really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,072 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.

2005 Kia Sorento electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Mar 272012

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 105,800 miles


Headlight bulbs have gone out at least once a month since I have purchased vehicle used. Have to keep spare bulbs in vehicle in case it happened again at night which I would not be able to drive with my normal headlights ig I had not carried the spare ones in Sorento. Brake lights have gone out 3 times since I have purchased Sorento in March 2012. Lighting interior does not work unless you manually push the button from the top of ceiling. Door ajar" light came on and started beeping all doors were tightly shut. Was told that the seat belt harness metal part may have caused the drivers door to bend or knock off the diode button.

- Ennis, TX, USA

problem #20

Jun 132006

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles
Everything from interior lights, radio, clock, door locks and headlights burning out have been a problem. While driving and the interior lights just come on. Headlights burn out every 6 months. Everything else works when it wants. I took Kia to court to get a equal trade but only got $9,000. Had to give $3,500 to the lawyers. The other $5,500 was not even enough to cover a trade in because the Kia have a terrible value for trades. Ended up spending more than half trying to have it repaired, still nothing. Kia knows there is a problem but will not address it. Even the several service managers (off the record) that I spoke with through my horrific experience told me that it's a huge problem and they don't want to do anything because of the cost.

- East Greenville, PA, USA

problem #19

Mar 192012

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
All of a sudden the Kia ignition wont engage the starter, the headlights wont work and the speed odometer moving and the ac appears not to work.

- Appalachia, VA, USA

problem #18

Jan 112006

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles


Headlights blowing on a regular basis. Replace headlights four to five times a year possible electrical issue.

- Manchester , MD, USA

problem #17

Dec 012011


  • 113,000 miles
My car has broken down 3 times in the last month. I have a 2005 Kia Sorento with 115,000 miles on it. Ever since I bought my car, it has continually had electrical issues such as replacement of the headlights every few months. I have just dealt with it and learned how to replace them myself. One month ago though, my car broke down and I had it towed to my local mechanic. He said it was the alternator and went ahead and replaced it. Everything was running smooth when I drove it away but then 2 weeks later, I broke down again (same symptoms occurred from when I broke down the first time - brake & battery light blinks and then the airbag light comes on and boom, no power). Brought it to the same mechanic and this time it was the battery that needed replaced so he went ahead and replaced it. Just yesterday, 2 weeks after the battery issue, my car broke down again with the same symptoms occurring. I'm still waiting on it to be diagnosed but there is no other explanation than for it to be an electrical issue. Suggestions?

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #16

Nov 252011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles
I constantly have to change tail lights and head lights on my vehicle. Every 4/5 months they are going out. Also the interior light above in the back seating area does not come on when the doors are open, only if manually pressed on and off. The light behind the panel controlling the heat/air temperatures is no longer functional. No one else seems to change their lights as frequently as I do, if at all since they've had their cars. It seems to be an issue with the electrical system.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #15

Oct 112006


  • 12,000 miles


We have a constant problem with headlight bulbs. I have tried every available brand at local automotive stores from the least expensive to the most expensive with the same results. They last about 4 months at best. There is a dealer available "fix" which includes a new wiring harness. Kia will not fix this at no cost. There has been 4 times in the last 3 years that the headlight has failed during late night driving. I replaced the blown bulb and within hours the opposite side failed. Had both failed at the same time it would be a serious problem. At the dealership (three) they said "yea a lot of people have this issue" my other vehicles bulbs last on average 5 times longer - or more.

- Stephens City, VA, USA

problem #14

Jun 172011

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
While driving my vehicle, it began making a "knocking" noise. The power steering then began to fail and then I was unable to accelerate. The car died (on a busy 4 lane hwy with my 7 mos old daughter in the car). Once stopped, I looked under my hood to find a large bolt laying on the floor of the interior of the bumper. The vehicle was towed to a local auto repair shop where, after 2 days and $1300 in repairs, I was told that the "large bolt" I found was half of the crank pulley bolt. It had snapped clean in half leaving the other half inside the pulley. Extensive labor to remove this piece and then reset all the pulleys and belts (timing belt) attributed to the excessive cost. I was told that there was no reason why that bolt should have simply broke in half and that it was a faulty part. Kia refuses to take responsibility and I have read several posts that make it clear that this is not the first time it has happened. Electrically, I have had to change my headlight bulbs several times over the last 3 years and the accuator for the automatic door locks is faulty. The car randomly locks itself at any given time (while driving, when sitting in the driveway during the night, parked and running). I stopped in a parking lot to get my daughter's toy that she had dropped. When I got out of the car to walk around to the other side, the car lock defect locked my daughter inside the car while it was running.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #13

Aug 062005

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 71,032 miles
We have a constant issue with the interior ligts and exterior lights are turning on and off without notice. This is happening while driving down the road and has happened on 10 separate occassions in the last two months, the las occasion being August 6, 2011 at approximately 2:00am. While driving down a major highway here in seattle driving at 50mph the interior and exterior lights both shut down at the same time causing zero visibility. After pulling over and waiting for 10 minutes the lights came back on and I was able to drive ahome without incident. Problem is unknown.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #12

Jun 142011

Sorento 4WD 8-cyl

  • 64,250 miles
On 6-14-2011 I was driving my 2005 Kia Sorento just turning onto my street when it suddenly lost its power steering and the power brake light was on. I managed to drive it a few feet to my driveway to inspect my car and noticed a big silver bolt-like piece of metal approximately 4" long dangling beneath the radiator and took it inside and called my husband. When he came home he looked at the car and checked online to try and see what may be wrong with it and discovered it may be the crank shaft pulley bolt and called the dealership's service department. The man at the service department felt this was not the case but my husband said that he had was holding the bolt in his hand. Nonetheless I scheduled an appointment. The soonest they could get me in was 6-29-2011, 15 days later. I am employed as a physician extender am had to work the weekend (June 18th and 19th), therefore, I had to rent a car for that weekend as we have no weekend public transportation service in our location which cost me $177. My car then had to be towed on the morning of 6-28-2011 to the dealership for service on 6-29-2011 at a cost of $65. Then they were having difficulty honoring my warranty because they could not find my name but I had since married but since it was not changed on the warranty they did not repair the car. I had to contact Kia corporate and the person there told me it could take up to 2 weeks to make the change and the car would not and could not be repaired until then and they could only give me a discount on a rental car in the meantime. I had to immediately fax (not email) documentation of sale. I had paid cash for the brand new vehicle at the time. The Kia dealership in which I bought the car only keeps sales records for the past 3 years. The corporate person that I was speaking with was not able to correct the information on his end due to a "glitch". they fixed the car and charged me $170 additional for repairs not covered by warranty.

- Oakdale, PA, USA

problem #11

Apr 072011

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 75,440 miles


We were traveling on the freeway at 65 mph when check engine light came on within 2 seconds vehicle lost all power including power brakes and steering.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #10

Mar 162011

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
I have to every 3 -4 months replace the headlights on my 2005 Kia Sorento. Kia has told me because your organization has not issues any type of recall on this I will keep on replacing them. This is insane!!!!! I know that I am not the only owner complaining about this.

- Hicksville, NY, USA

problem #9

Dec 062010


  • 85,483 miles
Own a 2005 Kia Sorento. We have a continuous problem with the lights burning out. This includes the headlights, brake lights, park lights, and fog lights. These lights burn out about every 3 to 4 months. Now the power seat has stopped moving forward or back. The driver's side power seat will not move forward or backward. A shorter person that my wife moved her car and she adjusted the seats. When my wife got into the car she was unable to put the seat in the original position. I have tried to jockey the switch back and forth and up and down and the seat will not move.

- Ogden, KS, USA

problem #8

Jan 032010


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. The contact stated while driving at approximately 65 mph, the interior and exterior lighting would sporadically fail. The air conditioner and fan could not be used when the failure would occur. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility for diagnostic testing. The mechanic was unable to duplicate the failure. The dealer advised there was an unknown technical service bulletin in relation to the failure of the wiring harness, but no recalls. The contact attempted to contact the manufacturer but was unsuccessful in doing so. The failure mileage was approximately 100,000 and the current was unknown.

- Middleburg , NY, USA

problem #7

Jan 032009


  • 50,000 miles
I have a 2005 Kia Sorento that started to shut off while driving on Jan 3rd 2009. Since then it has happened 4 times. It is random and I am currently in court with Kia through the pa lemon law. I wanted to file this complaint so it is on record.

- East Greenville, PA, USA

problem #6

Jul 022009


  • 71,000 miles
This is concerning my 2005 Kia Sorento that I never got the recall letter for the icv sensor, it just so happen that my check engine light came on and I called them complaining and they made it seem as if they were doing me a favor and said bring it in, it is covered and I discovered on the computer that there was a recall. I then had two headlights blow out and the check engine light was back on and they told me to bring it in and then said that it was an electrical issue but it was covered. My car later would not pick up speed and I called them and told them I could be on the highway accelerating and could not pick up speed, the SUV was returned for the throttle sensor. Not more than a month later my SUV is sluggish and not picking up speed again and they say bring it in and tells me it is not the same thing but this time it is a sensor in the gas tank that has to be replaced and it is not covered under warranty one person quotes me $395 another quotes $595 (I will be writing the better business bureau after this). I just feel that there has been so much going on with 2005 Kia someone is going to get seriously hurt if these issues are not looked into. It should not take a life or major accident for these issues to be addressed. A truck or trailer could have hit me several times while I was on the highway trying to accelerate and could not pick up speed. I feel that right now they are preying on defects that is due to the manufacturer and passing the cost on to consumers who have purchased these vehicles. I purchased my car in 2006 with only 115 miles on it and it has given me nothing but problems. Kia is being allowed to get away with these tactics because no one is looking over them because sadly those who are purchasing these vehicles with problems do not know where or who to turn to for help on them being cheated and mistreated at the dealerships. I pray that this matter get the long awaited attention it deserves before someone is seriously hurt.

- Rantoul, IL, USA

problem #5

Mar 102009


  • 53,000 miles
I too have now had to replace my head light bulbs and tail light bulbs and have had multiple electrical issues with this car. I have had to have a fuse block replaced because the car was automatically engaging the starter while the engine was running. I have had to replace the clock due to flickering.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #4

Sep 012006


  • 35,000 miles
My Kia Sorento has electrical problems that cause the interior dash and doom lights to blink off and on. This has been happening for the last fourteen months. The dash lights stay off most of the time now, making it very difficult to monitor my instrument panel at night. I have also had to replace the headlights and tail light a total of six times over the last two plus years. There is also a problem with the heat. The hot air turns cold anytime the vehicle comes to a stop, making it necessary for me to rev the engine to stay warm. This makes a gas guzzler even more wasteful in cold weather. I can get no definitive answers from the dealership for these problems. IżM not an advocate of a lot of government intervention, but someone with authority need to step in and require Kia to provide a root cause solution to these issues.

- Richmond, KY, USA

problem #3

Dec 242005

Sorento 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,300 miles
We had issues from the beginning with a fire in the center console of our pre-owned Kia. Then we noticed the light for the passenger side air bags was intermittent on picking up whether there was a passenger in the seat. Our clock would go in and out on the lighting especially over bumps. Then we were rear ended on the highway. No air bags went off. The seat belt did not engage and hold either me or my husband back. Then when I fell back against the seat the seat did not stay in place and I fell backwards. I went to the hospital for muscle spasms. The vehicle is being repaired for the physical damage and then will be brought to the dealership.

- Hinsdale, NH, USA

problem #2

Mar 182005

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles
2005 Kia Sorento. The airbag light stayed on. They have replaced the seat, T and sent the seat off to have the sensor replaced. The dealership said there was nothing else they could do. The check engine light came on and the vehicle stalled. This happened twice in one day. The vehicle will restart after waiting a while. Also, the clock had to be replaced twice.

- Covington, GA, USA

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