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:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,403 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 (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Jun 012012


  • 33,500 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that all of the lights on the dashboard failed to illuminate, causing the entire dashboard to go black with the exception of the glow plug. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of the failure. An engineer was requested to further inspect the vehicle however, he was also unable to determine the cause of the failure. After inspection, the vehicle began to operate as designed. The contact also stated that the brake pedal had a spongy feel to it. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 10V599000 (service brakes, hydraulic:foundation components:disc:caliper) and the vehicle was taken to the dealer who informed him that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 33,500 and the current mileage was 42,000.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #10

Aug 162012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
My brakes will go to the floor every once in a while, sometime the car is not running and I just press the pedal to start the car, other time the car is moving all I have to do to correct this problem is pump the brake 1 time and everything is fine again. I have taken the car to the dealer twice for this problem and the last time this is the answer I got.(Kia techline states that it is normal for the brake petal to travel to the floor at times. Techline states that as long as the vehicle will hold still and will stop when the brakes are applied, this is normal. Pressure on the brake system seems good. I have call Kia customer service and I am waiting for a reply. I believe that this is a safety problem.

- Webster, NY, USA

problem #9

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 #8

Feb 012012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles


When shifting from reverse to drive, vehicle clunks and then jolts forward. When shifting into drive, vehicle whines, doesn't move and so I then shift back into park which results in clunking noise. This has happened numerous times. I brought this to the attention of my dealership on 8/28/12 and they couldn't find the problem at that time. I was advised to keep a log of when the problem occurs which is often but intermittent. Just recently vehicle lost power at a stop sign (had plenty of gas in tank) and after several attempts to keep it running it jolted forward and ran fine.

- Atascadero, CA, USA

problem #7

Sep 192012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 21,439 miles
The incline control light & the traction control light came on for no reason. I was parking my vehicle on a flat surface and when these lights were on I was unable to put the car in park or reverse. I had to put the vehicle in neutral and shut off the vehicle with my foot on the brake. I then had to restart the vehicle, the control and traction lights were not on and I was able to put the vehicle in park. I went directly to the dealership that I made the purchase from and was told that this is a known defect in the brake line where there is a short in the line that causes the computer to think the break is not pressed down enough, therefore confusing the computer into thinking it should apply the incline and traction control and prevents the vehicle from being put in reverse or park. I was told that by turning the vehicle off while in neutral like I did will sometimes reset the computer. I was told there is also a little box that has a very small slit in it and if I could find something to fit into it that would go down about 6 inches, that would also reset it. However, they were not aware of what one would use to do that with. I was told there was no need to fix this very common problem. I asked if this would eventually mess up the drive shaft, computer system, or transmission and was assured it would not.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #6

Aug 192012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
On 9/19/2012 at 12:17 pm I took a frantic call from my wife. She had just stopped to fill up with gas, got back on the interstate and set the cruise control at around 75 mph. Shortly afterwards the front end started shaking and the vehicle started to lose speed. She shut off the cruise and was looking for a place to pull over when the vehicle started to accelerate on its own. It was already going over 80 mph when she called. I told her to stand on the brakes-no effect. I told her to put her foot on the brake and to push and hold the start button for 10 seconds-nothing (that is the override to get the car started when the brake switch malfunctions-we had just had it replaced at the dealership 2 weeks prior). I told her to shift it into neutral-the shifter is locked in drive. I told her to shift to a lower gear-it won't move. After 4 minutes the car was going over 85 mph-I told her to hang up & call 911 as she could tell them where she was much better than I could. A few minutes later I received a call from the highway patrol-they had 2 cruisers on the interstate with her trying to clear traffic ahead of her. I asked if they could get a cruiser ahead of her and let her nose up behind it and then use the cruiser to stop her. Evidently they didn't like that idea or it is against policy because they never did try that. The dispatcher had to hang up to concentrate on the situation at hand. I now had the dispatcher's number so I could call her back. At one point I called back and suggested that she engage the cruise control and try to slow the car with it. My wife does not remember ever trying this. This went on for about 45 minutes at speeds up to 119 mph. At the end one of the officers told her to put her left foot on the brake and pull up on the accelerator with her right foot at the same time. She went from over 100 mph to under 50 mph instantly, let go of the pedals.

- Ames, IA, USA

problem #5

Aug 272012


  • 34,000 miles


Was driving along at about 35mph and noticed a vehicle turning in front of me. I brake to stop or slow down at least. The brakes failed completely, no brakes, did not stop vehicle. It was like the anti-lock system was trying to work, but worked faulty, almost in a reverse fashion. I pressed brake pedal to no avail, like it was slipping, but nothing to slip on. Long story short I ended up going in the ditch to avoid running into the vehicle. Previous to this about 2months the shifter would not go into the park position, no matter what I tried, thankfully I was near the dealership. They replaced the brake controller and it seemed to fix the problem until now. Furthermore, when I go around a corner at a reasonable speed the engine kills power for a split second, and the anti-sway lights kick on. This seems to be more of a safety concern than a safety fix. I feel having 3 serious potentially life threatening situations in the last 3 months merits further investigation into this model of Kia, before it literally is killed in action, Kia. I recently watch the news and saw a stuck accelerator problem on this model as well, hope you will take action.

- Eminence, MO, USA

problem #4

Aug 012012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
My husband was on private property. He got in the car, put the car in reverse and backed up. He heard a loud pop. He put the car in drive, and his foot was still on the brake. The car began to accelerate on its own with his foot on the brake until the vehicle got up to 60 miles per hour. Trying not to hit the house, or the person outside of the property he maneuvered the car into the back yard. The car was steadily picking up speed and his foot was on the brake the entire time. He could not get the gear to shift or the brakes to work. The vehicle struck a tree and that impeded the movement of the vehicle. He turned the car off and got out of it.

- Crockett, TX, USA

problem #3

May 012012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
Stability control and downhill assist lights illuminate while driving. Then when stopped, car will not go past neutral when trying to shift into park. Also, when driving, the brake lights do not work immediately when pedal is depressed. Car will not shift out of park after started and stability control and downhill assist lights are illuminated. Located switch at the upper part of the brake pedal and while car was in neutral, with parking brake on, was able to bump the switch box and then shift car into park.

- Sugar Hill, GA, USA

problem #2

Jul 262012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 13,650 miles
Vehicle unable to start, even with key in 'holster' in glove box. Vehicle brake appeared to be pressed down already and no reaction when start button was pushed. This happened multiple times over a 3 day period. After multiple attempts over two days, the vehicle started. Taken to dealership who detected nothing and were unable to duplicate the situation.

- Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 012012


  • 15,235 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact was traveling 35 mph when the brake warning light illuminated. The contact then proceeded to depress the brakes but the vehicle failed to stop properly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the dealer confirmed that the master cylinder needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted but the vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 15,235.

- Monroeville, PA, USA

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