Notes: Kia really changed the design of the Sorento in the 2011 model year. Instead of a truck-like body-on-frame more capable of offroad adventures, the newest Sorento is a unibody construction and is much more crossover than sport utility. The changes brought a whole slew of problems, including a frustrating problem where the door that won’t open. Is it too late to go back?


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,676 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.

2011 Kia Sorento body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2011 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 4 of 6)

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problem #45

Apr 152016


  • miles


I have a 2011 Kia Sorento in which the front passenger door does not open from the outside, only the interior door handle manages to open the door. I replaced the driver's door last year. It appears that this is a safety hazard if the vehicle is in a crash and the driver or occupants are incapacitated. The door would not be able to be opened from the outside by someone assisting, god forbid that the vehicle was on fire. Numerous complaints have been filed by consumers regarding this issue

- Kankakee, IL, USA

problem #44

Mar 012016


  • 65,000 miles
Driver's side rear door handle will not engage door actuator. Door only opens from inside. Cannot use child locks, as the door can only be opened from the inside. Vehicle is just outside of warranty, and Kia will not repair without charge. Part is defective, and there are numerous online complaints on this issue (including previously repaired vehicles).

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #43

Sep 172015


  • 80,000 miles
The rear drivers side door will not open from the outside. It would open from the inside but recently stopped working altogether. I have seen several complaints about this issue from buyers. This is a safety concern. I have 2 children in car seats and connor get to them quickly because if this defect! I have had to pay to get it repaired but I have seen many buyers having to replace all 4 door latches over time! this has to be considered a defect and should be covered under a recall.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #42

Apr 012016


  • 77,000 miles


Two weeks ago, while my car was parked (stationary), I tried to open my rear driver side door and it would not open from the outside, today the same happened to my driver side. After googling the problem, I found a website with many other people with the same problem, with the same year, make and model. I also found over 500 complaints with the same problem on this page. I called the Kia recall number and the rep. Told me that there is nothing they can do because this is not a safety issue, therefore it's not a recall issue!!! it is a safety issue because if there was an accident, they would not be able to get me and/or passengers without having to break in through a window or jaws of life. I was told to take the car into the dealership and have the problem diagnosed by them. This is not a problem, but I know (from all other complaints) that I will be told that it's not covered and I will be responsible for the repairs. I will also have to pay to have them diagnose the problem. The car is no longer under warranty. I don't understand why this is not being investigated with this many people having the exact same problem, it is a malfunction in the production of the car and Kia should be responsible for fixing this problem. I am posting this as legal documentation to prove that I have made you aware of the problem in the event of an accident that could jeopardize my safety.

- Hiram, GA, USA

problem #41

Apr 082016


  • 112,000 miles
All power doors are unlocked, but front driver side door can not be opened from outside. It can be opened from inside. Door handle, door latch and actuator seems working ok. It is a safety concern as door cannot be opened from outside even as doors are unclocked.

- Katy, TX, USA

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problem #40

Mar 182016


  • miles
Two of the exterior handles do not work anymore. They will open from the inside but not the outside. If the child safety locks had been on at the time the handles stopped working the doors would not be able to open at all. These handles stopped working at different times with no warnings. This is a very serious safety hazard for my family - I have a 4 year old with autism.

- Kingsland, GA, USA

problem #39

Aug 152015


  • 70,000 miles


2011 Kia Sorento, none of my doors will open this is a safety hazard in the event of an emergency rescue would be difficult. This vehicle needs to be recalled for the door handle defects. Also I went to open the back door and the handle fell off in my hand. Cannot roll the windows up when parked or you will lose access to the car you have to put your arm in and open from the inside.

- Frazier Park, CA, USA

problem #38

Mar 252016


  • 77,000 miles
Driver side door simply would not open from outside the vehicle one day. No accident or other impact was the cause, so clearly this is a defect of the vehicle. Internet search indicates this has happened to many owners and is a clear safety issue. This vehicle has only been on the road for 5 years and 5 months and has 77,000 miles. Df door latch assembly had to be replaced at cost of $450. Would like to see this investigated based on the number of instances and the fear that this will happen and prevent someone from being rescued from outside the vehicle in a worst case scenario.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #37

Jan 012016


  • 101,355 miles
From january1, 2016 to March 20, 2016 two doors (driver and driver side passenger) have quit opening from the outside.

- Bogart, GA, USA

problem #36

Feb 152016


  • 107,000 miles
My passenger door will not open from the outside. It will open from the inside. The rest of the doors work just fine. This is an safety issue.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #35

Mar 202016


  • 90,000 miles


About 1 month ago, Jan/Feb of 2016 the passenger side front door handle just stopped working, as far as opening the door from the outside is concerned. The same exact thing just happened today, March 20, 2016, to the driver's side front door. Both outside latches are inoperable. The first incident happened in my driveway, the second happened in the parking lot of our church. I am married with 7 kids, 5 of whom drive, and have never, never, had a door latch break on the many vehicles owned over time. This is not a coincidence, this is an item that has to be recalled. The vehicle is nice, but with recalls or problems to the shift lever, air bags, rear rotors, etc., etc..., why isn't the NHTSA taking a closer look at all the short cuts and/or dysfunctional parts Kia is using to get their car to market quicker. We are the car's 2nd owner, so Kia will not even honor it under the 7year/100,000 mile warranty. Our vehicle is not quite 5 years old with approx. 90,000 miles.

- New Kensington, PA, USA

problem #34

Dec 232015


  • 58,000 miles
Car was parked in my garage. Back drivers side door just stopped working. Wont open from the inside or out. No damage or excessive use. You can hear the lock clicking when you hit the auto button on the front door, but it will not open. Kia company states it will not repair because we are 2 months over the 5 year/60000 mile warranty. Its a safety issue and they want $1100 to repair.

- Jefferson Hills, PA, USA

problem #33

Mar 012016


  • miles
2/21/16 my driver side door would not open regardless of unlock with alarm or with the key. I can only open from the inside which the only way to get in I have to climb over from the passenger side to get in. Yesterday the passenger side started to do the same. So now I have to go through the back side. I called the dealership I'm not under warranty. I had to go there 2/19 for another issue and it happen to be another lady there and her issue was guess what her doors. I didn't hear the whole conversation but called the dealership yesterday and told them my problem he stated there was a lady last week with same issue. It cost her $350 per door!! I think that is over the top and I shouldn't have to pay that much this should be a recall issue(im not the only one this is happening too)!!! I don't know when I will be able to get it fix. I guess ill be climbing over my seats for awhile and pray the 2 other doors don't lock up. My first and last Kia......

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #32

Feb 202016


  • 88,000 miles
2011 Kia sorrent - I've had to replace the driver side-outside door handle (approx last 6 months), driver side back door outside handle (replaced 12/2015 now broke again 2/16), and now the back passenger door will not open from inside. I am very concerned about life safety. Bad situation if something tragic happens and the doors won't open or can't be opened.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #31

Aug 132015


  • 130,000 miles
2011 Kia Sorento rear driver side door failed to open. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the door actuator needed to be replaced. Did not fix. This is a Kia problem. It can be a really bad situation if I can't get to my children in the back because my door will not open. The panel on the door also sticks. There are so many complaints about this Kia needs to fix the problem.

- Cleveland, TX, USA

problem #30

Feb 092016


  • 72,000 miles
Driver door only able to open from within vehicle. Will not open from outside. Had been working fine. No bad weather. Simply stopped working and will not open. Have noticed similar complaints online for same vehicle.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #29

Jan 062016


  • 63,000 miles
Door locks will not open front doors. Driving snow and rain, I have to get in the back seat climb over to open front doors. The key does not work either. I find it hard to feel safe in this vehicle if I get into an accident you can not open door from outside. When this happened two children in car safety locks on., close my door to assist them out can't get back into vehicle. Remote will not activate locks key will not open front doors so I can get in. Had to climb in rear hatch.

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #28

Jan 182016


  • 54,027 miles
The supports holding the trunk lid open no longer hold the lid open. Rather allow the trunk lid to fall causing a dangerous potential threat of the trunk lid falling on my head!

- Horseshoe Bend, AR, USA

problem #27

Dec 222015


  • 101,000 miles
Front passenger door can not be opened from the outside. Repaired once and within a week disabled again.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #26

Dec 212015


  • 89,000 miles
After experiencing issues with the shifter assembly not properly locking and unlocking my doors and I was not able to take the car out of park. I had to literally turn off the ignition multiple times and after about 5-10 attempts the car would lock the door and go into park. However, I have now been experiencing issues with the driver side door not unlocking from the outside and the interior door handle is also literally cutting my hand and not properly opening the door from the inside. I took the car to the dealership and they replaced the SC124 shift assembly due to the federal recall for this part. They also informed me that there was a recall on SA203 interior door handle. But they wanted to charge me $384.92 to repair the door lock.. (81310-2P000) $209.70 part cost / and $126.88 labor.. this is absolutely absurd.. the problem is a direct result of the broken, malfunctioning shifter assembly and any associated repairs should be covered as well by the dealership. This is absolutely absurd that as a consumer I should be held financially liable for repair costs caused by a mechanical failure that obviously broke several other parts. Not being able to properly enter and exit my vehicle is a safely issue. I could very easily get locked into this car if this issue is not properly repaired as the door locking mechanism is directly connected to the electronic shifting assembly. How and why should I have to be inconvenienced or placed in danger because a manufacturer chooses to pick and chose which parts it chooses to repair as a result of their poorly manufactured defective parts.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

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