2008 Kia Sorento electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,666 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.

2008 Kia Sorento electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #8

Sep 282013


  • 48,000 miles


My 2008 Kia Sorento has had numerous instances of the rear taillight/signallight failing to operate correctly. The vehicle does have a recall on this issue for which it was taken in for service and the dealership has since worked on the vehicle to remedy the situation a number of times. They have said and noted that in a prior visit they replaced the stoplight switch. However the problem continues and I have been cited a number of times with a warning for law enforcement. Attached is one of the receipts from the dealership noting the recall and problem. Now, the dealership is insisting that we should pay for the latest attempt to correct the problem, although the issue has never been fixed without a recurrence of the issue. The rear taillight/signal light fails to illuminate.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #7

Oct 082015


  • 38,000 miles
Every 6 months the engine light and ecs off lights come on and the car loses power intermittently. This is dangerous when it happens on the freeway. I bought the car from carmax in July 2014. By November, it started to have the issue, it progressed at I checked it on the internet and saw a recall and brought it in to city Kia in orlando. The mechanic could not find an issue why the engine light was on and there was no clear code. However, when he replaced the recall lamp switch part it went away until now (Oct 2015). It is clear to me that there is an issue with the electrical system that can cause the loss of power. There are numerous comments from others with the same issue and the same symptoms. I expect carmax and Kia understand there is an issue. I bought the car with 32K miles on it from carmax and it already had 2 previous owners. The average Kia mechanic seems incapable of diagnosing and resolving this issue. They will just change out parts every 6 months and hopefully reset the electronics somehow. I am a licensed mechanical engineer and safety engineer working in the ride industry for 30 years. I believe this is a safety issue and I would like Kia to either fix it or take my car back or carmax to take the car back. The loss of power can occur when you start or when you are driving. The engine light and ecs light come on and always accompany this issue. Typical posts on internet Jun 30, 2014 - cheektowaga, NY - power train TL* the contact owns a 2008 Kia Sorento. While driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle decelerated. The contact depressed the accelerator pedal and the vehicle slowly decelerated to 20 mph. The service engine and ESC sensors illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Celebration, FL, USA

problem #6

Sep 252011


  • 48,000 miles
For years now I have replaced lights on this vehicle. I have replaced headlights at least 15 times and brake lights about 20 times. On at least 5 occasions all lights burned out at once.. the fuses and relays have never been bad because when I replace the lights they work.something is wrong with the vehicle and I have known many other Kia owners to have the same problem but the dealership says nothing is wrong. I can't afford another vehicle and this is a serious safety issue.

- Somerset, TX, USA

problem #5

May 292013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


Current and ongoing problems began just a few days after receiving a notice of recall from Kia regarding the faulty/defective brake light switch. The switch was faulty and there was a problem with no brake lights coming on upon braking as well as "ESC off" and "check engine" malfunction indicator lights appearing and staying on the instrument cluster. The vehicle was promptly taken to a Kia dealership where the recall service was performed. Replacement of a failed brake light switch under the recall campaign did not eliminate the problems/codes that began when the brake light switch failed. Shortly after the repair (less than a month afterward and very few miles driven) the "ESC off" and "check engine" malfunction indicator lights appeared, stayed, then came on and off intermittently with engine not going over past approximately 2,000 rpms resulting in unpredictable vehicle behavior especially when it comes to merging onto a highway/interstate or getting through an intersection. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the service advisors gave assurances that the new brake light switch is not defective. The problem is that the service advisors/technicians could not specifically diagnose what needs replacement to ultimately solve this ongoing problem or if it is related to the failure of the of the brake light switch.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #4

Jul 262013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 53,460 miles
Backed out of driveway, check engine & ESC off light came on, wouldn't accelerate over 20mph. Brought back home and parked. Few hours later took granddaughter to dentist and only check engine light illuminated. Didn't go off until took to auto zone on asheville hwy, knoxville, tn. After placing on diagnostic machine and giving a print out of probable causes, check engine light went off. Took to dealership on 7/29 and wouldn't except diagnosis since they didn't perform. Was showing electrical and valve problems. Stated unable to repair due to lights not being on when car was at the Kia dealership. Stated replaced the problem with recall. However, now stating motor seals need replaced which is covered under warranty. Unsure if other issue has been resolved due to no issues since Friday.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #3

Jan 192013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 51,366 miles
Jan.19,2013 my 2008 Kia Sorento started to loss power and the engine light turned on the car started to shake, the dealer found the vehicle shown code PO300, vehicle misfire and it burned plug assy-spark and coil assy-ignition. Repairs were done at city Kia of greater orlando. Services was great. March 7,2013 the same incident as above happened again the repair shop found camshaft sensor connection error, perform pin tension rechecked. I was treated badly, they stated at first they did not know what was going on and refused to offer any situation. Repair were done where I had purchased the vehicle in 2/2011 with Kia warranty. Location orlando Kia E.colonial drive.orl fl.32817. On May 4,2013 my vehicle appears to have the same issues as above incidents will take it back to dealer on E. colonial drive on Monday 6,2013. Hope they will help me....

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #2

Nov 262010

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 62,500 miles
The fuel gauge needle drops down from full to empty and the low/out of gas indicator light comes on, but goes off after needle moves from the low fuel gauge marking. This malfunction of the fuel gas needle happens at no specific time interval or speed rate.

- Seat Pleaseant, MD, USA

problem #1

Nov 112010


  • 43,000 miles
Dash lighting problem on 2008B Kia Sorento. When control knob on turn signal switch is rotated for night lighting of dash lights, the dash lights go out, blowing a fuse. Possible short is system somewhere. Unable to trace at Canadian Kia dealership without paying $90/hr fee which could take many hours.

- Winnipeg,Manitoba,Canada, 00, USA

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