really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,627 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.

2003 Kia Sorento seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #17

Aug 032015


  • miles


Air bags coil spring has been replaced 4 times. The air bag warning light is always on and Kia refuses to fix the problem. I don't know if the air bags will deploy in case of a accident. This is been a problem from the day I purchase the car. I don't know the maker of the air bag sistem.

- West Haven, CT, USA

problem #16

Sep 112015


  • 10,367 miles
When go to shift truck in drive it makes a clank sound and when driving at a speed between 65-70 the truck starts vibrating, and when in reverse it squeaks when back up, at first my wife it was the U joints so we had it replaced but it all started happing again. Next our battery die had it replaced with a new one now the air bag indicator light stays on all the best time and at times it feels like the accelerator peddle gets stuck at times.

- Bladensburg, MD, USA

problem #15

Jan 012015


  • miles
Airbag indicator turned on and has been on since the beginning of the year. I have not been driving the vehicle since the indicator light turned on in fear of the airbags deploying on their own while I'm driving or not deploying if an accident occurs.

- San Antonio , TX, USA

problem #14

Jul 082015


  • 178,000 miles


Engine light is on, airbag light is on, clock can't keep right time, now won't start at all, I wished I never bought this 2003 Kia Sorento, they are nothing but junk. Please anybody who reads this do not buy a Kia vehicle. I hate Kia vehicles, I will never own one again, I would not take a Kia vehicle, even if they give me one. To many problems, since I bought it, haven't been anywhere in two weeks, because Kia vehicle is junk.

- Warfield, KY, USA

problem #13

Jul 082015


  • 174,000 miles
All lights come on, horn blows, but will not start at all, this Kia Sorento is junk, its falling apart, I got a disable mother, now can't take her to her doctor appointments, every since I had it, its been nothing but junk, we live on fixed income, can't afford to get another vehicle, and this 2003 Kia Sorento should not be on the road, all Kia Sorento vehicles are junk, clock is messed up, comes off and on, airbag light is on, now won't even start at all, something needs to be done about Kia dealerships selling junk vehicles, will complain again and again, they are junk!

- Warfield, KY, USA

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problem #12

May 142013


  • 140,000 miles
I was coming home from work one day, when the crankshaft bolt came out of my car.I barely made it home.but the front end was jarring my airbag light came on my breaks like same one and I did not have no control of my steering.then it cost me 1700.then one day I was in town and the crankshaft bolt came out of my car again which this time I did not have no control of the steering it took every muscle that I had to keep it in the road the front and shook so bad it jarred everything I lose my airbag light came on my brake lights came on seat belt light came on it was a hazardous on the highway seriously killed me or someone else or really badly hurt them.then I took it back to the mechanic again and he said welcome it's going to cost you 1700 more which I did not have so I let the bank have it back which now it has run my credit because I didn't have the money to get it fixed and I lost my credit because of thisso yes they need to do a recall on the crankshaft bolt before it does kill someone is that what they're waiting for for someone to die before they do something about.and I keep on replacing bugs brake lights headlights and everything they keep on blowing in this in the Kia and I keep on putting money in it for me to get it inspected it cost me a hundred sixty two dollars and 22 dish to replace bulbs that I just replace not even a month before that I have receipts I am so tired of putting money into this Kia I didn't have no other choice but to let them take it because it C and the tires at 8 my tires up and I put new tires on which cost me 800 800 again to put IN800 again to put inand when this bit when this happened I called Kia in charlottesville Virginia and they said they put a new crank bolt in at the kids embrace Chevrolet before I boarded so this would make three times the crankshaft bolt had been replaced I want this Kia..................

- Orange , VA, USA

problem #11

Nov 132010

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles


4 months after purchasing this vehicle used off dealership lot, I was having 4 new tires installed for winter. When I climbed back into the car and turned over the ignition, the air bag light has been constantly lit ever since.

- Bluefield, VA, USA

problem #10

Mar 012010


  • 80,800 miles
The warning light for the SRS supplemental restraint system (air bag) keeps going off went out of factory warranty at 80,000 miles it started around 80, 800 dealer would not cover repairs. Light is now constant and when I was searching the internet found same complaints with the SRS.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 302009


  • 68,700 miles
My airbag light came on without warning. Now I'm told my airbags won't work. The dealer states I need a new control module. It is coming up as a seat position error. They said it is common. This is a required safety item on new cars, the airbags. If it is a common defect why no recall. Kia won't help.

- Woodland, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 202009


  • 74,000 miles
Airbag light has come on. Vehicle has 74,000 miles on it has never been wrecked or off road. This is safety equipment and should be covered under warranty for life. I have no access to the airbag system and it no longer functions in my vehicle.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #7

Nov 202008


  • miles


Reference NHTSA item number 10015248 -- tsb# 029 2003 Kia Sorento -- air bags purchased car in 8/2003 and has had problems with air bag coming on and off over the past 5 years. Now the car has been in an accident and is three months out of warranty, the dealership is not inclined to cover the expense to replace the "adu" but rather wishes to charge me more than $500. My daughter was in a scary accident and airbags did not deploy.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #6

Mar 252006

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
Vehicle went in for repair of heater core at which time the dashboard was removed. 2 days later the airbag light came on and stayed on. Went back to the dealer who said it was getting to much of a charge but it was not covered under warranty and was not caused by them. When asked what caused it they do not know. They said it was ok to drive that nothing was wrong.

- Temple, GA, USA

problem #5

Jan 312006

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Air bag light came on and stayed on. Took to Kia dealership where I purchased 2003 Kia Sorento (new) was told that the "clock spring" needed to be replaced and that it was very common that they had to be replaced. I was told that I had to pay for repair. I asked if it was a common problem that they had to replace a lot why had it not been a "safety issue" and a recall been enacted. They did not know.

- Carnesville, GA, USA

problem #4

Nov 182003

Sorento 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
The air bag light was on after being serviced nine times.

- Muskogee, OK, USA

problem #3

Apr 132004

(reported on)


  • miles
While driving and turning SRS light appeared on the dashboard and remained on. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic was not able to determine the cause of the problem.

- Castro Valley, CA, USA

problem #2

Apr 032004

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,800 miles
On Saturday, April 3, 2004, my 2003 Kia sorrento was parked in the middle of my driveway while I moved the lawn. After returning my lawn mower to the garage, I got into the sorrento to move it back into the garage. After I started the vehicle and put it into drive, it accelerated rapidly, pulled me through the garage and through the back wall, which is solid brick. I went through my front yard, and the only reason I stopped was because the vehicle went over some boulders and down an incline, causing the back wheels to come off the ground. I also hit a tree in my front yard. The air bags did not deploy.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #1

Jan 192004

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased a 2003 ex Kia Sorento in June 2003. On July 13,2003 the air bag light system came on. The vehicle was taken to barron Kia. They stated they replaced the air bag module. It took five days to repair. On November 11, 2003 the air bag light went back on. The vehicle was taken to barron Kia on the 14th. It was at the dealership for another six days. They stated it was the lojack alarm system that was causing the problem. It was fixed. On November 29,2003 the airbag light began to flicker on and off. The vehicle was taken back to barron Kia on December 3, 2003, in order for a lojack technician to remove the alarm and for barron Kia to fix and run test on the airbag. The car was there 11 days and supposedly checked for all airbag possible problems. All test came back normal. On January 19, 2004 the airbag light went back on. The car was once again taken to barron Kia on that day. At this point, the alarm is disconnect and the air bag continues to illuminate and indicating that there may be a malfunction with the safety system with the car. The vehicle is still at barron Kia (has been their 7 days now) and is awaiting the installation of another airbag module. I have been in contacted with the Kia hotline several times as well as lojack customer service. Neither company wants to take responsibility or accountability. It is distressing to me that such companies would jeopardizes the lives of their customers. I am also disturbed that a new car would be sold and returned to me several times with a defective safety system.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

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