hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,138 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2004 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #20

May 012016


  • 150,000 miles


Purchased used, was driving to grandson's ball game, when car started making funny noise and acted as the the rear end was going to fall out, we pulled over in grocery store parking lot, got out and looked, could not see anything, had daughter follow us home, just in case, took it to friend who noticed the rear bracket arms are completely rusted out, looks like it is what holds the rear end in place. I'm not sure what to do, I paid over $5000 used and I can't just park it, I think Kia should be responsible for this mishap, it is not like it can just be fixed, it needs replaced, so I'm thinking it would be a major job, I've read many many other forums after finding this out about mine and researching, I"M sure this could potentially be a serious or even life threatening problem, I'm not sure I would want to sell it to someone else, if it is dangerous, I would really like to know the seriousness of this problem, is this a minor or major problem, is there more holding that rear end in place then just those rusted out arms or brackets" would you want your daughter driving this?, I don't know if the previous owner was aware of not, if so we were not notified, I would hate to think I could be driving down the road with myself and grandbabies and something horrible happen. Please help, I"M really concerned about this, especially after all the trouble with the crankshaft bolt I" reading about. I'm scared to death to drive this thing, if it had never went up on a rack we would be none the wiser and would still be driving daily just as if we did not know, but now that I know, I don't know what to do.. this is a real safety issue, there is to much nonsense car dealers get away with anyway for us consumers to worry about our lives or someone else's while driving. Will the rear end fall out? is it safe to drive? you tell me? would you drive it"

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #19

Jul 222016


  • 162,000 miles
Rusted brackets posing a dangerous safety risk, 2004 Kia Sorento with 162,000 miles. The entire bracket holding the differential rusted through. The frame rear cross member also rusted through causing the control arms is detached from the rear end also creating a safety hazard. There is a design flaw that allows water to stay inside the hollow cross member that caused the corrosion. Drain or weep holes in the cross member and an anti-corrosion coating would have prevented this. When the bracket(s) breaks the rear axle is no longer held in place there are reports on NHTSA where these brackets have rotted away and failed causing loss of control of the vehicle. This is a known design flaw that has been appearing on the older cars where the entire frame and rear end would have to be replaced. There will eventually be more of these failures and there is a potential for fatal accidents from loss of vehicle control. I am aware that in europe Kia has been repairing Sorentos.

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #18

Sep 012013


  • 98,000 miles
Rusted brackets recalled in europe, refused by Kia to replace even tho they were rusted under warranty, pose a dangerous safety risk to unsuspecting owners. The entire bracket holding the differential rusted through creating a safety hazard. Presented with a small squeak in rear. I asked Kia to send people letters warning and they would not address the request. How Kia is getting away with severe rust, causing safety hazards in all vehicles, is beyond me. I know they are less expensive, is it worth it? can someone please address the issue and at least let the public know it is happening before someone gets severely injured or god forbid dies. There are thousands still on the road. I paid for their diagnostic worthlessness to make sure it was documented.

- Bellbrook, OH, USA

problem #17

Apr 082016


  • 92,000 miles


This is a follow up to NHTSA id #10852665. I contacted manufacturer regarding the rusted frame. Suggested towing to dealer for diagnosis. Towed to dealer, who called saying it was bad and to call Kia back. Called Kia and a case was opened #K3156514. Was told I would hear back by Wednesday the 6th of April have not received any return calls, left 2 voicemails car is still at dealer, its been 8 days and no info..Kia needs to step up and recall these vehicles before someone gets killed! this complaint starts at 2003 and so far have read up to 2005 for thi issue. Europe recalled it but not here? mileage was 92000 not 82000.

- Wales, MA, USA

problem #16

Mar 152016


  • 60,898 miles
Mechanic at a gas station told my mil she needed a new rear axle. When I checked the axle I found the top left stabilizer bracket was badly rusted. I took the car to the local Kia dealer to get a recall repair. This should never happen to a car with only 60K miles. The dealer has not completed the estimate. The car is not drive-able. There should be a recall

- Fairfax, VA, USA

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problem #15

Dec 072015

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. The vehicle was diagnosed by an independent mechanic who stated that the rear control arm bracket was corroded. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 112,000. Updated 02/26/16 the consumer stated the control arm bracket completely detached from the axle. Updated 03/01/16.

- North Jackson, OH, USA

problem #14

Aug 252015


  • 110,000 miles


I brought this vehicle for inspection and was told it will not pass because one of the control arms is detached in the rear end. I was told not to drive the vehicle at all because it is not safe. Additionally there is rot under the entire vehicle. The left side frame was welded and repaired by the previous owner but the right side is now rusted badly and in need of repair. Axles are leaking due to rust. Brakes are a problem but I haven't investigated further to know if its caused by rot. I have been on multiple forums for this issue and it seems many people have same issues especially the control arm problem. I can not return this vehicle because I was scammed and am now stuck with a dangerously rotted car. I am told its not worth fixing. This car looks fine and without looking underneath a person would not know a problem existed perhaps until an accident.

- West Wareham, MA, USA

problem #13

Aug 102015


  • 83,904 miles
On Monday, August 10th, 2015 I was driving my 2004 Kia Sorento LX and heard a loud bang and then the vehicle began to fishtail. I was traveling at a low speed of around 35 mph. I immediately slowed down and managed to drive the vehicle to a nearby garage. At the garage the vehicle was placed on the lift and it was identified that the drivers side frame rail had completely broken in half and was severely corroded. The passenger side was also severely corroded but not broken all the way through. The cross-member above the rear axle is almost completely gone. I now have an 11 year old vehicle which should have a retail value of around $5K which is now completely worthless. I did some internet research and found I am not the only one experiencing this severe corrosion problem with this year and model Kia. I am surprised there have been no safety recalls for this problem. Had my incident happened at highway speeds the story may be a lot different.

- Airville, PA, USA

problem #12

Jun 142014


  • 85,392 miles
Major rust problem with frame and suspension Kia Sorento purchased March 30 2004 2 months past the warranty 85392 miles having just driven on the highway 65mph vehicle was entering school parkinglot, at the entrance vehicle went over speed bump at this point there was a loud bang and the vehicle started shaking and squealing. Upon inspection the passenger side rear stabilizer-traction bar broke completely off the frame rail just forward of the wheel. This causes the rear axel to move freely forward and back. Further inspection by Kia dealership shoed more components above the rear axel broken free. I filed a good will complaint with Kia who responded with a big no regarding any help. Fortunately this breakdown happened in a parking lot and no injuries happened but if this had happened on the highway it would have been a major accident with possible injuries or death if the vehicle rolled over. This was very good low maintenance low mileage vehicle and we were hoping for a few more years of usage, now we are disappointed with Kia that no notices of major rust issues were made available. Now what we have is a car that worthless and doesn't live up to the warranty limits.

- Norfolk, MA, USA

problem #11

Dec 142013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 137,000 miles
Was driving vehicle when frame broke and almost crashed it found out from a body shop that the frame had corroded and broke and we owe money on this piece of junk and the Kia corporation has never heard of this happening.

- Lisbon, OH, USA

problem #10

Feb 152013


  • 53,000 miles


Brought vehicle to dealer for oil/filter change at 53,000 miles. Dealer found one of the two brackets on top of rear end was completely rusted and broken off and the other bracket was severely rusted. Dealer would not allow me to drive vehicle and is not repairable. There are no new replacement rear ends for vehicle and the brackets are not available as a replacement part. I noticed other very similar complaints on your site: NHTSA id #'s - 10452414, 10439449, 10427559, and 10403443. There may be other id's that have been retired (microfilm, etc.). as such, the vehicle is a total loss. Don't know why NHTSA hasn't issued a recall.

- Salem, CT, USA

problem #9

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 #8

Aug 112010

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Two brackets (one left, one right) that hold the rear upper control arms to the rear axle housing have completely snapped off. This leaves a very dangerous condition which will cause the rear axle of the car to rotate and fall out of the car. If this happens at speed, serious injury and/or death is likely. There are many many posts about this same problem online and Kia refuses to address the problem stating that it's not a flaw or defect. It is if it happens to almost every vehicle of this year and model. Kia does not offer a replacement bracket that can be welded on and they suggest that the entire rear axle housing assembly is replaced at a cost of several thousand dollars per vehicle. Kia motors refuses to acknowledge the problem or assist affected customers in resolving it.

- Sussex, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jun 112012


  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the vehicle was serviced by the dealer when the dealer advised that the rear housing linkage was corroded. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 107,000 and the current mileage was 107,500.

- Beckley, WV, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Mar 012011

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Vehicle is only 8 years old. I constantly have this problem. The first time I had this problem I slid while trying to hold brakes, there was also a lot of weird sounds and the rear end did not feel sturdy. I took it to my mechanic and he found metal bracket welded to the rear axle that holds the upper control arms had completely failed! the normal torque from the rear axle was broken both brackets holding the upper control arm to the cars frame. All that is holding the rear axle in place is the lower control arms and the sway bars. There are no weep holes to allow water to drain out of the bracket weldment, causing water to fill the cup-like condition created. This condition has (an will) cause premature failure of all Kia Sorento rear axle/upper control arm connections. While driving the rear axle could become detached from the vehicle due to excessive stress placed on the remaining parts. Regular driving could cause a catastrophic failure, and render the vehicle uncontrollable, with the likelihood of massive injury and possibly death as a result!!! he also said that it cannot be repaired. This is a huge problem for me because I still have a car note to pay. This is an extremely dangerous condition!!! these cars need to be recalled now before someone is killed!!!

- Albany, NY, USA

problem #4

Nov 282011


  • 118,000 miles
Vehicle is only 7 years old. Metal bracket welded to the rear axle that holds the upper control arms has completely failed! the normal torque from the rear axle has broken both brackets holding the upper control arm to the cars frame. All that is holding the rear axle in place is the lower control arms and the sway bars. There are no weep holes to allow water to drain out of the bracket weldment, causing water to fill the cup-like condition created. This condition has (an will) cause premature failure of all Kia Sorento rear axle/upper control arm connections. While driving the rear axle could become detached from the vehicle due to excessive stress placed on the remaining parts. A typical traffic maneuver could cause a catastrophic failure, and render the vehicle uncontrolable, with the likelyness of massive pain, injury and death as a result!!! this is an extremely dangerous condition!!! these cars need to be recalled now before someone is killed!!! ps if you see a Kia Sorento on the freeway...stay away from it for your own safety!

- New Middletown, OH, USA

problem #3

Aug 052011


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. The contact stated when the accelerator pedal was engaged the rear end rocked back and forth. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where the mechanic confirmed that the hangers on the rear end were corroded. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 90,000 and the current mileage was 101,000.

- Bristol, VT, USA

problem #2

Dec 102008


  • 85,500 miles
Recent (6 mo. Ago) purchase of a 2004 Kia sorrento. At time of purchase approx. 75,000 mi. Logged. Tires appear to be in very good.condition. Within a month or two of purchase, it became obvious that there was a traction problem on wet or even slightly wet roads. As of today, Dec. 10, 2008, I have skidded twice and "fishtailed" once, going very slowly (20 mph or less) today it was barely sprinkling and as I literally crept around a corner, the car unexpectedly began to swerve and fishtail. It was a little scary and I'm sure the people behind me freaked me out... despite my surprise, I tried not to jerk the wheel. The car straightened up after a few tail end swishes back and forth. I have searched the internet recently and have seen consumer reference to "poor traction on wet surfaces" (understatement). I have mentioned it to a Kia repair shop, but was told to make an appointment and bring it in. Since I do not have thousands for a major suspension (or ?) repair, I have been praying for dry weather. I have also heard and felt strange noises when the vehicle was accidentally switched to 4 wheel drive, but it is not apparent when in 2 wheel drive. And, the transition from one gear to another is not sooth and is a little slow. Anyway, the main issue is skidding on wet roads. I am very surprised there has not been some kind of safety alert or recall. Thanks for listening. Theresa arney

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #1

Jan 232004

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumer felt vehicle was unsafe on washboard type roads in certain type weather conditions. While driving over rough road the vehicle ride was very bumpy and caused physical pain to the occupants. The consumer indicated that the manufacturer was aware of the vehicle's suspension problem. The consumer request that the manufacturer repurchase the vehicle.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

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