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 1 of 3)

problem #41

Aug 082006


  • 6,000 miles


I purchase my 2005 Kia sorrento LX new from taylor Kia in toledo Ohio.also purchased extra warranty for bumper to bumper.a couple months after I had purchase vehicle my headlight started going out I would take it back get it fixed come back home and another one would be out take it back come back to weeks later another headlight would be out. Then the headlights &taillights would go out and brake lights would go out this went on with every single light on my vehicle.continue to call taylor Kia to have the service then about the sixth time one of my lights went out they told me they would not service my vehicle anymore even though it was completely covered everything on my vehicle from bumper-to-bumper. They also red flag to me on their computer so that I could not have my vehicle service because of this problem with my Kia sorrento. At one point I even had the service manager tell me that his service guys were upset with me because I did not give them a good rating when my car was not fixed to jd powers.I got Kia corporate involved which did absolutely no good because they said that they would someone someone from California to fix my vehicle and ended up not sending anyone sent a wire harness instead. Of course that's did not fix the problem but they would not do anything else to try to find out why all my lights on my vehicles was going out at one time or another.they also told me that my Kia was the only one that ever had this problem and they had never heard of this problem before but I could clearly drive down the street see other Kia sorrento's with headlights out. Then I got online and read about how many Kia had the same problem but Kia corporate would not do a thing about it and taylor Kia would not do anything at that point. Now my car is broke down with the cam sensor and also crank sensor and bolt because of an issue with these Kia sorrento's.

- Tiffin, OH, USA

problem #40

Oct 292015


  • 107,000 miles
I was turning onto a street and heard a big clunk only to find out the bolt on the crankshaft broke off again on 10/29/15 as well as 7/30/13. The power steering went out & battery light came on. Lost power and everything after a big clunk! this happens all the time: There are a multitude of these same complaints: This engine was replaced in May 2010 and the harmonic balancer and pulley have been worked on twice since 2010. There is a defective bolt that was replaced with a new defective bolt. This is happening numerous times to many Kia Sorento owners and they are left stranded. Kia knows about it and refuses to do anything! my car is sitting at country Kia in charleston, SC because the extended- warranty will not cover this defective bolt and I can't pay $5000 on a car that is now only worth $3000. I had to stay in charleston, SC an extra 2 days at my expense $79 /night, pay $75 for the tow bill and an additional $55 or $65 for the Kia dealership to check it out. I had to rent a car to come back to fl as I was stranded in charleston without transportation. I cannot afford the $5000 for repairs and the $1500 to pay it off just to get the title to send this to a junk yard. The mileage just turned to 107,000 or 108,000. This is the 4th time that there was an issue on this part of this car having to do with the same issues related to this defective bolt, harmonic balancer and pulley as a result of this defective bolt. (this is only on one car). You will see how many times this is occurring to many other owners of these Kia Sorentos. Please read through the complaints on the following link: gotaclassaction.com/Kia-named-in-class-action-over-first-generation-2002-2009-equipped-with-A-Hyundai-manufactured-3-5L-24-valve-DOHC-V6-engine/

- South Pasadena, FL, USA

problem #39

Jan 052015


  • 60,000 miles
The vehicle has had several electronic issues. One owner with a garage parked low mileage SUV. The driver seat will not move forward. All other adjustments work fine. This issue has happened several times over the years but now seems to be a permanent problem. The interior overhead light does not illuminate when you open the doors, the driver side door open alarm dings for no apparent reason and the brake lights continually burn out.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #38

Mar 062015

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


Driving approx 55mph, my lights seemed to dim then my battery and brake light came on. I immediately turned my heater, radio, dashboard lights and lights to low. I continued driving for nothing else seemed to be wrong and was going to pull over when I noticed my power steering also was not working. I was able to get myself to a safe place to stop and put the car in park, it began making an odd sound (thinking a possible belt) it then made a popping sound thinking I broke a serpentine belt, I then turned the engine off and had my mechanic look at it. He said the crankshaft bolt had broken off and was an estimated $3000+ repair. I have also had issues with crankshaft sensor which caused my car to not turn over without a jump. After that was repaired I had to buy a new battery that prior to the winter season tested out to be good. Ihave also been told I need to replace a spark plug which could cost hundreds to replace because of the location. I have to replace headlights/taillights more than normal.I have seem to have issues with alignment and have put 2 sets of tires on after noticing abnormal wear on the insides, I've had it aligned twice. I still owe $6100 on a car that I would have to put $3000 into and now have nothing to drive!

- Williamsfield, OH, USA

problem #37

Mar 052013

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Vehicle has had continual premature light bulb burnouts of all exterior lamps, headlights, tail lights and stop lights. This happens every 1-2 months.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #36

Jul 092007


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that there was a burning odor of wires present in the vehicle and the headlights failed. In addition, the air conditioner failed and that the four wheel drive would not engage. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the compressor failed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- Millville, NJ, USA

problem #35

Jun 242005

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 1,500 miles


Headlights, brake light, interior light, radio, have all failed multiple times. I replace headlights and break lights every three months. I have had both headlights go out, one before I could get the other fixed. None of the dome lights work, I have no automatic lighting in the car. They dim based on weather and the terrain I am driving on. The radio went out shortly after I bought it, and the same thing happened shortly after. Sometimes it works and sometimes the car has to be running for a while before it will work. So many problems.

- Meridian, ID, USA

problem #34

Jun 072013

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Interior electrical lighting turns itself off and on. Headlights will occasionally shut themselves off. Lights regularly burn out/need replacing every 45-90 days. Dash lights haven't worked in over a year - fuse regularly blows, gave up on replacing it.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #33

Nov 222013


  • 101,000 miles
Driving approximately 55mph 22 Nov 2013, heard a thump from engine compartment, and lost all power to vehicle, ending up in a ditch. Engine stopped, no steering, no brakes. Dash lights illuminated. Vehicle would not re-start. Crank pulley bolt broke off. Over 5 hours to extract remainder of bolt to repair engine. $1359 in repairs. Now, 22 Sept 2014, 10 months later, had same happen on highway at 70mph in heavy traffic. Thankful I was in a lane at the edge of the roadway. Current mileage slightly under 114,000. Yeah. 10 months and 13000 miles and another huge repair bill. No recall, Kia claims no liability. Other issue: Interior lighting turns itself off and on at whim. Headlights burn out every 45-90 days.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #32

Jul 302014


  • miles
On 7/30/14 I noticed my dashboard lights were not working. The morning of 7/31/14 the lights still were not working so I checked the fuse boxes. I found a blown fuse in the fuse box under the hood and replaced it. The dashboard lights still would not work. The evening of 7/31/14 I again checked the fuses and found the fuse I had just replaced in the morning was again blown. I replaced the fuse and had my husband stand at the front of the vehicle while I turned the ignition and headlight switch on. Immediately upon turning on the headlight switch we heard a "pop, " checked the fuse and it had once again blown. We tried a third fuse and it blew as well as soon as I turned on the headlight switch. Three fuses in one day and still no answer on how to get my dashboard lights to work.

- Yeagertown, PA, USA

problem #31

Mar 032014


  • 115,085 miles


I bought my Kia new it has sports package, I have had to replain shop all the time ce headlights 4 times the last 6 months it has been total mess power steering pressure hoses blew out then in may went to air port picked up daughter car was nothing no start tow truck..auto shop first said plug in reader said crank shaft sensor then it said starter bad so replaced starter it starts but it now whines I took it back he said it is the starter brand. I am always worried if it will start and if I have lights I love my Kia but it has had electric problems from day 1 Kia should recall 2005 due to this. Last night I was driving and it went from reg drive to low it has shifter it has button that has to be pushed in to change drive over drive low I never pushed it it did it on its own there is a big problem wish Kia would step up and recall I want to keep my car it is well taken car of but I cant keep pouring money in it big $ last 6 months over 2500 is there a way to do law suit I have seen tons pep with headlights issues sents I replaced my first ones also paint on doors open all gone I never even use back seat doors so how is it coming off is there a lawyer out here who oiwns a Kia help......

- Lehighton, PA, USA

problem #30

Jul 042005


  • 2,500 miles
I have a 2005 Kia Sorento. I have had a problem with my headlights since I have had my car which I bought new in 2005. I have taken it to the dealer in valdosta ga several times to find out about it and they always say it's not a recall so they can't do anything about it. I have to replace headlights and taillights every 3 or 4 months. It is very expensive. My dome light hasn't worked in years and my check engine light stays on all the time. I know there is some kind of defect in the electrical system and it's been this way from the beginning. The 10 year/100,000.00 mile warranty is about useless with this car. There has not been one thing since I have had the car that was covered under warranty. I will never buy a Kia again and I certainly want ever use Kia in valdosta ga again, they have the worst service I have ever seen. There favorite thing to say is "it's not covered under our warranty!" that is supposedly there big selling point and it is worthless! everyone who is having the same trouble needs to complain so we can get this recalled and fixed. I wish I knew where to complain to that could make that happen. They don't really care in valdosta whether you complain or not, there not going to do anything about it anyway. Well I have been stopped numerous times by the police for my lights being out. So far I have not got a ticket, but it is highly dangerous to have no lights while driving at night and you never know when they are going to be out. I know I am not the only one having this problem, I have well over 100 emails from repair pal about others having headlight problems. This needs to be recalled before someone is killed in an accident and then sue the Kia company. Sick of buying headlights!

- Jasper, FL, USA

problem #29

Dec 092013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 139,000 miles
Recently, our 2005 Kia Sorento began having electrical problems when the headlights are on at night. The interior dash lights including the radio, etc. Will randomly go off and on. Last night, the dome lights came on and began flashing involuntarily. I am concerned with an electrical issue that will lead to further damage. I have been researching recalls on this vehicle, but cannot see that there is one for this issue. I did however see other consumers with the same complaint. We purchased this vehicle brand new in 2005 and other than regular maintenance we have not had any major issues. I thought that I would purchase another Kia in the future, but now that I see Kia is doing nothing to fix this electrical problem I am reconsidering that decision.

- Dardanelle, AR, USA

problem #28

Oct 022007


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. The contact stated was driving uphill when the throttle failed to engage. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the wiring into the transmission was overheating and causing the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 80,000.

- Little Orleans , MD, USA

problem #27

May 302013


  • 123,000 miles
My 2005 Sorento started stalling & shutting down while driving down the hwy at 65 mph (happens at any speed). Code comes up for bad crank shaft sensor, this will be the 3rd time in 4 years I will have replaced it. This has caused some "close calls" while on the hwy, avoiding other vehicles & nearly being rear ended several times.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #26

May 042013


  • 110,000 miles
Today I took our 05 Sorento in for an oil change. It came as no surprise to me that during the 20 point inspection I was told the driver's side headlight didn't work. This is beyond ridiculous at this point. I have already changed burnt out headlights a minimum of 5-7 times now. I can't even keep up with the count. Like many other owners I have tried every make and type of headlight and none of them will last more than a few months. This recent set was the top of the line and I had to pay $80 for the two lights. Still don't last. It seems that Kia knows about this issue but is unwilling or too cheap to pay have their issue fixed. I'm not the only owner with this problem. Look it up! the car has operated fine other than this but it has become a hassle and is very costly replacing headlights every few months! this will be the last Kia that I buy unless Kia steps up and fixes this issue. They have a new wiring harness that can help/fix this problem but of course owners have to pay for this out of pocket. Step up Kia or enjoy losing a client from here on out!

- Orting, WA, USA

problem #25

Apr 042012


  • 55,000 miles
Headlight and dome bulbs burns out very often, I spend more money replacing bulbs than oil change, obviously there is an electrical problem on this model. Please let them fix this issue.

- Pembroke Pines , FL, USA

problem #24

Aug 022010


  • 30,000 miles
This car is a safety hazard. Headlights/tail lights/dashboard lights burn out within months of replacements. Just burned through 5 fuses for the dashboard in one day. Dealership will not fix as there has been no recall. Google the make and model and you will see many electrical issues and angry owners. Have a teen driver in the family and we are afraid to let her even drive this car. Please recall this model and make Kia own up to their responsibilities!!!!

- Minnetonka, MN, USA

problem #23

May 092010

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 95,505 miles
Over the last 4 years I have replaced the battery 3 times. Each time, the car had been sitting for a day or 2 and when I attempted to use it, the car/battery was dead. I have seen on line that the tccu (transfer case control unit) is probably the culprit and it is almost impossible to identify because the computer will show no history of it. Evidently, on rare occasions the computer will begin running diagnostics on the tccu when the car is being shut off. The drain on the system is enough to wipe out the battery. I have contacted Kia - they do not acknowledge the problem and all they want to do is run a diagnostics test which will tell them nothing and will cost me more money. The cost of a new tccu is about $1500, probably why Kia has no interest in replacing it.

- Chelmsford, MA, USA

problem #22

Jul 162012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I've repeatedly had to replace the headlights in this car every couple of months. When one light is replaced, the other side goes out next. This has happened several times for the past several years. I have 189,000 miles on the car now. I don't remember exactly when it started. My driver seat also stopped working. The back goes forward and back, but the base seat doesn't move.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

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