hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,187 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.

2004 Kia Sorento electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Kia Sorento:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Mar 182016


  • 107,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. Within less than 30 days of owning the vehicle, the contact stated that the fuel gauge on the instrument cluster continued to indicate full whether the contact refueled the vehicle or not. Also, when the air conditioner was turned off, smoke emitted into the interior of the vehicle and under the hood. The contact exited the vehicle and lifted the hood to fan away the smoke. The contact drove the vehicle to her job. Another consumer called the fire department because the vehicle erupted into flames. The fire department extinguished the flames. Neither a fire nor a police report was filed. The approximate failure mileage was 107,000. The manufacturer was notified of the failure.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #20

Aug 112015


  • 92,400 miles
I was driving approximately 35-40 mph and my car suddenly lost power with all the dash lights briefly coming on (battery, oil, etc.). fortunately I was close to a side street and was able to make a hard turn and coast to the curb. I waited a minute and was able to restart the vehicle. I drove home and there was one more incident when the car started to lose power (lights dimmed) however I pushed on the gas and it powered up again. I have had the lights dim and the car seemingly lose power several times. Just prior to this the car typically hesitates when you are going full speed and then the dimming occurs. I've had my car idle at stop signs and at train crossings and have not experienced any power loss. It always seems to happen while driving 35-40 mph or more. I've had it happen while driving 60-70 mph on the highway. I had a diagnostic run on the car at the dealership with no concerning results. I've had a mechanic I trust check the alternator, the spark plugs, flush the coolant, put in fuel cleaner, etc. And he cannot locate the problem.

- Wyandotte, MI, USA

problem #19

Feb 132015


  • 120,000 miles
Was driving down the road at 55 power steering went car lost power lights went crazy car shut down. I almost wrecked harmonic balancer fell into pieces all pulley belts and pin have to be replaced. I just got this car I have a payment on it. Going to cost 1200 to fix. This is on top of it sputtering and spottying. Replace head lights the radio glitches the air bag light is on all the time and if U turn the interior dash lights up it turns the interior lights on.over drive button does not work and transmission lags... I have read al these complaints over and over again why isn't anyone forcing a recall" these are serious issues I almost got rear ended and the electrical problem could cause fire.... someone is going to end up very hurt if Kia is not forced to fix these. Could U imagine this happening on a thru way"

- Wilmington, NY, USA

problem #18

Mar 032015

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 159,600 miles


I was on my way to work on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. It was about 7:30/7:40 a.M. I was driving my 2004 Kia Sorento ex. I had just driven through St. Peter, mn on hwy 169 South on my way to mankato and was starting to pick up my speed as the speed limit increases as you leave town. All of a sudden, without warning, my vehicle just shut down. The "dummy lights" all lit up. I had no power steering, no brakes, no accelerator - nothing was working. Thank goodness the vehicle, because there was no power, slowed to a stop within a short period of time. I was able to pull over without a collision and no one was hurt. I put it in park and turned the key to the off position. I tried to see if it would start again and absolutely nothing happened when I turned the key. I called aaa and the Sorento was towed to the nearest mechanic shop. Without investing too much time in it because I didn't want a huge bill, the mechanic told me that it has electrical power - has good power to the starter, but the engine does not rotate. They could not even physically rotate the engine. He told me that regardless of what it was, it would be very expensive to repair it because, at this point, they have no idea what is wrong with it. That's when I got on facebook and started asking if anyone had any ideas of what could be wrong and a friend told me about the Kia Sorento engine defect class action lawsuit. I believe my 2004 Kia Sorento ex is affected by this engine defect. It was dangerous to be driving and I am thankful I was not on a busy freeway. As this just happened 3 days ago, I do not know what I am going to do with this Sorento. I would like to have it fixed, but cannot afford to do it. It is still sitting in the parking lot at the mechanics in St. Peter where aaa towed it to.

- Le Sueur , MN, USA

problem #17

Oct 012010


  • 59,000 miles
Fan relay sensor is faulty. All the electrical system is is questionable, from headlights always needing replacement to dash lights that turn on or off at any given time. My newest issue is with the heater, it will only blow warmed air if the motor is being rev'd..temp is warm on engine but if I am driving down hill, it will feel like air conditioner instead. For a few months my driver side door would open from inside only. Magically it has resolved that one and only issue...

- West Linn, OR, USA

problem #16

Dec 152014


  • 160,000 miles
My 2004 Kia Sorento has an intermittent check engine light that displays error code P0446. The light comes on and off as it pleases. There is a tsb for this particular problem, but there are no details. This intermittent light is causing my vehicle to fail it's smog inspection. I have replaced the gas cap as indicated but this did not fix the problem.

- Laton, CA, USA

problem #15

Aug 082014


  • 161,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. The contact noticed smoke and flames underneath the vehicle. The fire department extinguished the fire. There were no injuries. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 161,000.

- Wauwatosa, WI, USA

problem #14

Jan 022014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Battery was low and then the air bag warning light was on. The battery was replaced and the light still on. Looking online and find out this issue is typical on all Kia Sorentos. Wondering why this issue is not being recall. Called dealer and they mentioned that a $130 diagnose test needs to be paid in order to know what is the problem.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #13

Sep 032012


  • 100,100 miles
February 21, 2013 los angeles, ca electrical I bought my Kia brand new. I have had several problems: Complaint 1: I am writing this complaint against Kia motors who willingly knows of issues with its fuel systems in all 2004 Kia Sorentos. Even looking online you see thousands of Kia owners who have had the sensor go out on this model car after the cars 100000 warranty, and then Kia claims it is past the warranty they have and there is nothing they can do. This causes the gas to always read incorrectly even with a full tank the car reads "E" I have to keep putting gas in the car in fear of running out of gas.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 072012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 138,057 miles
Picked up vehicle after having rear support bearings repaired driving back home at 65mph on I-35/Texas 410 East started to experience strong smell of exhaust fumes in passenger compartment. During drive home started to rain, activated wipers, drivers side wiper blade fell off during rainstorm had to open driver side window to navigate! upon arrival at home noticed, smoke coming from engine compartment (passengers side) and smoke underneath vehicle from catalytic converter. Looked underneath vehicle and catalytic converter, was smoking, inside engine compartment a hose at the rear of the engine compartment (sorry not a mechanic) had a hole in it and was smoking also? vehicle has not been driven since 12/7/12, vehicle was purchased 10/4/12, has limited warranty.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #11

Oct 092006


  • miles


The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the fan relay fuse had to be removed in order to get the fan to stop running. The contact had taken the vehicle to several mechanics for service of electrical problems however, the mechanics were never able to diagnose the exact cause of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 138,000.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #10

Sep 292011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 77,567 miles
When shutting off the engine the cooling fan stays running. If this is not noticed it will run until the battery dies and then the vehicle will need jumped. As I was researching on the internet it looks like there are issues with relays in Kia's from 2003 to 2006. This problem happens at least once a month sometimes more. This time the battery had to be disconnected to get the fan to shut off.. this is a safety issue that needs to be researched farther in regards to how often this happens. I have not taken my Kia to a mechanic yet due to the fact it is very costly to track an electrical problem. This problem does not happen all the time but if you are unaware of this problem you may go to start your car and it does not run. There are a high and low fan on this Kia. Both of the fans are running but the high fan is almost silent. If this problem has been going on for at least four years there should be some way to hold the manufacturer responsible. Thank you for your time..

- North Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #9

Mar 102012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Summary: Update to below problem I bought my Sorento in 2004, new. I replaced the coolant reservoir at 61000 miles due to overheating, replaced the low beam headlight bulbs on 4 occasions, tail lights on 2 occasions. My vehicle, 5 speed manual transmission, started to have a roaring noise approx. 6 months ago and the U-joints were replaced. It still roars. It quit running on 2-16-12 while I was driving, but restarted. It finally quit again and would not restart on 2-17-12. Check engine light indicate a fuel pressure sensor problem, but mechanic says this should not cause the problem I presently have. It has been in the shop since 2-18-12. The mechanic said it started for him. I insisted he let it run for a while and see what happens. Sure enough, it quit. Kia mechanic told me it may be a crank or cam sensor issue. Other problems--front dome light off and on at will, rear one works, clock on and off at will, vehicle hums loudly when driving for a while. It has been a reliable vehicle for the most part, but when there is an issue, it is hard to detect. Above work was completed at a cost of 1126,00. But now crankshaft bolt broke while driving costing damage to engine heads. Vehicle went back into shop and is still waiting repairs. Kia owes it customers better service and must pay repair cost and take responsibility for the faulty crankshaft bolts they provide to the mechanics.

- Fort Walton Bch, FL, USA

problem #8

Jul 072011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Repeated problems with check engine light, keep giving evap code, replaced evap canister solenoid with kit, headlights, taillights, clock loses time, .

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Mar 212011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles
I bought a 2004 Kia Sorento in 2006 finished paying for it in 2010, over the years I have had to change the lights so many times I cant count, I have had topaint it twice, then the driving shaft broke, the compressor was changed twice, the cd player works on and off the air bags light came on and stayed for months on end the engine light does the same and most recently there is smoke coming from the engine, I am having to stop park and let it cool off before continuing on my journey, at the moment I got scared and I now I have my vehicle parked at home because I am scared to drive it, it is a shame and I am very upset. Is there anyone out there who is trying to do something about these problems us consumers are having" I own my vehicle and has a clean title and would like to trade in or sell but with all these problems how can I pass it on to someone else" I am asking someone from Kia to do the responsible thing and give us some answers before someone loses their life, that is if it hasn't happened already. Don't let this be Toyota.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #6

Jun 222004


  • 25 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that they had to replace the headlights on the vehicle 74 times. The contact also stated that they had to purchase a new battery every year. The contact stated that every time the vehicle hit a bump she could hear the electrical system surging and the lights began to flicker. The dealer stated that they could not find anything wrong with the headlights or the electrical system. The failure and current mileages were 12000.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #5

Oct 212008


  • 57,000 miles
I have a 2004 Kia sorrento with 57,000 miles. I have owned it for 2 years. The headlights and brake lights continuously go out. I have replaced each headlight 4 times in the past year and the brake lights have been replaced 5 times in the past year. This is a safety hazard as I never know when my brake lights are out unless someone stops and tells me.

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #4

Jul 062008


  • miles
My sister purchased this vehicle new and has had nothing but problems with it and problems with dealership/Kia honoring their 10 year/100,000 mile warranty. She purchased this vehicle believing she would be driving a quality vehicle (advertising 10 year/100,000 mile warranty she assumed it must be of high quality because who would offer that kind of warranty if it was junk....wrong!) she has had nothing but stress, financial expense, lost work time, and a battle of her life trying to seek consumer justice...dealership, Kia motors, lemon law requires a part to fail four times, attorney generals office, conciliation court, writing to ruukivina, oberstar, and most recently amy klobuchar...all failed. No one has said that they will investigate Kia and protect the consumers from this fraudulent automobile manufacturer. Why? the problems she has had with her vehicle consist of rust on the tailgate and rear doors just a few months after purchasing, all kinds of electrical problems from headlights and tail lights burning out numerous times, the digital dash for radio and heater going black, the heater not work, a relay switch for fan failed, foam between windshield and frame coming out tapping on the window, a problem with the coolant reservoir, the rear driveshaft failed, the transmission had to be replaced and most recently the transfer case. Safety issues and concerns would be with tail lights and headlights burning out prematurely and frequently and the crankshaft bolt broke causing to loose all ability to steer the vehicle. There are probably other problems she has had with the vehicle but I do not recall at this time.

- Eveleth, MN, USA

problem #3

Aug 252007

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. While driving 65 mph she could smell something burning. The vehicle was pulled over and turned off. There was smoke coming from under the hood. The check engine warning indicator light was illuminated. There was fluid leaking under the vehicle and catching fire as it hit the ground. The vehicle burst into flames within 5 minutes. The fire department extinguished the fire. The vehicle was towed to a tow yard, the cause of the failure was undetermined. The current and failure mileages were 60,000.

- Burlingame, CA, USA

problem #2

Feb 032007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
I purchased a 2004 Kia Sorento two years ago. It was not long before I began to experience numerous problems with my vehicle. Tail lights/brake lights burning out frequently which is a major safety issue since I deliver rural usda mail. Now my transmission is broken!! Kia-duluth asked if I had had the transmission flushed at the specified mileage and that they will need verification of this. (I knew immediately their objective was to not honor their warranty (10 years/100,000 mile warranty if I had not flushed the transmission). I faxed them the receipt indicating the transmission had been flushed. I contacted Kia-duluth the following day because I had not heard from them. He said he had not heard back from Kia yet to authorize the repair. This vehicle has caused me so much lost work time, stress and has been emotionally draining for the past two years. Kia's deceptive advertising - I believed that since Kia was offering a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty, their vehicle must be really good. Boy was I wrong! Kia is building vehicles with defective parts and materials and has set-up their warranty plan to be able to void them from having to honor their warranty plan and having any responsibility. For further complaints on Kia vehicles, please contact the better business bureau and attorney general offices across the country and you will find numerous complaints. Numerous complaints by consumers are also located at the following websites: www.my3cents.com and www.consumeraffairs.com. Kia needs to be investigated and put a stop to their scamming and defrauding the consumer and before someone gets seriously hurt or killed due to numerous defective parts in their vehicles.

- Iron, MN, USA

Read the next 1 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?