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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,520 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2011 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #10

Nov 272014

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 48,084 miles


While driving on light, new snow my car had suddenly skidded slightly, no over-correcting, I simply got the car back in control when the car suddenly shot forward, steering wheel seized and started racing down the opposite side of the street into the embankment! I had pulled the car to the left and had the brakes pushed all the way down (and both feet including all my weight on them) until my car crashed completely into a tree! the tires were still spinning when the car stopped and my feet were on the brakes! it was also hard to get the car out of drive and into park --- when I was able to push the car into park I quickly took the keys out. The 2011 Kia Sorento and sudden acceleration seems to be a problem and should seriously be looked into. Yes, I was injured and thankfully a tree stopped the vehicle and no one else was hurt!

- Chardon, OH, USA

problem #9

Dec 032014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
Driving on the freeway in my 2011 Kia Sorento last night, the ABS light came on, along with three other lights (all brake related). Lights will not go out, so I took it to the dealership today. They told me it is a rear speed sensoring issue and my anti lock brakes are not working. Fixing it is not under warranty. This is not the first time my Kia has electronic issues. But these are dangerous! if your brakes don't work and you are driving on the freeway, danger about to happen.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #8

Nov 152014


  • 89,000 miles
This is the most recent and serious electric issue; I do not know the exact dates of earlier issues. I believe all these electric issues are related. Issues began in 2010 after the purchase of the car. Was taken to the dealer for electrical issue and they repaired lose cluster array. Other electric issues from 2011-2013: When turning left the downhill brake control indicator would light would come on and prevent the car being put into park, the headlights flicker when car is at a stop, driver side low beam headlight frequently burns out. December 2013-January 2014: All dash indicator lights malfunctioned (no warning lights/gauges, including fuel, speed, turn signals, low fuel indicator, etc.). dealer found the factory cluster array to be faulty. The dealer replaced the cluster with a new one. I am reporting the following: I was traveling 65mph and turned the cruise control off, the ABS warning, downhill brake control, electronic stability control indicator and 4WD auto lock lights all illuminated. The car was operating normally. Today, all of these lights came, stayed on, then went off. Upon driving, the electronic stability control light came on and the car downshifted as I was driving. All other of indicator lights noted came back on. I am taking my car back to the dealer tomorrow. Many other Kia owners are reporting almost identical issues. This most recent incident occurred when I was traveling at a high rate of speed and follows a serious of electrical issues I have had since I owned my car, new from the dealer. Something is wrong at the manufacturing level that needs to be addressed before someone is killed.

- Maplewood, NJ, USA

problem #7

Nov 132013

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


Will intermittent turn on during driving and stay on. If you stop and turn off car and then restart may or may not return on. Car as a bit of a shake to it some times. Had cruise control not turn on. Electrical seems wacky in the vehicle. Also had it been stuck in park or times could not move the shifter to park or reverse. Seriously needs to be reviewed. All these issues happen intermittent and never when near the Kia dealership. Vehicle 90% of the time has been wonderful, however there are issues that need investigated and corrected for example all the above I have listed.

- Stockton, NY, USA

problem #6

Jun 142013


  • 59,000 miles
I was attempting to park my 2011 Kia Sorento in my garage when the downhill assist and electronic stability control lights came on. My car would not shift beyond neutral. I had to shut off car while in 'drive' and turn back on, with multiple attempts, before I could get it to shift to park. Huge problem and has occurred four times the past two days! I'll be calling dealership first thing Monday morning.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #5

May 062013


  • miles
Stability control and downhill assist light came on while driving. When vehicle was stopped, shifter would not go past neutral. In order to get past neutral, had to turn off engine and restart.

- Clarkson, KY, USA

problem #4

Nov 092012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 33,309 miles


Attempted to park car while waiting for a relative to get off work. Car would not shift to reverse or park- no further than neutral. Was able to put car in neutral and brake to stop car. After dropping relative off at home (had to stop car in same manner as above), had to stop in a near empty parking lot, as I still was unable to put the vehicle in reverse or park. Contacted Kia dealership by phone and was told by representative to pump the break several times in order to shift the car to neutral/park. Did not work. Was told by rep that the braking "solenoid" " (spelling") has malfunctioned and that I should use something like a small screwdriver to push down a button in a small box at the top right of the shifter. Further stated that this would release the break so that the car could be put in park. Was told that car would now be unable to be taken out of park unless the same process was repeated. I've owned this vehicle just over 3 months. Certified per-owed. Less than 34000 miles. Will attempt to take to dealership for repair. Unaware if service center will repair on Saturday. This is the second time this has happened, but it was quickly remedied when I cut the car off and turned it back on while depressing the brake. Thought it was a fluke until today. Should have kept my 2006. This is my 3rd Kia. 1st vehicle with an issue like this.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #3

Sep 122012


  • 55,000 miles
At complete stop, car would not shift into reverse. 10 miles later, attempt to park. The vehicle would not shift past neutral. Dash light illuminated steer assist and downhill park. I finally drove around until it allowed me to shift into park and restarted and was able to engage into park. 5 miles down the road did the same thing. Made it to work and shut car off.

- Paris, TX, USA

problem #2

Aug 292012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 38,800 miles
Vehicle stuck in drive when I was pulling into a parking place. I was able to brake but engine kept running. After several tries, I managed to force it into neutral and the curb maintained my car stationary since I was unable to put it in park. Because I was unable to put my car in park, it idled in neutral until the tow truck arrived (20 min later) by which time it had begun to overheat. The incline light was on, but I was not on an incline. The traction light was on and I have no clue why since the car was not in motion. I also called the Kia dealer and spoke with someone in the maintenance dept. Who directed me to repeatedly pump on my brakes and at the same time to keep turning my steering wheel back and forth. After several tries, I was finally able to get it into park but the traction light and the incline lights remained on and the car was overheating. I encountered another incident a couple of months ago, when I was on a road trip. At that time the vehicle's mileage was about 35,000. I was going 70 mph on hwy 281 S heading to san antonio when my engine began to lose power and the engine light came on. Luckily, I was able to make it to a Kia dealership in the area. They worked on it for about a week and a half but since then I've experience odd things such as the car jumping or popping when it changes gears. Also, it tends to overheat when the car idles for more than 10 min. As well as cruise control issues. I'm very disappointed my Kia Sorento and I truly feel it is a safety hazard.

- Bangs, TX, USA

problem #1

Feb 102011


  • 10 miles
1st problem: I bought the car, drove it off the lot, dealership did not get it inspected so I had to take it at 10 miles to get an inspection sticker on it! 2nd problem: Immediately after buying the car, I noticed all the windows and doors rattled. Took it to Kia in kingwood 5 times and they could never hear the sound and/or fixed other things on the car that did not need to be fixed. Problem still exists. 3rd problem: Engine light kept coming on, 3 visits later, I needed a new transmission, at 13,000 miles..something wrong with sensor that measures fluids?? 4th problem: Taking back at 14,500 miles on Monday(3/18/12) to get doors checked out now electronics are messed up and loud noise everytime I lock or roll down windows. Also, cant get key to turn in ignition alot!! what a piece of crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- New Caney, TX, USA

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