2009 Kia Sorento drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,751 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.

2009 Kia Sorento drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #6

Aug 022015


  • 29,804 miles


Shortly after buying SUV in 2009 we experienced "querky" stuff like doors relocking, dome light S coming on, back hatch unlocking all this happening on their own!! I kept telling the dealership at oil changes! they kept ignoring it all! Nov 1, 2009 Kia electric system service bulletin #282603 (ts B-044) issued. September the check engine and ESC off lights started coming on together, SUV immediately decends to 15-20 mph! you can¿T give it gas, only rpms rise high! gas is eaten up! coast to side, sit a few to 20 minutes. Maybe both or ESC off light(s) go out and you proceed. Have noticed a buck feeling before light(s) are coming on at times. Check engine lights may stay on for a while or not. Habitually erratic when lights come on, can be every mile to several miles! last week SUV with out these lights started running real rough at idle and driving. To the point of reving over 2000 rpms but acted like being held back! I have been reluctant to drive it much in fear of the advancing issues and hurting the power train! at idle range is 300 ¿ 1,800+ rpms, mechanic witnessed the varying rpms when code 1611 (time out:ECM, PCM, tcm issue) came up on snap-on's code reader. SUV has baby miles of 29,884 now 30,004 today. All SUV's on forums are over 50,000 miles! ~ low idle Kia calls for tps replacement ~ September 7, 2011. My SUV throws P1295/P2135/P2106 codes listed in this! calls for the ECM be reprogramed using the gds (global diagnostic system). Ref: 044 bulletin. Driving you can feel the engine slow down to almost stalling but catches itself and keeps running. 1st time this happened I was doing 55mph and found I was slowing real fast with traffic coming up behind me. I now have to ride with 4 way flashers to be safe! chk eng on when key is turned on at times now. Towed 1X, drive a mile sit minutes repeat'd 8X. Issues are progressing!

- Browns Mills, NJ, USA

problem #5

Mar 212012


  • 19,500 miles
The car will sometimes shift hard. When it does this and I put it into drive, the tach will go up and the engine revs, but the car moves at a snails pace. Even if the pedal is to the floor. It is unsafe to drive at that point as I could not safely make a left hand turn to cross traffic. I would likely get hit before I could clear the intersection. I have to shut the car on and off a few times removing the key while doing this to get the car to run normal again. I have taken it to Kia 3 times for this problem and they have not fixed it. They said they could not reproduce the problem and I should bring it in when the car is acting up. But I live about 50 miles from the nearest Kia dealer, how am I supposed to drive a car that won't go over 5 mph and is unsafe to drive? when I took it in last week I was basically told they had nothing to go on since they couldn't pull a code from the car and I was out of luck because while he suspected he knew what system was causing the issue they were not going to fix it because there was no code. And my warranty will be up at the end of the month. I have researched Kia reviews and have seen a few people with the same year, make and model have the same issues with their cars, and some people indicated it was a transmission issue. I shared this with the Kia serviceman and he dismissed the information saying that was highly unlikely as Kia makes superior transmissions. I later found out that I even have a friend who had this same issue with her Kia and also had to replace the transmission. So it actually kind of sounds like a common problem to me. As a side note, it did this while in pa on vacation. The Kia dealer looked at it there, they said it was a sensor under the pedal and they replaced it. But it has done it again since they fixed that problem. The part that was replaced is part of that system the serviceman was referring to.

- Newton, IA, USA

problem #4

Feb 072011


  • miles
When shifting my 2009 Kia Sorento from P to R, it violently jolts into R and then when shifting into D, it has almost no power, as if I were driving in first gear with a manual transmission (vehicle is automatic). After a few minutes, it will drive normally until I stop, then it again is very sluggish with almost no power until it "catches". sometimes if I stop the car, put it in park and shut it off, then restart, it works fine. This problem does not happen every day, it's random but when it happens, it is very scary and I am now afraid of driving it. Every time I start the car, I gingerly shift to D or R, waiting for the jolt. I am afraid it's going to jerk backwards out of control and hit someone/something. It has been happening for two years now, off and on. Dealer said they can't duplicate the problem and "there is nothing they can do until it breaks". in which case my warranty will be over and they'll charge me for a new transmission. Called Kia and they told me the same thing but they opened a ticket for my problem. I know both Kia and the dealership knows what the problem is but they are ignoring it. I have done a lot of internet research regarding this problem and see complaint after complaint (including three on this site just for the 2009 model alone). I know the 2011 models had similar problems also. It's very sad because I really like the car but I'm too nervous driving it now so I'll be trading it in and going back to a Chevy.

- Danvers, MA, USA

problem #3

Sep 092013


  • miles


Recently brought my 2009 Kia Sorento to the dealer on 9/9/13. The vehicle was banging into gear (whether reverse or drive) and it was sluggish when attempting to drive. It was very scary trying to make a left turn while crossing over oncoming traffic as the car was not going anywhere when trying to drive. The check engine light also came on. My check engine light somehow was not on when they took possession of the vehicle.the dealership told me they couldn't duplicate the problem. Then sent me on my way with no recommendations. Now a week later, 9/17/13, I called the dealer and reported the same incident as before. They told me to drive it to them and keep the car running. The check engine light was on again. As the tech at the dealer took possession of my vehicle, you can hear it bang into gear and hear the RPM's racing as they drove forward. The tech advised that the check engine codes were stored history codes. They are to do with the transmission. This time Kia advises to replace the transmission. Meanwhile, the transmission was replaced December of 2011. Kia still has my truck as I am afraid to drive it. I have a call into Kia customer service regional office. This has been an ongoing problem from early on. I had brought the vehicle in on numerous occasions and the dealership would tell me they couldn't duplicate my problem. This is a safety issue! when you put the car into gear, there is a loud banging sound (sounds like you were rear ended). Then when you apply the gas pedal to go forward, the car goes nowhere. The rpms race and you are barely moving. At other times, when you slow down in traffic or are stopped at a light, and attempt to drive, you barely move as the RPM's are racing. This problem needs to be addressed! it is a safety issue!!

- Mastic, NY, USA

problem #2

Jun 012011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
Upon starting the 2009 Kia sorrento one day, I shifted to reverse and noticed a violent jerk with a loud popping sound. Upon putting it into drive, the car would barely accelerate but the engine would still rev when pressing down on the gas pedal. The check engine light was on but later went away. The dealership has seen the car multiple times and our service advisor gary dawson in houston, tx says they cannot reproduce the problem or find any fault codes (even though we provided the code pulled from autozone the previous day). Codes said the transaxle and high/low solenoid were the problems. The car is in their possession now but after a quick talk with our service advisor I highly doubt they will be fixing anything. A quick google search shows almost all 2005+ sorrentos have transmission problems. Please do something about Kia and keep them in check.

- Missouri City, TX, USA

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problem #1

Oct 202010

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 5,200 miles
While decending a mountian pass in Colorado with the vehicle in 4WD-low range and the shift selector in the sport mode the transmission would up-shift at about 3200 RPM causing the vehicle to gain speed very quickly and requiring the constant application of brakes which causes the brakes to over heat. The owners manual clearly states that this is an approved use of the vehicle and that the transmission should not shift until the red-zone (approx 6000 RPM). I contacted Kia customer service in November of 2009 and have had several conversations with Kia's customer service and mr richard pulridia whith Kia service has evaluated the vehicle and filed a report with Kia engineering in May 2011. I talked to mr pulrida this week and he has not received any information to date and has no idea when or if any action will be taken to correct this unsafe condition. I believe this operation is unsave because it causes quick accelleration to unsafe speeds whin in a steep decent.

- Edmond, OK, USA

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