish, no warning lights, nothing. Kia motors never fixed my car. It sat dead in my driveway for over 15 months. I finally wrote a letter to the owner of the dealership back on June 3, 2015 and she contacted me in October and said that, "if anyone has pull with Kia, it's me, I own the dealership, and they won't even talk to me about your car." She ended up replacing my engine with a used one, got it all ready for inspection and put newer tires on it so that it would pass inspection and offered to pay for half the cost ($4200, I paid $2100). This is a very big problem. I am hearing of more and more people having the exact same issue I did. Even one person who stated all of their vehicles maintenance was done through the dealership and Kia motors still refused to fix their car under the warranty. Something needs to be done about this. Let's not wait until god forbid someone gets killed because of this issue.

- Townsend, MA, USA

problem #71

May 062016


  • 72,000 miles


On May 6th, 2016 I was driving to work (back roads with a speed limit of 55 or less), just a few miles from my place of employment when I heard a ticking/clicking type of noise. Each time I pressed the gas the noise got louder and the vehicle got sluggish. I stopped at one traffic light and was able to go through with little problem other than the sound getting louder. As I stopped at another traffic light the car stalled, I was able to turn it over and again got through the light but the power was even more sluggish as I pressed the gas and the noise got even louder. The vehicle finally died and I was able to coast to the curb out of the way of traffic. The engine was ceased because a rod broke an drove itself into the oil pump resulting in the need to replace the engine. The first replacement engine did not work properly thus they had to find a second engine to replace the replacement. I was told because I was not the original owner the warrantee did not transfer with the vehicle, the replacement and all related expenses cost me over $8,000. As I have found so many complaints here for the same problem I think there should be a class action lawsuit brought against Kia motors. This is a major safety issue and should have a recall before someone dies.

- Winslow, ME, USA

problem #70

Aug 072016


  • 162,000 miles
While driving 70mph on the highway the engine shut down no warning lights, no check engine lights, no warning what so ever. We had a near miss with the person behind us but were able to get to the side of the road without incident. The vehicle would not start. After waiting 15 minutes I was able to get the vehicle to start, it now has a loud clank coming from the engine and still no power. We were stranded unable to drive it. We had it towed to the dealership. The service department looked at it and found metal shavings in the motor, said he has had to fix many of these issues on this particular motor, gdi 2.4 L and that it is a manufacturing issue nothing we did. The cause was from metal shavings blocking oil passage to the rods and the rod bearings went out causing a catastrophic engine failure without warning.

- Peculiar, MO, USA

problem #69

Aug 022016


  • 24,440 miles
The car would lose power while driving then accelerate to speed. This was followed by smoke from the tail pipe. I have returned to the yonkers Kia dealership on central Park Avenue in yonkers NY on August 5th, 2016 to look into a problem. A diagnostic was done and it was determined the engine was ruined do to slug build up. I was told that a replacement would coast about $10,000. Odd for me because my wife and I took the car in for regular oil changes and no indication of engine issues displayed on the dashboard. After speaking to a service representative he stated that I would have to support proof of maintenance on my car which would allow my repairs done under our warranty. I became extremely disillusioned after bringing the car into Kia due to an issue that can be tied to the manufacturer. We were denied service under the warranty which we are still under. Our car is fairly new with less than 25K miles. We carried out all of the steps thus far including taking care of our investment, proving our car has been taken care off including keeping meticulous annotations (kept in the log provided by Kia) and receipts to date. This is another example of big companies looking for loopholes and using tactics to swindle people of their hard earned paychecks. However, Kia does not want to honor us. Our paperwork/log/receipts are being taken apart with prejudice in order to not provide services and rectify this issue that is proven to be a defect. We are concluding that based on the poor handling of our case and many others like ours, Kia and its affiliates /dealers and corporate, are not about safety and customer satisfaction. All we ask is that Kia honors its warranty rather than finagle use on the fabricated notion that we are at fault rather than poor engineering.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #68

Jul 052016


  • 67,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. While driving 70 mph, the vehicle randomly stalled without warning. The vehicle was unable to be driven due to the failure and was towed to the dealer. The dealer indicated that the engine fractured and fragments entered into other areas of the vehicle. The dealer replaced the engine assembly. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and provided no solution. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 67,000. Updated 09/23/16

- Rocky River, OH, USA

problem #67

Jul 202016


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle made a knocking noise from the engine. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine rods were twisting and the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Middletown, DE, USA

problem #66

Jul 142016


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. While driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was restarted, but would not accelerate. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 83,000.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #65

Mar 092013


  • 6,000 miles
The vehicle grossly lost power and came to a near stop which almost caused collision with vehicles traveling at speed limit behind me. While traveling normally at the posted 55 mph speed the vehicle slowed immediately to nearly moving. This happened multiple times which I reported to the Kia dealer each time. The dealer did not correctly diagnose the problem until after the third report.

- Phoenixville, PA, USA

problem #64

Jul 082016


  • 77,000 miles


Driving 80mph on highway, heard pinging noise from engine, car slowed down and would not accelerate past 60mph. Car suddenly lost all power, power steering and brakes, resulting in a dangerous sudden stall event. Towed car to dealership, was told engine seized and needed a new engine.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #63

Jul 072016


  • 59,000 miles
I was driving my son to school on a city street and stopped at a stop sign then tried to accelerate and all of the lights on the dash began flashing and the car just shut-off. I put my car in park and restarted it. This type of incident has happened twice before and the dealership just tells me to keep bringing it in. They can never find what the problem is.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #62

May 212016


  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. While driving out of a parking lot at 5 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the engine failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 107,000. The VIN was not available.

- Marion, MA, USA

problem #61

May 132016


  • 74,000 miles
I purchased the vehicle from drivetime in laurel md on 5/9/16. On 5/10/16 I heard a knocking sound coming from the engine area and the vehicle started pulling wile raddling. On 5/10/16 & 5/11/16 I made the dealer aware of the Kia having engine issues. On 5/13/2016 the car started dragging and wouldn't go above 60mph. Then the car stopped in the middle of 95N going towards ex 43. This was very scary, the wheel locked up and the car lost power so I ended up drifting out of control to the rights side of the road in the middle of rush hour traffic... IżM so lucky to be alive today...this vehicle was in motion on the highway... it sad to know that Maryland inspected and passed that death trap

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #60

Feb 212016


  • 127,000 miles
I was driving about 60 mph down 269 highway when all at once I heard a loud pop like sound and then smoke started going out the tail pipe and then under the hood the car lost all power and stopped. I got out and rasised the hood and it was on fire. Luckely someone one was behind me and had a fire exstinquer and put it out. Called police they would not come out called insurance and they sent a tow truck. We bought this car brand new in 2011 and always kelpt it serviced, they took it to the Kia lot we bought it from and said it was a fire in the bottom of the engine and it would cost $10,000 to fix it we were still paying on it. So the insurance called it a loss. Now we are out car and no money to boot. I had just took my grandbaby home it could of been really bad. I got on the enternet and found several other 2012 Kia Sorentos that had the same problems.

- Adger, AL, USA

problem #59

Jan 302016


  • 41,000 miles
I first bought my vehicle from a used lot still very well condition all service records car fax, etc a few months later I had issues with the system turning lights on an a weird engine noise, I brought it into a Kia delareship only to be laughed at by the service team over the phone because they hadn't realized I had picked up the line, they told me this was all normal fixed the "problems", and sent me on my way out. I called several times after that to tell them I didn't think the engine noise was correct and they told me it was normal wear and tear, a few months later my entire car shut off while on an expressway with my self pregnant and my 2 year old son. It is now at the shop and they are asking for extensive information and service records which I have and are being very odd about my vehicle and when they will know the problem. Please be careful when buying from Kia, I could have been seriously injured with my children. Trading in once the issue or engine if it even gets fixed. Scared to death.

- Nrh, TX, USA

problem #58

Jan 302016


  • 70,000 miles
We were told we had a 10 yr, 100000 mile warranty bumper to bumper in Jan 2012 when we bought the vehicle. Last week the airbag light and engine light came on. We took the car to the local Kia dealership and was told the warranty didn't cover check engine or airbag problems, even though the dealership service department said they would be covered if the unit was under 5 years old. They want $1000+ to fix the engine light problem on the intake manifold and $1400 to fix the airbag problem. Both units should be under warranty. We had a spare tire problem a month after getting the car. The spare tire was bad and they wanted us to buy a new tire. Nothing we have is covered under warranty it seems. We were told the entire airbag system on the car would not operate unless we paid the $1400 to repair the airbag system.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #57

Jan 222016


  • 66,000 miles
@ 66,000 miles, the oil pressure switch, located under the intake manifold, is defective and leaked all the oil out of the engine. You cannot replace the switch/sensor without disassembling the engine. Kia will only cover this repair up to 60,000 miles. An internet search shows this to be a common issue. Additionally, its the same switch that is covered under a recall on the 2011 Kia Sorento. Kia customer relations said I shouldn't believe what I read on the internet yet it was the internet I used to make my decision to purchase their product. The oil pressure switch should be on the same recall as the 2011 recall. Same problem same switch. Due to the location of the switch and what is required to access it, the coverage should be the same as an interior engine part 10 years, 100,000 miles. The oil drained while driving/running, and spilled while sitting stationary due to the design of the engine. The oil pools on what was described as a "valley pan" then dumps when parked.

- Upper Arlington, OH, USA

problem #56

Jan 102016


  • 79,643 miles
We own 2012 Kia Sorento sx, purchased new. The car has 79643 miles. Our family was driving on interstate 84 from boston to Connecticut. The car was driving at 60~65 mph. Suddenly, the car tpm (tire pressure monitoring) came on and within 5~10 second all lights ( traction control/ battery/ all wheel drive) started flashing. It was raining and wiper stopped in middle. All of these events occurred within 10~15 seconds. I pulled over from left lane to center lane. I felt car is losing power with no wipers running. I than pulled over to the breakdown lane ż the car started shaking and engine tuned off. The breaks were hard to press. After the car was turned off - I cannot even move the shifter from drive mode to parking. We called the tow truck and towed the car to Kia of East hartford ( Kia's dealer in ct) I was lucky to pull over without any accident or tragic. This kind of sudden death of car without warning is very dangerous. I called Kia customer service team to report this incidence and they were not even concerned. I reviewed the comment/ complain from other customer about the similar incidence they experienced as well. I request want NHTSA to investigate the matter.

- Cromwell, CT, USA

problem #55

Dec 142015


  • 83,000 miles
I bought my Kia new from the dealership with an extended warranty. It currently has 83000mi on it. When I start it, it is making a rattling noise coming from the engine that only last a few seconds. We took it to the dealer and they are saying it needs a new engine because there are shards of metal in the oil pan. The cost to replace is $6000. The engine light has not come on at any point while owning the SUV, nor has any other light. We have maintained oil changes at every 4000mi or less but we completed all oil changes and filter changes our self. The master mechanic stated that there was no sludge in the engine and the engine looked to be well taken care of. The extended warranty is not wanting to cover the cost of the repair. We are still waiting to see what the dealership is going to do.

- Edmonton, KY, USA

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