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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,158 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

problem #13

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 #12

Apr 192012


  • 8,806 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle accelerated without warning. The dealer was unable to diagnose the cause of the failure. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 8,806.

- St. Thomas, VI, USA

problem #11

Oct 142013


  • 17,500 miles
On October 14,2013 as I was traveling in stop and start traffic the vehicle suddenly accelerated and surged forward at least 5 feet while my foot was on the brake almost hitting the car in front of me. It took much effort to avoid crashing. This occurred again on March 16,2014 while in a parking lot looking for a parking spot. Again while my foot was on the brake the car accelerated and lunged forward 8 to 10 feet.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #10

Feb 272014


  • 21,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact sated that while reversing from a driveway, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and continued to accelerate with the brake pedal depressed. The contact was able to avoid crashing into a tree. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic performed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 21,000.

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #9

Aug 152013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
While driving the sorrento, it suddenly shut off while I was in traffic. There have been four other incidents since then. One day there were two of the same thing happening in one day.

- Richland Hills, TX, USA

problem #8

Jun 302013

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 19,004 miles
Driving on highway and heard a loud knocking noise like something was loose in engine. No acceleration and luckily had an exit close to pull off side of the road. Car would turn on, but would not drive at all. Car was towed to nearby dealership. We were 8 hours away from home when this happened. Kia was not helpful at all with dealing with this. Customer service was terrible. We had all paperwork for oil changes in car and they made the dealership fax them over before starting any work - which happened to be 4 days later because they still didn't want to authorize Kia to work on the car. Kia made it seem like we had done something wrong even though the car only had 19,000 miles on it. We finally got the car authorized to work on and were authorized to get a rental car (on day 5). We went back home, the car was stuck in town 8 hours away getting worked on. When car was done, Kia wanted my husband to drive 8 hours to pick up the car! they argued and argued with us until they finally agreed to put it on a truck and have it transported. Service paperwork showed that there was a lot of metal debris in bottom of oil pan. They replaced the long block assembly. When they replaced that, they found the oil filter to be damaged and replaced that as well.

- Platte City, MO, USA

problem #7

Jun 022013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 18,300 miles


While coming to a stop at a traffic light the engine light came on, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate, the RPM gauge did not move, but the vehicle would move forward at engine idle speed (reaching about 20mph on a level surface). The vehicle was towed to the dealership where it was diagnosed that the throttle body needed to be replaced.

- Haslet, TX, USA

problem #6

Oct 012011


  • 13,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that when the accelerator pedal was depressed, the vehicle would jolt forward and the engine RPM would rapidly increase. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they advised that they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact had taken the vehicle to the dealer approximately ten times for the failure. The manufacturer was contacted and advised that they would secure an appointment to have a regional officer further inspect the vehicle. The regional officer never inspected the vehicle and the appointment was cancelled. The failure mileage was approximately 13,000. The current mileage was approximately 28,000.

- Belington, WV, USA

problem #5

Mar 152012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while stopped at a traffic light the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The contact continued to apply pressure to the accelerator pedal when the vehicle suddenly lurched forward and accelerated. The contact mentioned that he had to engage the brake pedal in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 2,000. Updated 10/03/12 updated 10/05/2012

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 122012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
On 08/12/12 while driving in cruise control at approximately 72-74 mph, I eased out into the passing lane to put myself behind someone going faster. The car suddenly downshifted and accelerated with maximum throttle. I touched the brake pedal moderately to disconnect the cruise control. The car continued at maximum acceleration and in the passing gear. I then applied the brakes with great vigor and the cruise control disconnected and the vehicle slowed down. After a short while I reactivated the cruise control and drove about 60 miles without any further malfunction. I presented the car to the Kia dealer service advisor. The car was checked and I was told they could find nothing wrong with the cruise control. I asked them if they reported these very dangerous observations to Kia or NHTSA. They said no they never do. Incidental to this event, I had an engine malfunction light on 7/25/12. I took it in for service the next day and told it was a transmission heat sensor. A part was ordered and I was told to drive the car normally. Within several days, I became aware the cruise control was not activating when driving the first time in a day. But if the engine was stopped and restarted, the cruise control worked normally. I duplicated this 3 distinct times exactly as written. The service department was not able to link the difficulty to anything they had seen or read, they summerized it may have been a brake light sensor that failed but the computer dispelled that notion.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #3

Jul 122012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 14,000 miles


Driving on freeway at approx. 75mph, car jerked, engine light came on, vehicle decelerated and when gas pedal was depressed it did not work at all. Happened 5 other times previous to this at various speeds. Dealer did a reflash of some computer chip. That did not fix problem, 6th time I had problem on 7/12/12 I was then told by dealer that the throttle body and housing needed to be replaced.

- Lakeville, MN, USA

problem #2

Apr 102012


  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento sx. The contact was driving 35 mph when the vehicle lunged forward. The contact also stated that the vehicle failed to accelerate while the accelerator pedal was depressed. The vehicle was then towed to the dealer. The dealer stated that the throttle body failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 17,000.

- Marshfield, WI, USA

problem #1

Sep 012011


  • 450 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Kia Sorento sx. The contact stated that the vehicle would accelerate suddenly at any given time without warning. The engine would exhibit an abnormal increase in rpms and the contact would then have to depress the brakes to control the vehicle. The dealer was unable to diagnose a failure. The manufacturer was not contacted and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 450 and the current mileage was 600.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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