2008 Kia Sorento seat belts / air bags NHTSA complaints: Air Bags:Frontal

NHTSA — Air Bags: Frontal Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
5,125 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2008 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #10

Apr 102009

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 4,000 miles


Since we purchased our 2008 Kia Sorento in March 2009, there has been a problem with the passenger seat where when I am sitting there and the "passenger airbag off" light is illuminated. I am 150 pounds, and moved myself around in the seat, weight centered, sitting properly. At the same time we have been fighting the issue of the ESC off and check engine light as well, so the 3 times the vehicle has been to service for the ESC off problem, we also told them about the passenger airbag off. My husband is the one who took the vehicle and the first time they told him that I was not positioned in the seat properly. The second time the vehicle went to the service dept, it was after I basically yelled at them on the phone and told them to rip out the seat if they had to in order to fix it. Again, my husband took it, they said that "the airbag will deploy, but it might be slow." I knew this was incorrect. I know the way it works and if the sensor is not working properly and it says the airbag is off, it will not deploy. The third time it went to service for the ESC off light problem, my father went and had a stern conversation with the service manager and advised him that he was a service manager and that he knows that it is his responsibility to find out the cause of the problem and fix it, especially being the car is under warranty and that this is a safety issue. They supposedly fixed the issue, I'm not sure what they did, but we have only had the problem again once in the past 6 months, as opposed to twice a week for over a year. I have filed a separate complaint regarding the ESC off and check engine light.

- Lantana, FL, USA

problem #9

Nov 072010


  • 25,000 miles
2008 Kia Sorento airbag deployment while the vehicle was parked. 38 Y w/F sitting in driver's seat, vehicle not running and no one was around vehicle. Airbag deployed striking female on left side causing injury to abdomen, arm, shoulder and face. According to Kia computer malfunction caused problem. Glad she was waiting on other son to leave church. Kia's solution is to replaced airbag system. Vehicle still under warranty. Events female sat in driver's seat. Consequences moderate injury, disoriented unable to remember which child was in the back seat she was talking to at the time. Official medical visit at urgent care the next morning. X-rays and cat scan. Severe consequences could have been death if it happened 5-10 minutes later going down road. What has been done? I have been informed Kia does not deal with hypothetical situations. Family could have been just another number.

- Madisonville, KY, USA

problem #8

Mar 192009


  • 2,462 miles
Intermittent display on dash "passenger air bag off'" while passenger is seated and belted into passenger seat. Several documented service appointments with dealer have failed to eliminate problem.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #7

Jan 212009


  • 2,720 miles


We purchased a 2008 Kia Sorento from Kia of bradley, Illinois, last November. The front passenger air bag light signals that the air bag is off, even though somebody is sitting in the seat. As I understand it, then, that if you were in a front end accident and the light is stating the air bag is off, it will not deploy. We have complained numerous times to Kia of bradley, talked with the regional manger, and his boss and their stand is that my wife is sitting wrong in the seat. I don't buy this. There was a recall, we took it in to be fixed, that did not help. Also, the front passenger seat was replaced and that did not help either. They did all this work but continue to maintain that my wife is sitting in the seat incorrectly.

- Bourbonnais, IL, USA

problem #6

Oct 302009


  • 16,549 miles
Passenger airbag light comes on with a passenger in the seat and says that air bag is turned off. Wife weights 160 and is a full size adult. Kia says she is not sitting in the seat right, I have had it in to the deal twice now for this same problem. They know they have a problem and are avoiding it. It ia a Kia Sorento.

- Syracuse, UT, USA

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problem #5

Aug 302009


  • 10 miles
"passenger airbag off" light remains on when adult passengers over 108 lb sit in seat. No airbag failure light indicated. Had dealer rep inspect and do calibration to OCS in late Aug. However, the fault still happens about 1out of 10 times.

- Wylie, TX, USA

problem #4

May 152009


  • 160 miles


The passenger air bag light will not go off. I have taken it into the dealership 2 times and they said they have fixed the sensor. It still is not fixed. I have seen on a few forums (ie. Edmunds.com) that it has been an issue and it is not getting resolved. I am concerned for my passengers safety.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #3

May 072009

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Sorento. Whenever an occupant is seated in the passenger seat, the air bag light illuminates, which indicates that it is not engaged nor working properly. The failure was noticed while driving at any speed. The vehicle has been taken to the dealer on two occasions. The first time, the mechanic stated that other consumers were experiencing the same failure. The contact was informed that movement in the seat will usually engage the air bags. The dealer did not offer a remedy at that time. A week later, the vehicle was taken back to the dealer and they stated that it was unsafe to sit in the vehicle. The air bag light will dim once the vehicle has been restarted a few times. The service manager called and stated that a recall was issued for this failure. The NHTSA campaign id number was unable to be located. The current and failure mileages were 150. Updated 06/10/09.

- Dover, DE, USA

problem #2

Nov 302008


  • 200 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Kia Sorento. The contact started the ignition and suddenly the air bag warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The failure occurred whenever an occupant was seated in the front passenger seat. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing and they stated that the failure was related to the air bag sensor. The air bag sensor and pad were replaced and the vehicle was taken to the authorized dealer on three separate occasions for identical failures; however, there were no resolutions. The manufacturer is aware of the failure and an engineer conducted an inspection on the vehicle. The air bag sensor was reprogrammed; however, the failure continued. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 200 and current mileage was 4,400.

- Smyrna, DE, USA

problem #1

Sep 182008


  • miles
I have 2008 Kia Sorento. On the evening I bought the car, I was sitting in the passenger side and the airbag light came on stating that the airbag was off. I have taken it to the dealership and they said there is a nationwide backorder for the part and not to allow anyone to sit in the front seat. This was a month ago they still cannot get the part. I will be taking it to the dealership this Friday to see if they can reset the computer. They said they have had alot of complaints on this problem.

- Yellow Jacket, CO, USA

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