2011 Kia Sorento electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2011 Kia Sorento (Page 3 of 5)

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com 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 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,192 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #47

Jul 092014


  • miles


Cpsc: I1470147A. 2011 Kia Sorento. Consumer stated the car has turned off on the highway on three occasions. Also stated all of a sudden the battery and all electrical components shut down. The dealer was unable to replicate the problem.

- Mableton, GA, USA

problem #46

Jun 132012


  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start after activating the push-to-start button. The contact also stated that while driving 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The dealer replaced the key fob, engine module, wiring harness and brake light switch however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified and the vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 18,000.

- Dunnellon, FL, USA

problem #45

Feb 202014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 56,243 miles
1) the vehicle has stalled out six (6) times during my ownership. This has occurred after stopping. I was able to restart the vehicle four of the six times by stopping, putting the vehicle in park, and pressing the "start" ignition button. Two of the six times the gear was locked into drive and neutral only. The vehicle would also not shut off. Both times 911 was called for California highway patrol assistance was contacted as I was stranded on the freeway. This occurred on 2/20/14 and 6/03/14. On 5/17/14 the vehicle was brought into the Kia car pros carson facility for the 60,000 mile maintenance and passed with no issues. 2) the backup camera flutters intermittently (about 10-15 times a month) mostly in the morning on start up and sometimes at night. Kia of cerritos had replaced the navigation/radio module 3 times, but official records show it was replaced only twice. This has not rectified the issue as it still persists. 3) the radio inconsistently (about 2-5 times a month) does not start for about 20 seconds after starting the vehicle up. I am not confident that the issues are resolved and I fear for the safety of myself and all who ride in the vehicle. The Kia car pros carson facility replaced the drive assist part and cleaned the electrical contacts for the first incident in Feb 2014. I was told this would rectify the issue. On 6/03/14, I was told a software update to the ECU (electrical control unit) was performed, but they do not guarantee that the problem has been resolved. I want the facility to retain my vehicle and perform a full diagnostic on the vehicle until they can guarantee that it will not stall and lock up on me again. Corporate Kia said the vehicle can be released and the facility will not investigate any further. I do not believe Kia is taking this matter seriously.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #44

May 222014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles


I have been experiencing multiple issues with my 2011 Sorento not starting at all or only starting with the fob in the charger since December 2013. More recently I have had issues where the vehicle won't lock or it locks and then won't unlock until I am able to open the rear hatch manually and then the fob will unlock the other doors. Yesterday I was at a gas station and my fuel door wouldn't open (no clicking sound or anything) until I started the car with the key fob in the charger and then I was able to open the fuel door while it was running. When the vehicle won't start with the fob in the charger, I have either had to use the "unofficial" start method with my foot off the brake and holding in the start button for 15 seconds or if that doesn't work I have had to jump start the battery. My local Kia dealership told me that I needed to replace the car battery but I really don't feel that is the issue because there are some days that this doesn't happen at all. I am scared that at some point I will be locked out of the vehicle with my children inside or that I will be stranded somewhere because of this issue. At this point I have only one working fob - I took my car in to the dealer and explained that one of the fobs wasn't working but they told me (after working on all of the recalls for 7+ hours) that the fob was fine. So, I don't even have a backup key.

- Stewartville, MN, USA

problem #43

Mar 172014


  • 59,000 miles
Occasionally and more than once, the remote key fob will not open the door and when it does will not start the car. Sometimes you have to insert the key into the fob holder in the console for the vehicle to start. It has happened now more than 5 times to my family and I.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #42

Nov 202013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
While driving at night on a county road, loud clicking noise came from dashboard, seat belt warning light flashed on and off, and headlights flashed off all at the same time. Headlights remained off for 1-2 seconds, came back on, and went off again, and on again. This has happened at least a dozen times since then while driving at night, and also a few times during the daytime (I hear the clicking and see the seat belt indicator light). Mechanics at Kia dealership said they "could not duplicate" and made no attempt to correct the problem. This happens more often when driving at highway speed (60-70 mph). It has also happened twice after stopping the car and shutting off the ignition. It is a serious safety concern and makes me afraid to drive at night!

- Miles, TX, USA

problem #41

Feb 152014


  • 75,000 miles


Push button start not starting vehicle. Brake lights do not come on upon depress of brake pedal. Vehicle only starts after holding button 10-15 seconds.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #40

Dec 112013


  • 50,000 miles
The seat belt lights will flash and there is a clicking sound in the left side B-pillar going down the road with all the passengers buckled in. The headlamps will flash on and off after dark and now the passenger side air bag light will not light even if there is a passenger in the car. I returned the car to the Kia dealer in chattanooga tn. And they said if they can't duplicate the action they can't fix it. I called Kia Corp. And they also state there is nothing they can do to fix the problem. The owners manual states if the seat belt light is flashing then the seat belts are not working properly.

- Ooltewah, TN, USA

problem #39

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 #38

Jan 082013


  • 95,035 miles
Kia Sorento infrequent and unpredictable loss of power during moderate acceleration. During certain conditions, which have included moderate uphill climbs, highway driving and city under 50mph and at moderate acceleration, the vehicle will suddenly loose power, fail to upshift when needed, or show no signs of power, followed by erratic shifting and a loud clunk. At other times on highway driving, the car will, for no apparent reason, downshift on flat sections when speeds are between 45-65mph. Multiple trips to the dealer: 1/8/13, 95,035 miles- dealer could not replicate, inhibitor switch bracket installed, did not resolve the issue 7/26/13, 106,574 miles-electronic stability and ABS light come on, similar to stop lamp switch, dealer could not replicate, did see error codes but did not provide them to customer, reset the computer. Not resolved. 10/3/13, 107,842-transmission still jerking, dealer tried replacing automatic transmission fluid, did not resolve the issue. Took to alternative dealer-road test with customer-advised the problem will need to become worse and more frequent to diagnose. This is leading to unsafe conditions due to unexpected loss of power.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #37

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 #36

Apr 092012


  • 21,298 miles
I was at car wash to wash car turned off car. Could not get it to restart after several attempts with push button start. Had to be towed to dealership. Replaced brakelight switch.. still having issues to this day with intermittent no start.. July 3 brakelight switch replaced again second time now along with 11 campaign issues with car. Still having no start issues replaced same part again! on August 8th 2013. Still happening off and on. Was trying to deal with Kia Consumer Affairs they are no help. Got told it had to not start again and need to be towed in to dealer before they would do anything. This is very unfair. Enough attempts have been made to fix and seeing other owners having same problems. Please help.

- Fulton, MO, USA

problem #35

Apr 232013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 65,342 miles
Keyless start would not work. Now this has become a regular problem.

- Springville, TN, USA

problem #34

Sep 142013


  • 35,500 miles
Problems with remote key fob, wont lock via remote key fob.vehcile won't lock via key. Vehicle won't start via keyless push button start without key fob in the console receptacle. With vehicle running, if key is removed-vehicle remains running and won't sound bell or shutoff engine same problem in summer/2012 dealer replaced battery then, with 22,500 miles on vehicle. At dealership now 9/14/13 waiting for fix with 35,500 miles on Kia Sorento. Dealership says there is also some kind of ECM reflash that is due for my vehicle, now. Still waiting 2hrs now.

- Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #33

Feb 022013


  • 30,000 miles
Air conditioning not cooling properly.drain and recharge system by dealership, still not cooling properly.dealer ordered a new compressor.dealer installed new compressor and recharge system.

- Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #32

Jul 142012


  • 22,500 miles
Keyless entry not working, rough starting-battery replaced by dealer.

- Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #31

Sep 092010


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that she attempted to reverse however, the shifter could not be moved for over 30 minutes. In addition, the radio would sporadically power on independently and drain the battery. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000.

- Ballground, GA, USA

problem #30

Sep 022013

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 37,600 miles
While pulling into parking space, car became non-responsive to gas pedal input, but brakes sill worked. Hill asst and etc lights lit up on dash, car would not shift past neutral. Turned car off and on and was able to shift to park. Car started normally after being shut off.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #29

Jun 232013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
I came to a stop, suddenly the dash lights started flashing, and the car would not accelerate. I turned the key a couple of times but nothing happened, I turned off the radio and then turned on my emergency flashers. I then put the car in park and turned the key again. This time the car started and I drove it home. Two days later the Sorento was taken to the shop. Possible reason given on the workorder for the stalling/shutting down was that the gas tank had been overfilled. The technician also told my husband that this problem had been reported in other vehicles and should be solved by the brake switch recall, service bulletin 13V114000. He explained that the engine control system receives a signal from the brake switch for the starting process and, if the signal is not received, the vehicle will not start. Because of the faulty brake switch, he stated that it could interrupt the operation of the vehicle by sending an erroneous signal to the engine control system, activating the "no start" process. Even with the vehicle running, this would cause the engine to cut out. He further stated this recall replacement of the brake light signal switch should cure that problem. After running a complete diagnostic check on the vehicle, the service rep said there were no stored codes in the engine control memory indicating a fault. Since shutting the motor off due to an erroneous signal that the brake was not engaged is not a set fault code, this may not have been recorded. Also, the rep stated that if a fault had occurred, it may not have been in place long enough to record a fault code. Though he did give these answers verbally, they were not specifically indicated on the service invoice, and this connection was not listed on the recall notice for the brake light switch. Is this Kia official position that the brake switch recall fixes the engine shutdown?

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #28

Dec 182010


  • 9,000 miles
Car wouldn't start when I pushed it to start, the next day it started. On 1/4/2012 driving the car at approximately 30 mph and the car shut off. The car did restart but shut off again while driving. Restarted and had it towed to Kia. They had the car until 1/9/12. I was told there was a problem with the fuse block. They replaced ems block control harness. On January 30,2012, the car wouldn't start again. Had it towed to Kia. They kept the car and on 2/1/12 and 2/2/12 the car didn't start for them. I was told they moved around the computer and then the car started. I was also told that there was no fuel pressure that time. They replaced PCM. I took it to the Kia garage on 4/26/13 for a routine oil change. That day got the car back and had oil leaking all over my driveway. I have had problems ever since. Took the car back 2 times for oil leak. During the time it was in the garage I was told the oxygen sensor needed replaced, after being replaced I was told there was to much voltage going to the sensor and they didn't know why. Currently I am told the cars computer needs to be replaced. We still haven't gotten the car back.

- Biglerville, PA, USA

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