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2013 Kia Sorento electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2013 Kia Sorento (Page 1 of 2)

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,152 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.

2013 Kia Sorento electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

May 102015


  • 30,000 miles


The contact owned a 2013 Kia Sorento. While driving at 35 mph, the instrument panel lighting illuminated and the vehicle stalled. While depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle accelerated, crashed into a concrete wall, and flipped over. As a result, the contact sustained lacerations and contusions that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #21

Dec 232014


  • 78,513 miles
While driving at highway speed my wife with 7 year old daughter in car had all the dash lights and interior lights illuminate and the car became sluggish and was hard to drive. I advised he via mobile phone to immediately pull over and turn the car off. I told he to wait a minute and try to restart it and see what happens. All dash lights lit up again and the car made a click, click, click sound over and over again. She tried this 5 times and she had the car towed to the dealer. The dealer replaced the alternator for $946.14 on 12/23/2014 at dulles Kia in leesburg, va.

- Charles Town, WV, USA

problem #20

Oct 012013


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled and the check engine sensor illuminated intermittently. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred several times. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The technician diagnosed that the computer software needed to be updated. The software was updated, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #19

Oct 022013


  • 11,804 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Kia Sorento. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle decelerated and went into idle mode. The vehicle resumed normal operation once it was turned off and restarted. The dealer cleaned the throttle body and updated the software; however, the failure recurred twice. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 11,804.

- Hamilton , NJ, USA

problem #18

Aug 082014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
On two occasions one month a part, while driving my 2013 Kia Sorento LX3 the engine light went on and the car was unable to shift RPM's and could not accelerate over 15/20 mph. The car went into "limp home" or safety mode when trying to accelerate and merge onto a 40mph and 50 mph highway. The car could not speed up to flow of traffic and was nearly rear ended by rush hour commuter bus with two small children in the back seat in Chicago, il. Kia service said car "fixed" twice. Concerned about repeat problems and potential fatal accidents as result of some malfunction.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #17

May 152014


  • 30,000 miles
Car stalls at low speeds, refuses to go over 60 mpg and check engine light comes on. Lose power at speed (on freeway) and tachometer goes to zero. This has happened many times and is getting to become a safety concern. Have taken it into dealer who cannot find a problem with it, but I have two teenage daughters and I don't feel safe with them driving it. Twice while driving on freeway the vehicle had a braking response when the accelerator was pressed. My daughter once had to hussle over to the shoulder in heavy traffic to turn the car all the way off and back on to reset it. Many times it stalls while sitting at traffic lights.

- San Clemente, CA, USA

problem #16

May 062014


  • 41,100 miles


As I was driving at about 15-20mph the car shut off completely as I was making a left hand turn without warning. This is the third time at different speeds since we purchased the vehicle in January 2014. We have taken it to Kia dealership for repair, regular oil changes and maintenance. They were unable to find anything wrong, read any codes with computer or duplicate the problem. I am very concerned as this is our family car and it is a driving hazard not knowing when it will shut off with no warning, next time it could be in the middle of the intersection or freeway! we plan on taking back today to dealership.

- Albuquerque , NM, USA

problem #15

Apr 282014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 13,250 miles
I was driving in traffic and all of a sudden, the car dies. The lights on the dashboard illuminate. I had to put the car in park, then tried starting the car again. After 2 times, the car turned back on fine. I brought the car to the dealer and there couldn't replicate the problem and didn't find any computer codes stored. This is quite a safety hazard and now I don't feel safe driving the car, especially with my kids in the car.

- Daly City, CA, USA

problem #14

Feb 102014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
First incident : after a full stop at red light, as car took off, engine stalled out. Had to try several times to restart engine. After restarted, the car drove fine. Second incident : after slowing down the car to about 3mph and reaccelerating, engine stalled out. After a few tries to restart the engine, it restarted and drove fine.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #13

Apr 212014


  • 31,000 miles
04-21-2014 @ 5:30 am. Car will not start. No electrical present on any system-nothing. Called Kia roadside service and they suggested a jumpstarted which we did and the car started. I ran the car for an hour or so with no problems. I took it to a local garage and had the battery and alternator tested and no problems were found. I called Kia dealership and described the events to them and they stated that it was simply a dead battery. Next morning (yesterday), the car was totally dead once more. Called Kia roadside assistance and they wanted to jumpstarted it again. I refused and told them to send me a tow. They did and the car was taken to the closest Kia dealership, 65 miles away. Several hours later I called the dealership and they stated that it was a dead battery. They charged the battery for 3-4 hours, tested the charging system and pronounced it "fixed". I left it at the dealership and picked it up this morning (today). It started and my wife is now driving it. I do not believe it was the battery and I expect it to happen again but the dealership's shop will do no further investigation. I'll keep you informed.

- Coalinga, CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 292014


  • 22,000 miles


I have a 2013 Kia Sorento that I bought brand new with only 8 miles on it. I was at a stop light and my car lunged forward as if someone hit us from behind but there was no one there. So when the light turned green we started to go and noticed we had no power and the check engine light was on. We were able to get to the side of the road and turn off the car and called aaa and the dealership telling them what happened. So once it got there the service tech and it probably was the computer and it needed to be updated. I stayed there for about 1 hour while they did the update and then they test drove it and the check engine light came back on. So then they said it was the throttle body so they replaced it and test drove it again and the check engine light came on again. So they found that it was the PCM. Not totally sure what that is. He says it was 1500$ part in the computer that was malfunctioning. But they had my car for a week doing the repairs and now is running good. They also have me a rental car. So in all the dealership did a good job fixing my car and wouldn't stop until it was fixed right.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #11

Nov 272013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 17,500 miles
I was stopped in the left turn lane waiting for traffic to pass so that I could pull into a shopping center parking lot when suddenly everything shut off. I had first noticed the radio had shut off and then I realized that the entire engine had shut down as I could not move the vehicle. After putting the vehicle in park and turning the ignition off and the restarting it, I was able to resume driving. As this was the day before thanksgiving, I was not able to take the car to the dealership until the Saturday after thanksgiving. Similar to others here who have made complaints, the automotive technicians at the dealership were not able to find anything wrong with the car even after test driving it and having it connected to the computer. The problem has not occurred since taking it to the dealership. I thought that maybe this was just a fluke thing until I read all of the complaints here. Kia really needs to find out what the issue is with these vehicles before someone gets seriously injured or killed.

- Laveen, AZ, USA

problem #10

Dec 052013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
About 6 months ago when my radio turned off and wouldn't turn back on. I took it into the dealership and they said that it must have been a one time thing because they we not able to duplicate the problem again. I went with it as this is the 3rd Kia I have owned. On 12/5/13 I went to turn my car on and it didn't start, I waited a few seconds tried again and she started. The very next day 12/6/13 I drove to la with my son and on my way back down (90 miles away from home) the radio went out again and my car felt very sluggish. I couldn't call my husband as my bluetooth is connected to my radio and I was already on the road when the radio went out again. Now today 12/11/13 I was driving on the freeway to a doctors appointment. As soon as I get off the freeway I am at a stop sign, I stop. When it is my turn to go is when my car decides to completely shut down! all the lights flickered, the radio went out and my car was still stuck in drive, on a slight hill. I immediately put my hazard lights on, put the emergency break on as I didn't want my car to roll backwards. After trying to restart my car about 4 times I was finally able to put the car in park and restart the car. But she was shaking the entire time until I finally parked the car and went to my appt. I purchased this car for safety as I have never had a problem with any of my other Kia's. I will be taking it in to the dealership tomorrow and see what they say. After reading all of these complaints from people with the same exact issue I am looking at Kia to recall this car. They shouldn't wait until a fatality occurs to rectify this issue. I live the California so after 3 times for the same reason it will fall under the lemon law but my concern is the safety of everyone else especially my 3 children that I am constantly transporting, and myself on my 140 mile drive daily. Please recall this vehicle!

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 252013


  • 1,000 miles
We purchased the 2013 Kia Sorento AWD 2/2013 w/300 miles on it. At the end of April, we went to death valley (round trip was approx 350 miles.). when we returned to town, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up supper supplies. After shutting the vehicle off, being in the store for approx. 30 minutes, & then came back out, when we turned the vehicle on, it sounded as though it was only hitting on half the cylinders. We immediately cut the vehicle off, waited a couple of minutes, and then turned it back on. It seemed fine. We figured it was probably a fluke. Right after this happened though, I notice a huge decrease in my fuel mileage. Before this happened, I was getting 18/19 mpg/city and 24-34 mpg/hwy (depending on how far I went, out to death valley w/no stops, we got 34). Now I was lucky to get 13/14 mpg/city and 16-18 mpg/hwy. We took it to the Kia garage, but there wasn't much they could do because it wasn't throwing any codes. We suffered with paying more for gas for 6 months until we went for an oil change in Oct and the dealership told us there was an "ECM" update. After they shared with us that it could potentially help w/the fuel mileage, I was ecstatic! it went right back up to where it had been previously! then, the thing with the ignition happened again! only worse this time, just a few days ago! my fuel mileage went back down to what I shared above. We took it back to the dealership and after them trying all day to replicate what happened (which took months for it to happen w/us), they finally did the update, again. My fuel mileage is back up to where it should be. I want to be happy, but I am concerned this will happen yet again. There have been to other noticeable issues that I have shared in other sections. One about vibration while in neutral/park & one about the vehicle not starting after pressing the ignition button.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #8

Jun 012013

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 8,500 miles
Radio and camera system suddenly stops working. When you turn on the air conditioner comes a strong odor as "silicone" this happens the first time that I turn on the air conditioner in the day. The vehicle is very unstable and very sensitive to uneven roads. Shakes a lot and moves a lot. I worry about young children and their heads move too much in the car seat for these sudden movements.

- Utuado, PR, USA

problem #7

Jul 172013


  • 11,786 miles
I was approaching a red light and applied the brakes quickly as I was going too quickly to stop at the stop line if I had not. I was only going about 20-25 mph. As I applied the brakes the car shut off. I was unable to place the car in park for a couple of minutes and the car did not respond at all. After I blocked traffic for a couple of light changes and cars were honking, I was able to place car on park and restart it. It has not happened since. I recently noticed a high pitched but very low sound while driving at first I wasn't sure where it was coming from. I am due for an oil change so I will let the dealership know when I take it in soon.

- Ridgewood, NY, USA

problem #6

Jul 012013

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 8,000 miles
Had a problem with my ignition switch, steering column not unlocking on my 2013 Kia sorrento. Put the key in, would not turn. Finally, I jerked on the steering wheel back and forth, it finally turned. Then, my sisters 2013 Kia-optima did the same thing about a week ago! I called the dealer and was told that because the wheels were turn that this would cause this to happen. I informed him that in both cases, the vehicles were in the garage, on flat service, wheels pointing straight. Was told if it happens again, bring it in.

- Grand Ledge, MI, USA

problem #5

Mar 092013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
We leased 2013 Kia Sorento in Aug 2012 after driving few months engine starts to shut down by it self, the first time shuts down on my driveway, I didn't contact dealer at that time, after few months I was driving on street and engine shuts down again and I couldn't put the car in park to start the engine again, called aaa tow truck to tow the car to dealer, after few days the couldn't find any problem but dealer contacted Kia center for help and they changed parts and hoping everything is fixed but after few months the problem start again and engine shuts down again and again and again almost five times in one month, the last time engine shuts down when my wife was going to drop off our kids at school and all the cars stopped in the morning rush hour, they were panicked and we contacted dealer again for second time and took the car in for repair, after few days test drive and test everything they couldn't find anything and they did connect a recording device to our car to record the fault or code when engine is shutting down, this is inconvenient all the wires are hanging from that device. We explained this issue to dealer service manager, sales manager and it is high safety issue, I am wondering if those managers will drive this car or their family will drive this car around, it is very easy to tell us we couldn't find anything, thank god we didn't involve in any accident but if happens I am wondering what kind of answer will get from dealer. So we are going to drive around and next time will be third time and by California lemon law they have to take this car away and return our money or give us a new car.

- Glendale, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 292012


  • 350 miles
At an idle, this vehicle runs rough and shakes. It feels as though it will stall. I do not believe this should be happening with a new car. I told the mechanic at my first maintenance check, and he acted as if it would get better with an oil change. It seems to be getting worse. I commute 120 miles a day for work, and I have had the car for 5 months, it has 9000 miles now. Now the radio will not turn on? this concerns me that maybe something electrical is malfunctioning.

- Rehoboth, MA, USA

problem #3

Dec 152012


  • 1,500 miles
Driving on interstate at night at 65 mph lights flicker inside and headlights. Battery warning light comes on and off several times. The vehicle has also had hard shifting around 20 to 30 mph, almost like applying brakes on slow down and an engine rev when speeding up. Next night (Sunday) vehicle lost all power with no warning while driving on two lane highway at night. Made it off to a side road, but engine still running rough, no response to gas pedal, could not shift vehicle to park, had to hold stop button for long time to finally stop engine, lights came back on, but would not start, finally could put in park. Hauled back to dealer. Service replies wasn't on schedule will maybe get to it today. Defective alternator on "E" order will fix all the problems. Wife refuses to drive unsafe, death trap and that she would not had been able to manage safely if she would of been driving when problems shut down the vehicle.

- Sutter, IL, USA

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