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:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,221 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 #15

Nov 052015

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 72,078 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. While trying to start the vehicle and going in reverse, the vehicle lunged and did not move due to the shifter not functioning properly. The vehicle made an abnormal noise. The vehicle was able to be operated by shifting the vehicle into park and going back into reverse. The ABS sensor and traction control sensor illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 72,078. Updated 02/12/16 the consumer stated he went to the dealer for a failed transmission and a problem with the ABS sensors on the rear wheel hubs. Updated 03/31/16.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #14

Jan 252013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 23,683 miles
While braking to slow for a stop sign, my 2011 Sorento turned off. I took it into the dealership the next day and they could find nothing wrong. We moved cross country day after the dealership released the car. In our new state, the Sorento shut off multiple times, in multiple locations. In traffic, in the neighborhood, parking lots, etc. The car is always moving when it shuts off. I took it to the local dealership and they found no issues. I have now, since January 2013, taken the Sorento to the dealership four times. I am taking it in today for the fifth time, after the car has shut off twice this past weekend. This issue has occurred more times than I can count. I have had a case open with Kia, but they closed it after the dealership could find nothing wrong. On three occasions, I came quite close to hitting people while turning in parking lots, because power steering suddenly goes out when the car shuts off. This morning, the car shut off in a school parking lot during drop off, with kids walking through the lot. It is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.

- Hill Afb, UT, USA

problem #13

Apr 252012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 24,300 miles
My wife was driving my our 2011 Kia Sorento at around 55 mph entering the highway when she suddenly lost power. She tried to use both the brakes and accelerator and found that neither of them worked. The car slowed to about 5-10mph before eventually stopping in the middle of the road, as she had been unable to pull the car to the side of the road. After several minutes of trying, she was eventually able to get the car restarted and drive the rest of the way home. She does recall that the driver side window appeared to be working. The car was brought to the dealership immediately the day after this happened. However, they were unable to reproduce what happened to the car. They did update the electronic control module software. Will continue to monitor situation closely.

- Piscataway, NJ, USA

problem #12

Jul 012010

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 1,500 miles


After using brakes to slow down, accelerator hesitates. Need to push gas pedal down several times before accelerating (it becomes "dead"). has occurred at least 6 times if not more. Reported it to dealership twice and they attributed it to the fact that if you use two feet to drive (left foot on brake - right on gas) and if there is a chance that left foot may be slightly touching brake pedal, then the computer is "confused". not an acceptable answer. Some people do drive this way and this should be taken into account. It is a safety risk and a near risk on a couple instances. Kia needs to be accountable and address this situation.

- Mountville, PA, USA

problem #11

Apr 012011


  • 5,000 miles
After the first dealer oil change I began getting lifter noise on engine start up that would last for minutes. The problem has gotten worse. Dealer refuses to aknowledge the problem and now I have put a non-op on my brand new 2011 Sorento because of this problem. Tried to get this resolved with a lawyer and the company refused to take the car back. I have been forced to retain a lemon law attorney to get this resolved. Kia motors does not stand behind their warranty. My car was in and out of different dealerships with an array of problems. The interior cloth around the rear hatch is coming apart and the car was in the shop 3 times for it and it was never fixed. The last dealer said that they have to get "special permission" to fix this even though the car is under factory warranty. The brakes are getting very spongy, and they are still not fixed. The car has been in the shop for over 70 days on and off with most of my complaints being ignored. One of my original complaints was a glare off the instrument cluster that blinds the driver on sunny days. I almost hit another car when I was momentarily blinded by the "chrome rings" around the cluster while flashed in the eyes as I was going around a curve. They said that they could not correct this problem because it was an "engineering" problem. The bluetooth still does not work correctly, and I am still getting warning lights that go on and off, including low tire pressure (when the tires are fine) as well as an emissions light and a check engine light. There are many problems with this car and it is parked because of them. The car is not safe to drive, and I submit that the company knows a lot more about these problems than they are letting on.

- Tualatin, OR, USA

problem #10

May 302011


  • 11,000 miles
Bought new 2011 Kia Sorento in February and have 11,000 miles on it. I have taken it in several times for the push to start taking a bit to start. It seems as if sometimes it is not going to start. Took it in at 8000 miles and they said it was a brake sensor and the part was on back order. Just got that fixed with 11,000 miles on it. Took Kia in this week for a noise in the front wheel because it sounds like the wheel is going to fall off. Problem was not fixed. Said Kia was working to resolve issue with brake pad but that it was safe for me to drive and that nothing would happen. Not to happy about my service not getting taking care of when I take it in. Apparently they need to just replace our cars if they can't fix it. I don't appreciate buying a $27,000 car and being told that they are working on a solution. Very disappointed in my new Kia already having all these problems and only 11,000 miles on it.

- Texas, TX, USA

problem #9

Apr 152011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 3,500 miles


While driving downhill for no apparent reason even though the downhill assist switch is turned off, the car starts braking by itself as if the hill brake assist switch was turned on. This happens most of the time and almost caused a crash from someone hitting my rear end since the brake lights do not come on.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #8

May 022011


  • 200 miles
Discovered several days after almost having accident, Kia was equipped with "smart brake" with no warning from dealer. If you happen to have light pressure on accelerator & brake, you cannot accelerate again until you take your foot completely off accelerator pedal. I discovered this about 2 days after purchasing vehicle as I tried to enter us 19 a 6 lane highway; lucky there was a center turn lane or I would have collided with a 18 wheel sand truck and a sure death. Took me several days of driving vehicle to diagnosis problem.. I have driven approx 55 yrs and no accident so my method of driving using both feet has proven safe for me.. I reported this to Kia of lagrange, ga. And ""tried to get them to note this problem on service record " as I feel it definitely a safety issue ! I want this on record in the event this safety brake causes me to have a accident.. and rest assured I will file a legal suit which I also told this dealer service department

- Thomaston, GA, USA

problem #7

Feb 012011


  • miles
2011 Kia Sorento. Consumer writes regarding problems with vehicle within the first 2 months of purchase the consumer stated the stalled while driving on the highway. It would down shift unexpectedly and then jerk and jolt. There were times when the consumer applied the accelerator and the vehicle would not respond for a short period before the vehicle revved up and accelerated. The vehicle also pulled to the right and there was a bad grinding/rubbing sound coming from the front drivers side of the vehicle, along with spongy brakes which was a problem from the start. The consumer stated when she started the vehicle, there was a knocking noise coming from the engine. The interior lights went out, the drivers side window switch was faulty and the back-up camera stopped working.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #6

Jan 122011


  • 1,500 miles
On Jan 12,2011 I was coming down my driveway. I tried to apply brakes and it felt like they weren't working. The driveway was ice covered so I just thought it was the icy roads. The car would not slow down or stop. The car was sliding towards the edge of the hill, I turned the steering wheel to try to avoid going over the hill and the tail of the car went over and then we rolled. It rolled probably twice and came to rest on its top. This was the second time that I had felt that the brakes were not working properly. After the wreck I saw there was a recall on this car and then I thought, maybe it wasn't my imagination after all.

- South Charleston , WV, USA

problem #5

Dec 142010

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 150 miles


I recently purchased a 2011 Kia Sorento 4 cyl. And just after one day of ownership noticed that the car was pulling to the right. I immediately took it back to the dealership with only 150 miles on it. They said it was the alignment and did a test on it and after the test the car pulled to the left. The steering wheel is also off center, like many others have reported. I have taken it back once more and this time they performed a tire rotation, this did not fix the problem. After three weeks of ownership the brakes have started to make substantial noise and the suspension feels and sounds like it is coming apart. The dealer is waiting for Kia technician representative to come by and take a look and report on this vehicle.

- Stephens City, VA, USA

problem #4

Jan 022011


  • 3,768 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the service engine light was illuminated. The contact noticed an increased stopping distance when braking since the illumination of the warning light. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed nor repaired. The failure and current mileage was 3,768.

- Onawa, IA, USA

problem #3

Oct 222010


  • 9,298 miles
The brake pedal always seemed to go down a long distance when appyling, before the brakes started to work.. I had the dealer check. The master cylinder was replaced. The next morning, at home, the brake pedal went all the way to the floor!. within the next 3 weeks, the dealer had 2 more master cylinders and the ABS replaced. Corporate tech was sent to check brake system. Everything was to spec and ok. The brakes work ok, but that "soft" brake pedal feel still exists.

- Danville, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 202010


  • 3,000 miles
Kia Sorento 2011, 2wd 2.4 L engine. The brakes on two occasions began to rumble and push back on the foot making it very difficult to apply the brakes. No crash occurred but we were traveling at around 15mph during the first incident and 20mph in the second incident.

- Skokie, IL, USA

problem #1

Oct 142010

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 9,338 miles
My 2011 Kia Sorento ex V6 AWD was brought in to a Kia dealer 15 days ago to check on the brakes, which seemed to have a longer than normal "play" before engaging. The mechanic at the dealership agreed and replaced the master cylinder. After I brought it home, the next morning the pedal almost went all the way to the floor! it seemed to have air in the system after I pumped the pedal. I brought it back to the dealer where they again replaced the master cylinder. (I personally think they put in a rebuild kit the first time). The mechanic tried mechanical and manual methods to get all the air out with no success. They again replaced the master cylinder, again with no success. They then replaced the ABS module, again it did not solve the problem. They are sending out a Kia engineer to see if problem can be resolved. He will arrive Monday Nov 8! the SUV is still at the dealership, which will be a total of 21 days! have there been any other incidents of this problem?

- Danville, CA, USA

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